Saturday, October 2, 2010

K’Nex for Education & FUN!

Gracie has been a long-time Lego fan, ever since she got her first set of Duplo blocks as a toddler.  Several weeks ago, we were introduced to K’Nex.  Almost immediately, Gracie had a new love! 

fall 2010 045 We received the K’Nex Education: Forces, Energy, and Motion Set.  Here is what the website has to say about this set (photos are mine):

The K'NEX Forces, Energy & Motion Racer Set curriculum is organized as a series of objectives achieved through classroom discussion and laboratory exercises. Students investigate potential and kinetic energy, and identify the differences between energy associated with position and condition.

fall 2010 047 The Forces, Energy & Motion set offers an exciting, hands on opportunity to address fundamental physical science concepts. The set includes 4 spring motors, plus instructions to build 4 of any one of these models simultaneously: rubberband roller, rubber band racer, spring motor turbo. Includes an 80-page Educator Guide with 8 extensive lesson plans. Supports 12-16 students working in teams of 3-4. fall 2010 046

  • Student Designed Experiments
  • Energy Transfer
  • Potential Energy
  • Kinetic Energy
  • Newton’s Laws
  • Velocity and Acceleration
  • Graphing
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Motions and Forces
  • The Mathematics of Motion
  • Abilities of Technological Design
  • Design Challenges
  • Applied Simple Machine Technology
  • Systems, order, and organization

Gracie had a ball with this set!  And, as a homeschool parent who is always looking for ways to slip education into our play, I was thrilled as well! 

fall 2010 056 Gracie is a very particular child, so she enjoys following directions.  The Student Step-by-Step Guides are filled with full-color illustrations, making them easy to follow.  In a very short time, she had created a simple Rolling Racer. 

fall 2010 048 The Teacher’s Guide expands upon the building project with ideas for Exploring, Explaining, Elaborating, and Evaluating. These are set up to be used in groups (think: students in  classroom setting) but are easily adapted to homeschool situations and would be wonderful for co-ops.  There are worksheets for the students to fill out with their observations and record with their experimentation.  These worksheets are allowed to be photocopied, which means that they are essentially non-consumable and able to be used with any number of students. 

Gracie quickly graduated to more difficult projects - - -

fall 2010 055

fall 2010 053

fall 2010 052

Needless to say, she’s hooked and I’m sold on a product that has equal amounts of fun and learning (actually, don’t tell Gracie this, but I think K’Nex are actually heavy on the learning aspect – but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, right?!)

Wanna know what’s at the top of Gracie’s Christmas list this year?  Yep, you guessed it.  More K’Nex sets. 

I would definitely recommend K’Nex.  The set we received is suggested for ages 10 and up (or grades 5-8), but there are sets available for kids as young as 3 and they go right on up to teaching physics to high school students.  I can definitely see the coaster set being an addition to our home(school) in the future!  Ian would LOVE the Transportation set too.

If your kids have and love K’Nex, I’d love to hear about it!  Leave me a comment, please.

NOTE: I received product free from K’Nex in exchange for my use and honest review.

1 comment:

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

I <3 Knex but yikers on the $$$$. We took a lego class thru a homeschool co-op and learned a ton about physics that way

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