Sunday, August 22, 2010
The Pea, like most kids, has a natural curiosity about the world around her. And like most kids, she often comes to her parents with the dreaded "I'm boooooored". We recently tried out a unique kind of science kit that managed to feed that inquisitive mind and entertain her at the same time: A Secret Science Team kit. Keep reading to find out what we thought of it -- and to win one for your very own!
Secret Science Team (SST) kits let kids solve mysteries by conducting science experiments. They are made by Ectropy Science and are appropriate for kids ages 9-12. They have been featured on Good Morning America and Toy Directory Monthly. They have also won Parents’ Choice Approved award for 2010.
Here's a description of the SST kits from Ectropy Science
With Secret Science Team mystery solving science kits and other fine science-related toys and instruments from Ectropy Science, your child can experience what it is like to be a scientist. We take science to a higher level through a unique combination of mysteries, hands on science, and problem solving.
There are currently 3 versions of the SST kit, each retailing for $27.99. We received SST Kit #1001: The Mazztech Counterfeiting Case. Kids solve the case pretty much according to the Scientific Method:
* Ask a Question -- SST #1001 contains a newspaper clipping with information about a CD counterfeiting ring. A white, powdery substance (also included in the kit) has been collected from a crime scene and it is the kids' job to figure out what the substance is.
* Do Background Research -- The kit contains various substances (i.e. powder, sugar, salt, etc..) that are similar in appearance to the unknown substance.
* Construct a Hypothesis -- Kids compare the substances visually and make their own guesses as to what the unknown substance is (this isn't part of the instructions but The Pea did this spontaneously, and I would guess a lot of other kids would too).
* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment -- Kids perform a variety of experiments on each known substance, as well the unknown substance. Each SST kit contains all materials needed.
* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion -- Kids chart the results of the experiment for each known substance, and compare results with the unknown substance.
* Communicate Your Results -- Kids log on to SecretScienceTeam.com and enter their results; if correct, they get to read a news clipping announcing the arrest of the counterfeiters and how the Secret Science Team helped crack the case.
This is a great science kit! I love how it captures kids' interest with the mystery/detective component, and I low how it helps kids practice analytical reasoning by following the Scientific Method. The instructions are clear and concise, and everything you need is included.
In the end, I can think of no higher praise for this product than to say The Pea now wants to buy the other 2 Secret Science Kits... and she wants to have a Secret Science party for her 10th birthday so that all her friends can solve cases! Even better, she's now full of ideas on other experiments -- we're going to figure out which liquids (oil, vinegar, orange juice, Kool Aid) are acids, and look for things that are insoluble in water. Science fair, watch out!
I have no complaints whatsoever about the SST kit we tried, but I'd love for the Ectropy Science online store to party kits so that 8 to 12 kids could participate in the same experiment (you can tell I'm already planning The Pea's birthday party). Of course, parents could buy the materials separately (and they do sell extra test tubes and droppers) but I'd love it all in one neat package.
Update 8/24/2010: I've just been informed that Ectropy Science now sells birthday party kits!
The Bottom Line
Ectropy Science's Secret Science Team kits are a fun, entertaining way to help your child learn basic science concepts and introduce him to scientific reasoning.
Win a Secret Science Team kit
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a Secret Science Team kit from Ectropy Science!
Check out the Ectropy Science online store, then come back here and leave a comment with a link to the science kit you would most like to buy for your young scientist. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Write on the Secret Science Team's Facebook page and let them know which Secret Science Mission Kit sounds most exciting! (1 entry)
2) Leave a comment on any post on the Ectropy Science blog (1 entry, please leave the link to your comment).
3) Grab my blog button and post it up on your blog (1 entry).
4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).
5) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).
6) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Win a Secret Science kit for your young scientist/detective on @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/28m2s9v #giveaways
7) Join any of the giveaways currently running on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for each giveaway you've joined).
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on September 13, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on September 14 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a product sample, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.