Solar Power Toys and Science Kits
Solar power is undoubtedly going to be one of the great sources of power in the earth’s future. The sun can be used to power virtually everything, from cars to houses to flashlights. It is the cleanest form of energy imaginable and cannot be used up. Solar technology gets better every year and now there are a variety of toys that run on solar energy. Besides providing entertainment, these toys are useful tools for teaching children about the potential of solar energy and the many uses for which it can be harnessed.
One of the crazier solar powered toys is the T3 Transforming Solar Robot. This awesome transforming robot requires no batteries and uses only the power of the sun. It comes from OWI who are known for producing high quality solar power toys. The robot has three modes, and can transform into both a tank and a scorpion. It comes with easy to follow instructions so that kids can build the robot themselves using simple construction skills. The solar cell will last for over two years of regular use and the kit contains 70 pieces. The T3 Transforming Solar Robot is an award-winning toy, picking up a MomLogic Award and a Toy Fair Hottest Toys Award in 2010.
One of the ultimate kits for teaching kids about solar power comes from Thames and Kosmos, makers of various high quality educational toys. The Physics Solar Workshop Science Kit teaches about physics as well as solar energy, and can be used to build 12 different models that harness the power of the sun in unique and useful ways. The kit contains 320 pieces and includes 30 experiments alongside the model. The full color 64-page instruction booklet provides easy directions that are easy for kids to understand. Along with gaining knowledge about solar power, kids using the Physics Solar Workshop Science Kit will also learn about motors and basic machine operation. Perhaps the best part about this kit is that it can be combines with pieces from other Thames and Kosmos kits to build even more exciting and intricate models.
One of the big uses of solar power currently is in hybrid vehicles that can run on both solar and electric power. The Amphibious Solar Vehicle can run on both solar power and batteries, so it can still be played with at night or in overcast conditions. The Amphibious Solar Vehicle comes in a kit and must be assembled. During assembly, kids will learn about the advantages of solar energy, different types of solar power and how solar batteries work. When the vehicle is complete it can be used both on land and at sea. It has been specially designed to make it resistant to capsizing and this vehicle is one of the most exciting ways to learn or teach about solar power.
Another great product from OWI that also teaches about the advantages of hybrid systems is the Triple Action Solar Car Kit. This kit comes with an aerodynamic shell design that is powered by a 1.4v solar cell. The transparent plastic body is paintable, or can be left transparent to display the car’s inner workings. It can operate on solar or battery power, is fully steerable and has an adjustable solar panel that can be fine tuned for better performance. The Triple Action Solar Car Kit even features a multi-speed transmission. This is one of the most exciting solar projects from is an ideal way to get kids interested in solar energy and alternative fuels.