- 22 vehicles to assemble – motored by an environment friendly and non-toxic recyclable fuel cell battery
- 6 alloy plates providing each a 64- hour operating range
- When you are out of alloy plates, you can use foil paper from the kitchen!
The Innovative Eco-Power construction kit is a set for building battery-powered models that can run on salt water and magnesium cells or standard AA batteries. The kit includes components for approximately two dozen models and detailed pictorial instructions for each. The manual details the history of batteries and explains the chemistry (including balanced chemical equations, for those who have reached that level in science) behind the included metal fuel cells. Kids mix their own salt water and fill the cells with the mixture and one of six included magnesium plates (or a homemade one from aluminum foil, though we found the aluminum plates were not capable of generating enough power for the more dynamic models). The manual also explains a couple of experiments comparing the different sources of power with enough detail for kids to replicate them, but gives their own results in case running the experiments to completion is not practical (in their results, some ran for nearly two days).
The science in the kit is informative and educational, but more to the point the projects in the kit are a lot of fun to build! The pieces look like a cross between the old Erector sets and the modern Lego Technic models. Kids can build a battery charger with their fuel cell, or they can construct numerous cars and trucks and various crazy robotic creatures (the favorite was a hermit crab that limped along on two legs and two wheels). Models did not always work the first time, but usually it was just a matter of checking the connections to the cells. This set offers many hours of play time and gave rise to numerous conversations on batteries, electricity, and efficiency. My children are looking forward to trying every model in the book, and then designing some of their own.
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