Teachers' Educational Tech Toys: High School Grades 9-12
The Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop is like a Lego or Kinectics kit that runs on a solar voltaic cell. The projects are relatively easy to build but offer real-world possibilities for solar power. As far as teachers' educational tech toys go, this one has potential for use in several different classroom areas. It can be used to teach solar power, electrical current, work load vs. energy and all sorts of other lesson plans. The color photo instructions are easy to follow and give helpful hints on construction.
The one major drawback of this kit is that the solar cell and 1.5v motor can have trouble working in low light. In full sunlight the panel works well and with the addition of a secondary source (a flashlight or 100W bulb) the motor can handle most loads. Purchasing an additional solar panel or two could allow even more load capacity. The $41.07 price tag won’t cloud up your budget and will allow you to pick up a few extras to add to the basic kit, depending on your particular lesson plans.
Every science classroom should be equipped with the Digital Blue QX5 Digital Microscope. This microscope features 10X, 60X, 200X magnification lenses as well as the ability to connect to a computer and put the display up on the screen for the entire class to see using a whiteboard or projector. The QX5 allows teachers and students to view, edit, animate and even measure samples and then create slide-shows and videos to present their findings. It’s 15 frame per second playback offers a nice quality video and the 640 x 480 VGA resolution offers beautiful images.
One of the suggested uses for this particular teaching tool is to take pictures of various everyday objects at a high magnification and then have the students try to identify them. This will peak their curiosity and soon they’ll be trying to put everything in the room under the microscope. When you are looking at teachers educational tech toys this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser.