The Big Engineering Makerspace

Ages: 8 and upManufacturer: Thames & Kosmos

Make room for The BIG Engineering Makerspace Kit; its 258 pieces make 22 working models and the 136-page manual informs, guides and inspires.

First and foremost: our testers emphasize their equivalent of “measure twice, cut once.” As confident as your builder-engineer-makers may be, The Tips and Tricks section makes things easier and staves off frustration. And as with any project, inspect and check off the list of parts. If anything is missing, contacts the company asap; they’ll replace the part(s) without as much as a blink. Then, test the main parts. If they don’t work, nothing else will. That anchor pin can prove pesky.

The hallmark sections of all the Thames & Kosmos manuals: You Will Need, Here’s How, And What’s Happening, set up the model builds for the five different categories with either four or five experiments each: Man vs. Machine (5 models), On the Road (5), On Land and Sea(4), Up in the Air (4) and All Things Camera (4). As our testers point out: all projects require patience and attention; neither rushing nor multi-tasking is helpful.

Not surprisingly, our testers had their favorites: One proclaimed the spinning top project too young — until he read about their importance in airplanes and drones. A big-city apartment dweller had a fondness for the crane and the hydraulic lift often seen outside their building, and e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e liked the All Things Camera section.

Parents’ Choice ©2018 Parents’ Choice

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