Remember how exciting science class was in elementary school? Watching stuff grow, peering through a microscope at cells, learning about the planets…it all seemed a bit magical. Science toys for kids have come a long way since our time in the classroom, but they still rely the same classic concepts, like a potato-powered digital clock and exciting new digital microscopes. Check out this roundup of what's on the market below.
Like the staple of school science fairs nationwide, the Amazing Two Potato Clock ($19.95) runs a digital clock off the chemical reaction inside two potatoes. Also works with a bunch of other fruit and veg!
Another cool product from the New York Toy Fair 2011, the digital Learning Encounters Microscopes can be held in the hand or used with a stand, and their display is shown on your computer monitor or laptop screen so kids can grab stills of the stuff they're looking at. The microscopes come in two viewing strengths, 200x ($79.99) and 500x ($129.99).
This Edu Science Cosmic Explorer ($29.99) is an interactive model of the solar system, with a light-up sun, moving planets and an electronic touchpad that quizzes kids on astronomical trivia. It's exclusive to Toys'R'Us, and according to reviews, the voice sounds like Orson Wells. Bonus!
Horizon has a line of toys for kids 12 years and older that demonstrate fuel cell technologies. The bio energy kit ($89.99) runs a fan on ethanol, the hydrocar ($76.49) shows oxygen and hydrogen forming inside it, and the hydropower kit ($47.95) lets you build a water fountain and generate electricity.
Do your kids love science? What are their favorite electronic or battery(/potato)-powered science toys?
(Mad scientist kid: Flickr member martincron licensed for use under Creative Commons)