The K'NEX Education Simple & Compound Machines set is a STEM-focused 325-piece building set that lets kids build 16 different real-world machines. Using the set kids can build a working elevator, tow truck, screwdriver, carousel, hammer, paddlewheel boat, and more. The builds are broken down into different types of machines at the front of the instruction book to include levers, pulleys, wheels & axles, inclined planes, and gears.
As part of the K'NEX Education line, this set expands beyond building for added value. Parents and teachers can download an 82-page Teacher's Guide from the K'NEX website to use as a companion to the builds, emphasizing important curricula of middle school physical science and technology. Using the guide, kids can learn about the mechanical advantage of a block-and-tackle system, fixed-pulley system (as seen in the elevator model), and more. The Teacher's Guide also comes with print-out worksheets, making the set well suited for use in the classroom, for homeschooling, or simply for added at-home learning.
The companion guide, which actually shows the real-world applications of the builds kids are creating, is what separates this kit from simply being another toy. Of course, even without the learning components, we think this set offers a lot of opportunity for tons of open-ended building and repeat play.
The K'NEX Education Simple & Compound Machines set is for ages 9 and up.
The link to the Teacher's Guide is located in the instruction booklet, which you can download as a .pdf file or print out.
The teaching materials support a curricula for grades 5-9.
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