Showing posts with label STEM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label STEM. Show all posts

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tinker Box from Kiwi Krate: Review and savings code

FYI: before reading this post...please know that I was not asked to write a review of the product, or paid for this opinion of it. We simply enjoyed it, and want you to know it exists. We didn't until recently-and it would have been nice to know! We actually procured the kit while they had a free trial offer going. Since that has ended, I wanted to share with you a link at the bottom of the post, which you can click that will get you $10 off your first order!  Plus it helps us-meaning we get a $10 credit for every purchase made using our link.  Then you yourself can sign up and receive the same bonuses!  It's a win-win deal!  


I am always on the look out for fun activities to add to our regular school work-especially projects relating to science or STEM activities. So when I noticed that Kiwi Crate [via the Krazy Coupon Lady site) was hosting a freebie trial (well, I paid for shipping) I jumped on it. Glad I did too-because I believe I was one of the last ones to secure a kit before they ran out.

They had really quick shipping, so within a week my son received his surprise package. "Surprise" because his loving mother chose to not tell him about it.  Anyway-back to the Tinker Crate.

I assumed it was going to be one of those listed on the site since no other kits were mentioned, but they actually sent the Fiber Optic Stars project.  After he was over the initial shock of getting something cool in the mail, he dove in. But not before I begged him to wait until I grabbed my camera first. You know, once a scrapbooker/blogger, always one. Of course I had to document this "unboxing reveal" before it was spread all over the place. He even got a kick out of that part.

Anyhoo-the neat thing about this (I chose the 9-16+ Tinker Crate for him) is that it provides all the necessary goodies to complete the listed projects.  They also have an additional booklet called the Tinker Zine, noting some fun experiments too, along with some info about the said subject.

The instructions came on a large fold out sheet with clear steps to follow.  It was not overly difficult and the results were really impressive.  I am going to pick up another sheet of foam board, so my son can make all the constellations highlighted in the kit (it came with two boards); and we may even try to create a few of the others ones not mentioned.

He really enjoyed this activity and I have to admit-it is awesome looking when you light it up in a dark room.  I really think this will help him recognize some of the constellations without much effort too. And that is always a plus. And for extra learning fun, they also have videos relating to the kits on their site.

As for the cost-the site currently lists them as $19.95 per month [I believe this is the one where you don't have to prepay but you will be charged every time one ships], the others are prepay first: $60 for a 3 month sub, $110 for 6 months, $205 for the year. The shipping is included for the subscriptions, but it looks like individual purchases of a featured crate has a fee to ship. As for us, we decided to suspend the subscription right now, simply because it is not in our budget. Altho, we can re-activate that at any time. I highly recommend you go through their site to see if this is something your family would enjoy and can afford. And don't forget to use the link below to get $10 off your first order.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Homeschool: STEM/Engineering activity-Building an F.M. Radio

I wanted to share my son's newest project [building an F.M. radio] that was completed after just a few hours, with very minimal help from his dad. He earned an "A" for this project. Not only did he show great dedication to completing it start to finish (he barely stopped to eat lunch), he also did a great job soldering and checking for errors. Very proud of him. He is very anxious to start the A.M. radio....but I told he needs to pace himself. Esp. since that is our last kit, and I won't be able to order any other sets for some time. Here is our Show and Tell video. Hope you enjoy it!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Tech/Electronics Activity (STEM): Soldering Practice-European Siren

Since our son is technically in ninth grade this year, I wanted to get him going on some fun activities to start his Technology [auto/etc.] and Electronics course.  One thing my husband wanted him to be able to do well, was to solder [pronounced like sawder].  I was watching a bunch of YouTubers who mentioned the STEM activities they do, and one brand kept being shown/mentioned.  So I checked Amazon, and sure enough-there they were.  I ordered three kits to start.  I first chose one that included the soldering gun (very important), the necessary parts/tools, and had a fairly simple task to complete (in this case, the European siren) but there are other to choose from.  My son also wanted to build both the AM and the FM radios-so I bought those as well.  I will order a few more kits for him, if he wants to continue doing projects like this. I also have my eye on a few other similar type activities, so we will see.  I want to keep his attention, while he learns valuable skills, and not brake the bank. These three kits were very modestly priced, so that is why I chose them to start.
Product Details   Product Details.Product Details 
Soldering kits are by Elenco
Images from

We will be stretching the course out for at least two to three years, so we can lean this out for as long as we deem fit. All of these kits prep our boy for being able to fix electrical things about the home and/or vehicles, etc. Plus, he has to follow schematics, troubleshoot (and they did alright-a few times) and push through when it gets difficult.  All great skills to have under one's belt.
So for those wondering how to or where to put this (for transcript purposes), you can file it under a few different areas. Be creative.  Maybe it will only be a snippet activity you can put under a science course.  Maybe your student will be doing lots of activities like this, so you can create a whole class around them. Just have a main goal in mind-whatever you decide that will be.  For those following the STEM plan/idea, this would fit under the technology and engineering part of it. Or this could be filed under your student's overall VoTech or Auto or Electrical Engineering 101 class. I haven't named our course yet, but it will definitely be listed as something auto/motor/engine related. The general idea is that there be some fun activities (the kits) mixed with book lessons, along with the majority of it being totally hands-on experience.

By the way-this is all my hubby's territory so I may not be speaking proper technical terms here. That's OK tho, that is why he is teaching it and I just smile, order the goodies and mark down the progress/grades. I won't even pretend to know most of what this is all about.  My time and brain is so stuffed with all other sorts of things, that I am not in the least bit ashamed to hand this off to my husband to teach. It's his passion and hobby anyway. Plus, this is one area my husband and son can be all manly manish together. Not to mention the great memories they will have to share-and the extra fix-it man I have readily available when his dad is out of town!  LOL  Hey, don't blame me for seeing all the possibilities here.

Completed project!