"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~Romans 12:2 NKJV~
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~Prov. 16:9~

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teacher Geek: Catch the Bug!

I’m married to a geek. It's part of what attracted me to him in the first place. He gets excited over not only doing science projects but working on anything technical. We’ve got stacks upon stacks of Computer and Technology, eWeek, and Information Week magazines to prove it. He’s also subscribed to all kinds of online technical magazines as well. A few months ago we saw a man at the grocery store wearing a black T-shirt that had “geek for life” printed in white letters. He was like “cool!” He was so fascinated that he went right up to the guy and asked where did he get his shirt from. My son is showing signs of following in his dads shoes. When I told my husband about this next product we got for review his eyes got big. He was like a kid waiting for Christmas because each day he kept wanting to know had it arrived yet.

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Teacher Geek was started by a technology teacher who was searching for “products and materials that would allow his students to become innovators; growing their understanding from the most primitive concepts to the highest cognitive levels”. “Teacher Geek is a family-owned, customer-centered business.”  They offer a complete line of project kits and supplies relating to electronics, physics, robotics, and hydraulics. “The products engage students and foster an inductive, application based learning experience where they drive themselves to the highest level of understanding through self directed activities”. Through these hands-on experiments the students are learning about math, science, and engineering. Teacher Geek’s kits are sold in single (for one student) or bulk orders. The bulk kits are great for a larger group of students in a class and/or co-op setting. We were given a bug to review.
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Yes you heard that right…we got a bug. Teacher Geek’s “Catch the Bug” single kit will have your kids build an electronic bug while learning and having fun at the same time. “Catch the Bug” is for ages 10 and up. You have an option of getting the bug in one of 4 different colors (blue, yellow, green, and pink). We received a blue one. This single kit comes with the bug body, most but not all of the needed tools, as well as 3 sets of instructions. We had most of the extra stuff needed and what we didn’t have we used something in place of it. The only thing we were missing from our kit was one of the screws to hold the battery pack in place. My husband found one in his tools that would fit. The price for this kit is $22.98.
 
The instructions are set up where they need to be completed in order. The first step is to “build the body”.  This guide provides and explanation of how to build the bug.  The bug body needed to be bent into shape.  After that you are instructed on how to attach the battery holder, switches, tires, motors, and feelers (antennas). The second step is to do the “electronics lab”. This has experiments to teach the student the fundamentals of electronics.  He or she will learn what electricity is, how it works, what is a current, and about resistors. The third step is the “final bug wiring”. This instructions how the permanent wires are soldered on to “bring the bug to life”.  In the back of this booklet is a troubleshooting guide in case something is not working right with the project. To see this electronic bug in action watch the first video on this page.



My husband and son had a great father son time doing this project together. A word of caution here: this product is intended to be used with parental (or adult) supervision because some parts of it could be harmful if the directions are not followed carefully. They did have a problem with the bug going backwards rather than forward.  Dad said it just needed to be rewired to take care of the problem and the troubleshooting guide was helpful with that.  Teacher Geek also has hydraulic arm kits that some of my other crew mates got a chance to review.  I bet those were really neat projects as well. These products are not marketed as toys, and are not intended to be used as such. They are meant to be used as educational tools. The learning is lost if a child is left to his or her own devices.
 
If you are thinking of buying a kit I want to share something else with you. For my readers I have a discount coupon to offer you on your order. From now until the end of this month you can get 10% off by using the code: hschool at checkout. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about this cool project we got a chance to try out.






Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this review are entirely my own. I was not paid to write this but received an “Catch the Bug Kit” free of charge to review, and give my honest opinion.

1 comment:

April said...

Great review! We enjoyed our bug too! I like the slide show in the middle - nice touch!

Visiting from the Crew,

April

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