quality posts: 16 Private Messages WootBot


Elenco Science Kits

The future is a scary place, full of (maybe) Godzillas and super mutants and killer robots. We're going to need someone to defend us. A hero. And the weapons of the future are science(s?). So start off your future super-scientist young, or else it'll be YOUR fault when we're all working in Baron Von Evilpants' salt mines.

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quality posts: 105 Private Messages inkycatz

Back off, I'm doing SCIENCE!

Are you doing science? Which of these will you be using?

I'm just hanging out, really.


quality posts: 122 Private Messages miken927

Awww, no Atomic Energy kit?

(yes, this toy contained actual radioactive material!)

I Bet on Sky


quality posts: 9 Private Messages jdelvoie
inkycatz wrote:Back off, I'm doing SCIENCE!

Are you doing science? Which of these will you be using?

Snap Circuits are awesome. The removal of the need to solder eliminates the mess and patience needed allowing you to make simple electric circuits with those of a younger age.

Since I already have a fairly comprehensive snap-circuits set, I was looking into some of the other sets: The detective lab, chem set, and the air engine.

Reviews are difficult to find on all 3.

Savings on the mothership appear to mainly be in the form of shipping, since the list prices are barely lower, but the vendors on Amazon do not participate in prime shipping:
Air Engine: (save $9 from ship) http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Air-Engine-Car-Helicopter/dp/B008GW8KVU/
Detecto lab ($13+$9 ship, save $9 from ship) http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-EDU-7080-Detectolab/dp/B000GG0U8U
reviews for detecto lab: http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Detectolab-Crime-Scene-Investigator/dp/B000EOXDEC
Super Chem 120 ($32, ss/prime, save $8) http://www.amazon.com/Power-Tech-Super-Chem-120/dp/B000TFBO7Y/

So, these prices are worthwhile even for a single purchase, saving about $4, and will get better with multiple purchases. However, it is difficult to find detailed reviews on any of the chem sets.

Snap Circuits are a great buy, but I haven't compared prices recently, but for comparison, the 300 piece kit (which I have) is currently $45:

I have seen some of the smaller sets already copied by Chinese manufacturer sites, but what you save in product cost there, you get back in quality. I haven't tried the Chinese versions of Snap Circuits yet, when I first discovered them I remember the prices being not that much of a savings, added onto the typical 1 month shipping time.

Most any of these should be a good gift for the inquisitive 9-12 year old, or those whose mental age have regressed to that level (like me). I've done several of these types of experiments with my niece and nephew (8, 6), which they enjoy, but are still a bit too young to fully hold their attention for that length of time, A little bit older, and I think they will appreciate the experiments a bit more.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages leapdaymama

I love the comment about using the kit on a pet gerbil during a heart attack! Now I need to decide if this will be a gift for my son or husband?! :o)


quality posts: 9 Private Messages jdelvoie
miken927 wrote:Awww, no Atomic Energy kit?

(yes, this toy contained actual radioactive material!)


I can't find it on Amazon!* This looks like fun.

You would actually be surprised at the number of "radioactive" material used in ordinary household items. Most (especially older)smoke detectors use americium-241, a by product of plutonium-241 decay (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf57.html). Old illuminated watches used Radiumn (http://www.bfs.de/en/ion/konsintec/uhren.html). Depending on the material used, it is entirely possible that it was entirely safe for direct handling.


Go figure, is this the kit?

Produced in 1950, it's exceedingly rare and collectible now, and is only sold for obscene amounts of money. I am so sad.


Found it, slightly different kit. It was made in 1960, still rare, but not as stupidly rare.



quality posts: 16 Private Messages labyrinthia

I have the microscope, bought it at goodwill for $2 . it was worth $2. Not anything more, though. It's a toy, you can't see much out of it, I'd suggest buying a good quality magnifying glass instead :-)


quality posts: 9 Private Messages jdelvoie

Rock Tumbler is $40 (ss/prime) on Amazon, and has terrible reviews. Apparently it breaks easily.


quality posts: 290 Private Messages lstaff

Have used the snap circuits successfully for three semesters of a science club for elementary children. They are an attractive nuisance: Even when the kids are supposed to be doing something else, they ask to break out the snap circuits.

Quality product.


quality posts: 10 Private Messages matt1976

This heart model is a pretty good deal. I've been looking around the internet for them for a couple weeks for my 4 year old daughter. It's what she asked Santa for and what she told me multiple times that she wanted. When a 4 year old is asking for anatomical models, you should probably buy them.


quality posts: 36 Private Messages geo8rge
miken927 wrote:Awww, no Atomic Energy kit?

(yes, this toy contained actual radioactive material!)

I got that kit when I was in 6th grade.

Yes, it came with a tiny dot of Radium on the end of a pin mounted on a piece of cork.

Yes, when set up on a piece of dry ice the vapor trails of the alpha particles become visible.

Yes, when the vapor trails started up and began increasing in numbers I thought damn that atoms stuff is real, I hope this doesn't go out of control.

And finally yes, you can buy a kit with radioactive source off the internet these days for like $100. Since I never bought one off the net I can't say for sure if they will fulfill orders to ordinary people.

Sadly I have never seen a kit with radium, which is too bad as radium glows in the dark.

Back then they used film cameras so you could play with the radioactive source by exposing film with the radioactive source and then get the film developed.

(Overall signature size was getting large. Recommended signature size is 5k.)