Architectural Engineering is a building set with a twist: through experiments, aspiring architects and engineers will learn about a variety of structures – what makes them strong or at risk of collapse. Experienced builders ages 8-14 will be able to complete all 20 designs; a good reader, or help from an adult, is needed to get the most from the engineering explanations. After mastering the basics, builders will move on to towers, domes, stadiums and Ferris wheels. Those captivated by structures and curious as to what makes them stand will be engaged for many hours.
As has become a Thames & Kosmos hallmark, it is the experiment manual that makes this kit special. The 44-page guide explains engineering terms (tension, compression, shear – to list a few) and outlines experiments that demonstrate each. The experiments demonstrate how inherently weak structures can be made strong, and the accompanying text covers tradeoffs, e.g. weight of materials vs strength. And if that weren’t enough, there is a section on real world examples such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House
John Green ©2019 Parents’ Choice
John Green is an economist in Washington DC and father of three. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.