Mini Solar building kits teach children the benefits of solar energy while they create a toy that is both fun to play with and requires no batteries. Newest member of this popular line is the 6 in 1 Educational Solar Kit, an excellent beginner building kit designed to teach how solar power is used to drive a small motor. Children use the 21 snap together parts (no tools required) to build six different working models including an airboat, windmill, puppy, and two different planes.
dimensions: airboat 4.76x2.4x3.39 in, windmill 6.06x6.02x9.41 in, puppy 2.68x1.81x2.52 in, car 2.76x2.13x1.34 in, plane 6.06x4.40x3.70 in, revolving plane 8.60x2.40x6.54 in
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Green Energy & Robotics Technology CurriculumReading the negative reviews is probably a good idea--I think most of them are correct, but expectations may have been too high. We did have to solder one wire after my son dropped the motor once. It does only work in direct sunlight. I haven't tried a 100 watt lamp or some such. It is small, however it is the size I expected. The 'solar puppy' head (the solar panel) is approximately 2' long and 1.25' wide for reference.
Overall, it was fun for my kids to put together. It takes a little parental support for some of the details. The wire connections are done by pulling the wires into a spring coil. I had to use a small knife to push them in there. The area is too small for fat fingers.
we took the puppy to the back porch and watched the motor run, the tail spin, and the whole toy jump and vibrate around until it hits a shadow. With about half of the panel in a shadow it had enough power to spin the tail but not enough to keep moving around.