Pitsco Education -
This is a WOW product for the Bentz Test Laboratory! I knew this looked like it would capture the interests of my testers - but, I did not realize how much learning we could "sneak" in along with it!
We were sent the Medieval Machines Pack - $21.95
Here's a description, straight from Pitsco Education:
"From The Lord of the Rings to Night at the Museum, we are fascinated by these medieval devices. Now, use that interest to teach basic math, science, and problem-solving skills. With this pack, your child learns about catapults and trebuchets through hands-on activities that cover three areas:
•Science: Tension versus torsion, elasticity, gravity and levers, and force and motion
•Math: Metric conversion, calculating averages, and prediction
•Experiments: Mass versus distance, testing rubber bands, targeting, and more
They will discover the history of medieval siege machines as well as the concepts required to build and use them."
Includes a Trebuchet Kit, Catapult Kit, Mass Plates, and the Siege Machines book.
Note: Most guide activities require additional items such as measurement and hand tools – see the Specs tab for more information.
Okay - now onto what the Bentz Test Laboratory thought - we LOVED it! Our interest in these machines had just been brought to a fever pitch when we were introduced to "Pumkin Chunkin" by Grandpa over the Thanksgiving Break. In this popular contest (I must admit, I'd never heard of it before - but, I'm a fan now!), grown up children compete with Medieval machines (but, they use their engineering degrees and modern machinery) to see who can design catapults, trebuchets, etc. that can hurl pumpkins. The winner is who sends it the farthest.
As you can imagine - that is all it takes to get homeschool children ready to try this on their own. Here's where Pitsco Education helps you "channel" all that excitement into real learning! They create a large variety of hands-on, educational kits and products to help you. Topics like: Aeorspace, Robotics, and Engineering are just a few. The Medieval Machines pack was exactly what I needed to get us back into learning after a restful, but-too-short, Thanksgiving break.
The kit contained high quality, easy to work with wood pieces. Most impressive was the step-by-step, detailed instructions (including diagrams!) that even this non-pumkin-chunkin mom could understand!
My tester assembled the catapult completely in around an hour - including time out to deal with superglue messes... I was impressed! My favorite part was the Seige Machines book that came included. It was filled with the History, Safety, and Learning Activities to turn this "fun toy", into a learning adventure (isn't that what science should look like?) This would make an excellent unit study project, and it was written so that your student could work independently (if you didn't mind missing out on all the fun... I wasn't about to let that opportunity pass me by!)
We tested it out in our long hallway and it worked perfectly! My testers are eagerly asking for a set of their own to create their own "Marble Chunkin"contest.... I think I better move this activity outdoors!!
Seriously, I can't wait to see what else Pitsco Education has to offer. Get your own Big Book (catalog) here, and start the Christmas Shopping! The Pitsco Education website is full of hands on activities - check some of them out!
See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.
I was sent a complimentary kit in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.