Science Kits Entice Kids to Explore the World

Sustainable Earth Lab and Crystals, Rocks & Minerals are the newest additions to a growing line of kids’ products created under the National Geographic brand.

Both science kits are 2010 recipients of the prestigious Parents Choice Award. Additionally, according to National Geographic, Sustainable Earth Lab has been named one of Dr. Toy’s Best Green Products of 2010, and has received a coveted spot on the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) Best Toys for Kids list.

“Science is core to the mission of National Geographic, and these science kits encourage kids to have fun and learn more about the natural world,” said Krista Newberry, vice president of National Geographic Licensing.

[ Also Read: Knowledge Stories for Children ]

These days, companies are using fun-based innovative ways to provide science and technology education to children.

For example, a “virtual science playground,” the Mad Science Kids Club offers children a science-based platform for connecting, exploring and learning with peers online through science enrichment programs.

It is claimed to be the first-ever science social network platform created specifically for kids. (Read: Now a Science Social Network for Kids)

Among other technology-based education initiatives, tech company AMD says that the AMD Foundation, in support of AMD Changing the Game, has awarded a grant to San Antonio, TX PBS affiliate KLRN to help enable youth to create games around social issues in, a learning-based virtual world on the Internet.

Once games are created, KLRN will help youth develop video shorts featuring the game creation process including interviews with “Whyvillians” discussing what they learned about creating games. (Read: AMD to Help Youth Create Games in Virtual World)

National Geographic’s Sustainable Earth Lab gives young scientists the tools and information to learn firsthand about the environmental challenges facing our planet.

The kit is organized into five main sections: renewable energies, natural resource usage, climate change prevention, waste and water management, and energy conservation.

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A full-color manual navigates kids along their journey, which includes constructing a miniature water treatment plant to learn how substances in unnatural concentrations can pollute habitats and harm life, exploring the causes and consequences of the greenhouse effect with carbon dioxide tests, building devices to explore renewable energy technology, and becoming an “energy detective” as kids track down wasteful uses of energy in their schools and homes.

It will target kids aged 8 and up at a retail price of $54.95.

[ Also Read: What Companies Do for Kids’ Education ]

Crystals, Rocks & Minerals delves deep into the Earth, taking an up-close look at the building blocks of our planet, with more than 18 different experiments.

Each kit contains all the materials needed to grow one’s own crystals, and continues to explore their fascinating composition and chemistry with three-dimensional geometric models of common crystal shapes and user-friendly explanations.

[ Also Read: NASA Invites Students for Great Moonbuggy Race ]

In addition, kids learn simple methods for studying and identifying rocks and minerals, using a collection of genuine samples to determine the chemical and physical properties such as luster, density, magnetic properties or iron content.

Through the experiments, kids can also investigate the geologic rock cycle and learn how the three main categories of rock — igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic — are formed, altered, destroyed and formed again.

It will also target kids aged 8 and up at a retail price of $49.95.

The Sustainable Earth Lab and Crystals, Rocks & Minerals science kits are available at and select retailers.

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Rakesh Raman