Ravensburger continues to deliver learning fun and value around their core competence of great puzzle forms and technology (The Leader in Puzzle Design and Technology) with Gravitrax 3-D STEM expansion sets. Zipline is a great example of “mechanics” in physics with conservation of momentum as energy and momentum is transferred from one initiating rolling marble to a second on the zipline, to its final target marble which accepts the kinetic energy of the colliding zipline marble, setting it into motion, experimenting with “conservation of momentum.” Jumper is a bit like a creative Rube Golberg type contraption, with the Jumper acting like an elevator, defying gravity with it’s scissor like up-spansion taking the marble up, so gravity can bring it down and around again, for quick changes in elevation. Expansion Tunnels build new marble subways as our junior engineers experiment with curves right and left as well as between elevations so marbles can pass through and even drop down to the next track. It’s impressive to watch friends and siblings work together to verbalize possible designs and outcomes as they create more exciting marble runs by interjecting the different expansion options. Negotiating and collaborating to design the best marble run involves higher level language as designers explain options and how their proposal would work as well as revising as they go along in the design. Frankly it prepares kids for the workplace while they exercise STEM and language skills to the max.
Note: Expansion Sets require Gravitrax Starter Set
Available at Ravensburger. Click here
By Bob Artemenko