Ages: 12 and upManufacturer: Amazing Toys Limited

The Stemnex V8 Model Engine is an update of the classic Visible V8 from the 1960s. The most obvious difference is that the carburetor and air cleaner prominent on the classic have been replaced by the smooth engine cover on most modern engines.

Assembly directions are the picture variety and easy to follow. The plastic parts have identifying letters and numbers molded in to simplify the process. Still, many of the parts are small, and good motor skills and patience are needed.

The instruction booklet starts with four pages explaining the internal combustion engine. We found these pages a good start at STEM content, but much more learning could be possible with guidance from a STEM-minded adult. Examples include the math of circles and gear ratios, the engineering of levers and cams, and the chemistry of burning fuels.

The 270 piece kit is recommended for a child already interested in cars and engines, especially one with an adult nearby to help explore the STEM not covered in the directions.

John Green ©2018 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.

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