SB&F's reviews and videos of STEM-related toys, games, and kits are featured in this Gallery. See the SB&F News Story for more information about our review process. If you are a toy maker or manufacturer and would like us to review your products, please contact us.
The Ice Cream Science Kit
Kavita Berger, Associate Director of the AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy, tested the kit with her son. This is their review.Our son loves science. In fact, it is one of his favorite subjects in school. When our son saw the Ice Cream Science kit, he was so excited to try it out. We decided to read all the instructions before doing it with him. Our first reaction was that we needed to supply a lot of the ingredients. However, once we got started, we found that we had all the ingredients we needed. So, that became a non-issue. The instructions did a good job of explaining the scientific concepts behind the ice cream making experiment. But, parents will need to explain these concepts to kids who are younger.
We tested what salt does to ice and talked about older ice cream makers, which needed ice and rock salt. We compared the glass bowls filled with ice and ice + salt.Our son really enjoyed testing his mixtures and the edible items in the kit (i.e., chocolate powder, strawberry liquid, and vanilla liquid) by tasting each item. He made really funny faces when tasting the vanilla and strawberry liquids. He ultimately chose chocolate powder.
And, he had a ton of fun freezing the ice cream. The instructions suggest parents to freeze the ice cream outside because it is messy. However, we did the experiment when it was cold outside, so we used a towel and double-bagged the ice and salt mixture (which surrounded the bag of liquid ice cream) before shaking it in our kitchen. No messes!
He liked recording his experiment on the “lab sheet” included in the instructions. And, he liked trying his creation – green chocolate ice cream. As a science experiment, this is a great kit and our son had a lot of fun and learned a lot of science.
GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine
We asked AAAS staffer Neela White to test GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine with her two daughters, ages 6 and 8. You can see the results in this video. Spoiler alert: they loved it!
Joinks, Stunt Brothers Parachutists and Zoob
This video features the children of AAAS staffers Neela White and Suzanne Thurston playing with the following:
ZOOB, an award-winning building set consisting of pieces that move after you put them together--from Alex Brands®.
Joinks, a construction set made from flexible connectors and wooden sticks that can be used to construct all kinds of creative structures that bounce, wiggle and move.
Stunt Brothers Parachutists, a toy that teaches kids basic principles of physics and gravity using two kid-friendly model stunt men and their parachutes.