Review: Tinkering Labs’ Electric Motors Catalyst

Getting kids into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at an early age is important because careers in STEM are going to be the future for the next generation. Which is why when Tinkering Labs’ came to me to pitch a review of their Electric Motors Catalyst tinkering kit, I jumped at the chance. 

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In front of you is the complete kit which is comprised of:

  • 2 Electric Motors with Detachable Wires
  • 1 Battery Pack with Switch
  • 2 AA Batteries
  • 1 Wooden Chassis
  • 12 Wooden Wheels in 6 Sizes
  • 6 Wooden Connectors in 3 Shapes
  • 2 Metal Axles
  • 4 Metal L-Brackets
  • 10 Small Bolts with Wing Nuts
  • 2 Metal Springs
  • 12 Bushings for Motor and Axle Connections
  • 12 Rubber Bands
  • 1 Pair of Safety Glasses, Child Size
  • 3 Washable Markers
  • 1 Large 3-Foot Wide Paper Work Surface
  • 1 Full-Size Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • 1 Cloth Storage Bag
  • 1 Clear-Top Metal Hardware Tin
  • Printed Tips & Guides
  • 10 Challenge Cards
  • 1 Clear Challenge Card Holder
  • 1 Safety Tips Card
  • 1 22-Page Building Techniques Booklet

That’s quite a lot of stuff. The whole idea behind this kit is that challenges the problem solving skills of kids that are 8 or thereabouts. Not only that it challenges their creativity and ability to invent. All within a STEM framework. There are 10 challenge cards that give the child a series of challenges that they have to build. That allows them to understand how this kit works so that they can then use their imagination to build whatever they want.

Now this all sounds great. But I actually needed to validate this. Thus I enlisted the help of an 11 year old neighbor named Zavier who I knew would be able to tell me what was good and what wasn’t good about this kit from the perspective of the target audience of this kit. Here’s his feedback:

I have been playing and tinkering around with the Electric Motors Catalyst. All around this is a very fun kit. It is very fun and easy to use. Some challenges do arise even though the instructions for the challenge cards help, they aren’t descriptive enough. With a little more detail they would be very helpful. I like how there are many different pieces that do many things. There is also a lot of room for creativity which is nice. This kit is very fun and helpful to learn how to engineer things. This kit is really good and I would definitely recommend it!

Zavier has a future in product reviews quite clearly as while he did have one negative, everything else was positive. One other thing that is positive is that Zavier is still using this over two weeks after I gave it to him to review. That implies that this isn’t going to be something that a child tries out and then quickly forgets about. Which is great for parents as anything they purchase for their children should have long term value.

The Electric Motors Catalyst tinkering kit is available on their site ($55 USD) and on Amazon ($59 USD) where it is an Amazon Choice. It gets the seal of approval from Zavier. Which means it gets my seal of approval because it engages kids and helps them to start down the road to being interested in STEM. 

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