Kids love toys they can build themselves and give them a lot of play value. And sometimes, these toys have an a
dditional, hidden value because they’re teaching kids educational concepts outside of the classroom. Toys like Marbelocity, from Tinkineer, keep learning fun. Marbleocity STEM kits introduce kids and adults to engineering principles and physics concepts with dynamic model kits.
Each “marble machine” kit is an engaging lesson that is told through the eyes of a cast of characters, the Tinkineers, in a graphic novel. The principles introduced in the comic are reinforced through the construction of the kit, and brought to life with real-world examples and applications. Iggy, Joule, Kevin, Newt, and Mosfet make up the Tinkeneer gang. They are a group of friends from an industrial town north of Boston, and each character has a unique personality, backstory, style, and skill set.
The Dragon Coaster, inspired by the real wooden roller coaster of the same name at Playland in Rye, New York, is the first of nine interconnecting kits planned for the Marbleocity line. Each assembled kit is designed to either stand alone or to be combined with the other kits in the line. Marbles can either recirculate within one kit or can be passed along to an adjacent model.
Additional kits in the line will include the Skate Park, Maltese Cross, and Amazing Race builds. Each kit will be themed, which will be used to communicate the STEM lesson associated with the kit. For example, Skate Park teaches the concept of centripetal force.
All of the kits present, reinforce, and teach kids STEM learning concepts and encourage problem solving. Each Marbleocity kit comes with the wood parts needed to construct the build, hardware, marbles, and a graphic novel/assembly manual.
Kickstarter goals range from $5 to $320 and prizes include a limited edition Mini Coaster Maker Kit, the Dragon Coaster Maker Kit, Deluxe Dragon Coaster Maker Kit with an electonic motor, and multi-packs to use in a classroom.
If the campaign reaches its stretch goal of $35,000, then Tinkineer will produce the Skate Park Marbleocity kit. This model can stand on its own, or can adjoin the Dragon Coaster module, to allow circulation of marbles between the two. The Skate Park features a geared lift, half-pipe, jump, stair descent, rail slide, and more.
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