Monday, 13 March 2017

Thames & Kosmos - Neon Light Writer and Slime Time Project Kits


When we received the Science project kits from Thames & Kosmos, I was so busy prepping Abby's Science birthday party, it didn't hit me that the kits would have made an awesome addition to the party! I've been kicking myself for not using them, but I didn't want to just publish this review after the party either. I decided to wait until today, because this week is the British Science Week! If I can't review them with a science party, I can at least give it a better exposure by publishing it this week, because I think that they are perfect to get the 8 years + into anything Science, and since they are very easy to set up, the kids can easily do them after school or during the weekend.

We were sent:

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

Thames & Kosmos Geek & Co. Science! Slime Time Project Kit (age 8+, £14.95)
Thames & Kosmos Geek & Co. Science! Neon Light Writer (age 8+, £14.95)

to review, and Abby had fun with both. She also learned a lot of science facts because it's all included in the kits!


Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

The Neon Light Writer project kit comes with a cardboard peg board, 25 pegs, 2 metres long electroluminescent wire (EL wire), battery holder and inverter, as well as an instruction booklet.

The idea is to wire around the pegs on the board, to form writing, which will light up. The EL wire is thin and flexible, although I would advise against using your nail to press the wire into the peg, as it'll leave a dent mark on the wire. Simply push it gently in with your finger will do, and you don't have to push it all the way in either.

There are a lot of examples in the booklet, as well as advise on how to wire in block letter and cursive letter styles. As Abby is more familiar with cursives, she wrote her name on a piece of paper, and then follow the pattern to create her neon light name on the board:

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

The left one is done by Abby. She said that she was running out of wire, I think it's because she wasn't sure how taunt she can pull the wire. So I gave it a try and managed to add a heart after her name (on the right).

I still think that it could be better and rounded smoother like on the box, so we tried it again by smoothing out the wire first, then curl it around on the board before adding the pegs on. It turns out that you don't need a peg for every turn and corner! The wire can hold its shape quite well, and only need a peg at odd places to help it stay put.

We did a much rounder "writing" with Clay's name:

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

and there was no pegs holding on the "o" part of the letter "a". With practise, you can make really nice writing with the EL wire on the peg board.

Lightbox (that shows the silhouette of letters) is trending on Instagram at the moment, I think the Neon Light Writer has more style, and we love the blue!

The neon light writer can easily make a brilliant science party sign!

I wonder if you can buy different coloured neon light EL wires to go with this kit? It'll be very cool if you can!


Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

The Slime Time project kit comes with a base plate with battery holder, digital clock, 2 test tube holders, 2 test tubes, 2 test tube caps, 1 copper electrode, 1 zinc electrode, a pair of copper and zinc electrodes, 2 contact springs, 2 bottles of slime solution, and a booklet.

I was a bit wary when we set the kit up for Abby to do, because there is chemicals involved, and in my memory, playing with electrodes and acid is an activity that belongs in the lab!

Setting up the Slime clock was very easy and I left Abby to do everything until it's time to pour the slime solution into the test tubes. I decided to add the slime (it's quite gloopy), and let Abby top the test tubes up with water. I wonder when I'll ever let her grow up?!

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

Thames and Kosmos STEM kits, Neon Light Writer, Slime Time

The instructions (with step by step pictures) was very easy to follow, and we set up the Slime Clock in no time! Although I did this many many years ago, it's still fascinating to see the clock work without batteries!

It's a shame that we can't just leave it out like that because accidents can happen, it looks really good with the neon red and neon green colour contrast. If only if I used this at Abby's party, maybe as a centre piece!

Thames & Kosmos has a wide range of science kits, which covers different science including biology and chemistry, and they also have buildable robots! I love it that these project kits come with plenty of science facts for the kids to learn how things work as well. It's definitely worth checking them out!

You can buy their science kits now online and in all good toys and gadget stores.