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Kids Turn Toy News


Stirling Engine Car & Experiment Kit Providence, RI – February 12, 2010 - Today Thames & Kosmos officially announced the addition of ten new science kits to its award-winning line. The new additions include cutting-edge environmental science kits, exciting high tech kits, and the brand new Ignition™ Series featuring five introductory level kits designed and priced to spark a child’s lifelong love of science. Thames & Kosmos also officially revealed new and updated designs for its popular Little Labs™ and National Geographic™ science kit lines. The kits will be shown for the first time at this year’s American International Toy Fair, Booth #1767, starting February 14th in New York City.


Ten years after the introduction of Thames & Kosmos’ groundbreaking Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car kit, the company introduces another revolutionary alternative energy science kit: the Stirling Engine Car & Experiment Kit. With this kit, kids — and their parents and grandparents — can discover the Stirling engine, a simple, clean, and efficient energy technology that is quickly becoming a viable source of electricity.

Originally developed by Robert Stirling almost 200 years ago, a Stirling engine is a type of heat engine that is somewhat like a steam engine. Heat engines convert heat into mechanical or electrically energy. In this kit, a parabolic mirror on a charging station reflects sunlight onto the glass bulb of the Stirling engine to heat it up. This expands a gas inside the bulb, which pushes a piston that drives an electric generator. The generator produces electricity that charges a battery inside a model electric car.

The car can then drive away from the charging station powered by clean, emissions-free battery power! The Stirling Engine kit has a suggested retail price of $199.95 and is for ages 12 and up.

Electronics Workshop 2 Thames & Kosmos has expanded its high-technology product line with its new flagship electronics kit: Electronics Workshop 2. With this kit, the intricate world of electronics becomes tangible with hands-on circuit building experiments. Examples of some of the projects include: light meters, timers, light tripwires, electronic thermometers, logic switches, radio receivers, digital music makers, and infrared remote controls. This advanced kit is designed for the older child or adult hobbyist with a serious interest in circuitry, constructing electronic devices, and investigating the digital world. Electronics Workshop 2 has a suggested retail price of $229.95 and is for ages 12 and up.


Thames & Kosmos announced two new science kits developed in collaboration with National Geographic™, as well as redesigned versions of two of its existing National Geographic™ kits.

Sustainable Earth Lab Sustainable Earth Lab is a new science kit that gives children ages 8 and up the tools and information they need to learn firsthand about the environmental problems burdening our planet, and how we as a civilization can overcome them. The news of these environmental problems can be frightening and confusing, especially to kids. This kit was designed to help kids understand the issues and empower them with scientific knowledge to make their own observations and conclusions.

The kit is organized into five main sections: renewable energies, natural resource usage, climate change prevention, waste and water management, and energy conservation. Kids can construct a miniature water treatment plant, make recycled paper and plastic, explore the causes and consequences of the greenhouse effect with carbon dioxide tests, and experiment with heat transfer and insulation.

They can build devices to explore wind power, water power, and solar power technology, and become “energy detectives” to track down wasteful uses of energy in their schools and homes. Sustainable Earth Lab has a suggested retail price of $54.95 and is for ages 8 and up. Thames & Kosmos digs deep into geology with its new Crystals, Rocks, & Minerals science kit.

Crystals, Rocks, & Minerals science kit The kit teaches kids about rocks, the minerals that form them, and the fascinating crystal structures that give them their unique properties.

Much more than just a crystal growing kit, this experiment kit teaches kids the chemistry of crystals and the geological science behind rock formation with more than 18 hands-on projects.

Kids can grow three chemically different types of crystals, build three-dimensional geometric models of common crystal shapes, and mold their own crystal geodes. They can learn how to test and identify minerals with their very own collection of real specimens included in the kit. They can conduct tests to determine a mineral’s chemical and physical properties such as color, luster, streak color, hardness, density, magnetic properties, and carbon, sulfur, or iron content. Crystals, Rocks, & Minerals has a suggested retail price of $49.95 and is for ages 8 and up.

Archaeology: Egyptian Pyramid kit Thames & Kosmos has also unveiled redesigned versions of its Archaeology: Egyptian Pyramid kit and its Elements of Science kit.


The Ignition™ Series blasts off with five new science kits developed to introduce kids ages 8 and up to the awesome world of science.

CHEM C100 Test Lab is an entry-level chemistry set that makes chemistry safe, fun, and accessible. With this kit, kids can conduct experiments on common household substances to reveal their chemical properties and thus determine what they are.

Solar Cooking Science Solar Cooking Science provides kids with the materials to build a parabolic solar cooker that uses only the sun’s radiation to heat food. Kids learn about solar thermal power and the importance of this renewable energy as they cook tasty treats.

With Physics Simple Machines, kids build working models of the six simple machines — levers, pulleys, inclined planes, screws, wedges, and wheels and axles — the quintessential building blocks of complex machines. By doing this, they learn firsthand how these simple machines convert forces to make work easier.

Recycled Paper Press gives kids the tools they need to recycle scrap paper, old newspapers, and tissue paper into beautiful handcrafted paper. Kids experiment with different materials and pigments, while learning about the environmental importance of recycling used materials into new ones.

With Glowing Crystals, kids can grow amazing phosphorescent crystals that glow in the dark! In doing this, they learn about why crystals form, what crystal lattice structure is, and what makes these crystals glow.

Each of the five Ignition™ kits has a suggested retail price of $13.95 and is for ages 8 and up.


Thames & Kosmos unveiled bold new package designs for its popular Little Labs™ line of kits for children ages 5 to 7, as well as one brand new kit in this line: Little Labs - Stars & Planets. With Little Labs - Stars & Planets, kids learn about outer space by building a model solar system, making moon craters and constellations, launching a rocket, and experimenting to see which planets could support life. Stars & Planets has a suggested retail price of $16.95 and is for ages 5 and up.

As with all previous Thames & Kosmos kits, these new kits put science in your hands for fun that is out of this world!

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Purchase and Contact
Look for these new science kits in stores this summer and fall. Thames & Kosmos kits can be found at specialty toy, hobby, gift, and museum stores, as well as through educational and home-school suppliers, toy and gift catalogs, and online stores. For a complete list of retailers, visit All Thames & Kosmos kits comply with all U.S. standards for toy safety, including new regulations recently imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Parents are encouraged to enjoy the products and overall experience alongside their children. For more information about any of the award-winning kits contact Ted McGuire at

About Thames & Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos, a privately held company headquartered in Portsmouth, RI, was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving informal science education by creating high-quality science and technology-related educational products for children. Thames & Kosmos places an emphasis on teaching science that is relevant to the important issues in the world today through hands-on experimentation. Topics covered in Thames & Kosmos’ line of over 50 kits include alternative energy, chemistry, biology, physics, electronics, natural history, and earth science. For more information, visit

About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. It reaches more than 280 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and it four other magazines; the National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; films; radio programs; books; videos; maps; interactive media; and merchandise. All of National Geographic’s net proceeds from the sale of its products support exploration, conservation and education programs combating geographic illiteracy. The Society has funded nearly 8,000 scientific research projects. For more information, visit