REVIEW: John Adams Power Tracks Science Kit

Children will learn coding at school, and Power Tracks makes a perfect introduction, giving them a headstart on the basic principles through hands-on experience. Coding is very much part of everyday life, so it’s great to see a toy that introduces the concept to younger children. Meet Volty, the programmable robot with the happy smiling face. He loves electronics and he’s here to guide your child (with a little adult help) into the world of programming and circuit building. Designed for age 5+, there are large table-top tiles which join together to make any of 20 circuits; then use Volty’s direction buttons to program him to drive around the circuit. It’s easy to program him and we like the fact that the circuits get progressively more difficult to children can refine and develop their skills, making this a toy with many years of use. There are some surprising hidden features that will show up on the way. As children become more confident, they can design their own circuits, which increases the learning value and age range. It’s a learning curve – mistakes may well be made but that’s part of the fun – just recode Volty and try again.

Volty the robot comes with 24 double-sided circuit tiles, 10 double-circuit diagrams, 40 command cards and instructions. All the parts are sturdy, satisfying and well made and Volty will withstand plenty of enthusiastic handling. It’s a fascinating project for children, who will love to see how their simple commands are translated into Volty’s movements; their confidence will grow because it doesn’t matter if things go wrong – just re-program him. Perfect to encourage an interest in STEM subjects for girls and boys, stimulating curiosity and developing thinking skills.

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