Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Electronics Workshop 1

Electronics Workshop 1

Spring 2009 Toys
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $109.95
Electronics Workshop 1 is a science education kit designed to teach an introduction to electronics from simple circuits to digital logic. The kit includes a 68-page experiment manual of instructions and applications to conduct 148 experiments. The over 100 wires, resistors, switches, diodes, transistors, capacitors, etc. can be combined on the storage console to form simple and complex circuits that perform different tasks in various applications. Make a battery tester, water sensor, heat sensor, and lots of sound circuits including a doorbell, musical instrument devices, a game timer, a telegraph, an intruder alert, and even a medium wave radio. The manual is especially good at illustrating how certain electronics components work. As examples: water tanks help to illustrate voltage, sponges represent resistors, and gate valves exhibit transistor operations. These visual images leave no question about the function of each component.

Before the real work in this education kit begins, the thoughtfully designed (and cool looking) electronics console has to be assembled. Snap-in contact clips ensure sound connections that are easy to make using plug in components and jumper wires. The side of the console is designed to get the perfect bend in wires, and extra long wire is provided to permanently hard wire diodes into the console. The lid to the console can be opened to provide storage for all kit components.

After the safety notes and descriptions of all kit components, the manual begins a story line that is carried throughout. It is the tale of a newly manufactured robot named Robert M-3 who is being sent to do electronics work on a space station orbiting around the earth. Although the robot knows nothing about electronics, he has the ability to learn. His master, Professor Armstrong, teaches him all about electronics in the various departments and with various equipment on the space station.

One minor concern confused our testers: transistors and resistors are used in the first experiment on page 10 of the manual, but resistors are not explained until page 18, and transistors are first discussed on page 23. Other than that, this introduction to electronics is very well done.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

Look for this product at:
Thames & Kosmos
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

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