Students can learn plenty of biology and chemistry in school. But you can also stealthily incept them with science-y ways of thinking with the right games. The Bot Maze, a new educational toy from MindWare, is a great example. Kids build a mini obstacle course with pre-cut wood planks and send a little toothbrush-head-shaped robot buzzing through it, bouncing off walls, spinning this way and that, generally demonstrating the principles of kinetics as it goes. Along the way, of course, young Einsteins are testing out hypotheses (will putting a plastic ball in this corner ricochet the racer through the doorway?), learning about vibration, motors, and propulsion, and exercising a little creativity as they decorate their robots with bobbles and feathers. But watch out for those! As our kid testers discovered, jaunty tail feathers and bling can trip up the bots as they zip, bump, and spin their way toward an exit. Lesson learned.
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Caption: “Our robots’ names were Raspberry and Blueberry.” – Paloma, age 6 Christie Hemm Klok/WIRED