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Fischertechnik- Introduction to Stem 1 Kit Review by Audrey Tolle

Studica, Inc.
2326 Lockport Rd
Sanborn, NY 14132

My boys love all activities that are related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math.) They love to build and create and anything that they learn during the process is just a bonus. We were thrilled with the opportunity to review the Introduction to Stem 1 Kit. This kit is designed to “introduce students to everyday technology and exhibits how simple machines actually work.”

The goals are to develop and equip the scientists and engineers that will develop products in our future and to better prepare students to join the “technologically proficient work force in the future.” It is geared for grades 2nd through 5th and retails for $99.00.

Studica has a curriculum online available to download to complement the projects that this STEM set covers. The machines they build with this set are a dump truck, recovery vehicle, wind turbine, a ventilation fan, a C-clamp, a beam balance, milk foamer, fair swing, and more. The curriculum shows how to build the model and then has a list of questions pertaining to the lesson that provokes discussion and reflection. The questions and lessons differ for each grade level. An example question for second graders is “Locate the three Wheel and Axles on the dump truck.” An example of a fifth-grade question is “The fair swing is using a simple machine to create motion. What simple machine transfers the energy to the swing.” STEM concepts that are covered include simple machines, cause and effect, energy and matter, structure and function, stability and change, obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, energy and mothing, energy transfer, systems and system models, analyzing and interpreting data, and designing solutions.

The directions for this set are pretty clear and easy to understand for the most part. If your kids are used to more Lego type building blocks, than they may have a little trouble at first with these parts as they take more developed fine motor skills. I needed to assist in the building process more than a few times. But the set is very versatile and was a fun way to teach simple machines. It kept my kids engaged from start to finish. They were able to ask questions, make observations, gather information and draw conclusions. We completed the unit on the “Fair Swing” and they were able to observe the gear and chain and how it transferred motion, observe the movements and bracing of the structure, and see how it all worked together to create something that is enjoyable. We are looking forward to doing the other projects as well, with the milk foamer next on our list.

Overall, I think this is a great kit for elementary and think even students older than 5th grade would learn from this and find it enjoyable. There are pages and pages of information about what each lesson helps teach and help for parents/teachers. It’s a fun way to dive deeper into science, technology, engineering, and math concepts that keeps the students interested and engaged.

-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2017.