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Candy Chemistry

THAMES & KOSMOS' NEW 13-KIT EXPLORATION SERIES DISCOVERS PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN ACCESSIBLE PRICES AND EXCELLENT CONTENT

(Providence, RI - February 12, 2012) - Thames & Kosmos is thrilled to announce its new Exploration Series of science kits. This new series consists of six brand new kits and seven new versions of existing bestsellers - 13 kits in all. These, along with all 18 of Thames & Kosmos' new science kits, will be officially unveiled at the American International Toy Fair, Booth #1637, February 12th-15th in New York City.

The Exploration Series was designed with renewed attention to both the needs of specialty bricks-and-mortar store retailers as well as the customers using the kits: children and their parents, teachers, or other adult helpers.

To help sell the kits in stores, Thames & Kosmos is employing a new type of box with a flip-up front panel, providing almost twice the amount of surface area for descriptive content on the boxes. When a customer flips open the front panel, they will see a sampling of the science experiments they can do with the kit and the things they can learn from those experiments, presented in a fun, quiz-like format. This information helps convey the value and depth of the Thames & Kosmos science kit to the potential customer in the store. The boxes also have consistent dimensions, and follow a more uniform style guide, to facilitate merchandising the kits in retail stores. The price points are also chosen with specialty bricks-and-mortar retailers in mind: All Exploration Series kits have suggested retail prices between $25 and $35.

To enhance the usability of the Exploration Series kits, the experiment manuals follow a newly designed template created in response to user feedback and user testing of previous Thames & Kosmos manuals. The manuals, most of which are 48 pages or more, have step-by-step illustrated instructions for all experiments, so it is easier for all experimenters to have successful experiments. The information in the manuals is now less densely packed, making them easier to follow for a more enjoyable user experience. For example, the new template calls for a maximum of one experiment per page in most cases. The manuals also incorporate more photographs and use more color in general. The objective is to present just the right amount of information on each page, in a practical manner, so as to not overwhelm the user while still teaching them important scientific concepts.

"The Exploration Series teaches science every kid should know through fun, everyday experiments," says company president Ted McGuire. "They are the perfect stepping stones between our smaller introductory kits and our larger advanced kits."

"Thames & Kosmos is known for its large, elaborate science kits," continues McGuire. "But now, with the Exploration Series, half of our kits retail for less than $35." The Exploration Series offers a solid foundation in the fundamental disciplines in science, with challenging and engaging content, vibrant and thorough manuals, and the same standard of high-quality materials found in our larger kits - all for between $25 and $35.

Candy Chemistry explores the science behind making mouth-watering sweets and treats. Learn about crystallization, specific heat, the phases of matter, conversions, volumes and weights, the mysterious phenomenon of triboluminscence, and other cooking fundamentals with 25 hands-on experiments in your very own kitchen. Includes a 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret 22 experiments. Ages: 10+; SRP: $34.95

Motors & Generators investigates this essential technology with 25 experiments that demonstrate how electricity is converted into motion, and visa versa. The kit's electric motor is made of transparent plastic, which allows you to observe the inner components. The 48-page, full-color manual guides you through experiments magnets, simple circuits, and electricity. Ages: 8+; SRP: $31.95

Magnetic Science explores the invisible and amazing power of magnets with 33 engaging experiments and games. Learn about magnetic poles and fields, why compasses work, and how the Earth is like one giant magnet. The kit includes magnets of different sizes and shapes, plus a 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret each experiment. Ages: 8+; SRP: $31.95

Solar Mechanics demonstrates how solar cells convert energy from sunlight into mechanical energy with more the 20 building projects and experiments. The kit includes a unique single-piece solar motor that consists of a photovoltaic cells and an electric motor joined together in one compact unit. Also includes a 60-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret each experiment. Ages: 8+; SRP: $32.95

Climate & Weather uses a model of Earth and its atmosphere to investigate different types of weather phenomena, including wind, air currents, heat reservoirs, ocean currents, and the hydrological cycle. Includes a 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret 23 experiments. Ages: 10+; SRP: $31.95

Volcanoes & Earthquakes investigates the constantly changing inner working of the Earth by studying and recreating these awe-inspiring and devastating natural phenomena. Experiment with plate tectonics, and build and erupt a model volcano with plaster-based "lava" that hardens after multiple eruptions, allowing volcanic cone to build up in layers just like real volcano. Includes a 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret each experiment. Ages: 10+; SRP: $34.95

EXPLORATION SERIES: New Versions of Seven Perennial Bestsellers

Chemistry C500 takes you on an introductory tour of this essential science with 28 classic experiments. Learn how chemistry goes far beyond textbooks and laboratories to explain everyday occurrences by investigating electrochemical phenomena, fizzy and foamy reactions, and colorful acids and bases. Includes a completely re-written 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret each experiment. Ages: 10+; SRP: $34.95

Bubble Science introduces physical science fundamentals in a fun way. Use bubbles of all shapes and sizes to investigate surface tension, geometric shapes, and the many other reasons why these simple yet elegant structures of soap, water, and air have been studied by scientists, modeled by mathematicians, emulated by architects, and immortalized by artists and writers. Includes a completely rewritten 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret 29 experiments. Ages: 9+; SRP: $34.95 Physics Discovery teaches the principles of forces and simple machines with 12 fun models and experiments. Each model demonstrates a fundamental idea in mechanical physics, such as levers, pulleys, centripetal and centrifugal forces, and the transfer of energy. Physics Discovery uses parts that are compatible with other Thames & Kosmos' building kits. Includes a rewritten 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret 17 building projects and experiments. Ages: 8+; SRP: $31.95

Genetics & DNA takes you into the lab for an in-depth investigation of genetics, the branch of biology focused on heredity and variation in organisms. Explore the blueprints of life as you isolate DNA from a tomato, learn about dominant and recessive genes with fun inheritance games, and breed your own bacteria colony to experiment with the survival of the fittest. Includes a completely rewritten 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret 20 experiments. Ages: 10+; SRP: $34.95

Optical Science explores the fascinating science of human perception by experimenting with amazing optical illusions and visual phenomena. See how our eye and brain work together to perceive color, light, depth, perspective, size, shape, and motion with over 35 experiments with optical tools including a camera obscura, 3D glasses, and an Ames room model. Includes a rewritten 48-page, full-color manual with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret each experiment. Ages: 8+; SRP: $34.95

Archaeology: Pyramid Dig unearths the secrets of the pyramids with fundamental archaeological science. Use real-life excavation techniques, including digging, troweling, screening, and brushing to explore the pyramid model and discover the treasures buried within. Includes a redesigned pyramid model, plus a rewritten 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and perform 10 experiments. Ages: 8+; SRP: $24.95

Space Exploration blasts off on a mission to explore outer space and all its mysteries. The wide range of cosmic experiments includes launching rockets, mapping the stars and constellations, modeling planets, and grasping a comet's tail to learn how meteoroids and falling stars. Includes a completely rewritten 48-page, full-color manual with illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, perform, and interpret 22 experiments. Ages: 8+; SRP: $34.95

Look for these new science kits in stores this spring and summer. 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 www.thamesandkosmos.com. 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.


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About Thames & Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos, a privately held company headquartered in Providence, 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 more than 60 kits include alternative energy, chemistry, biology, physics, electronics, natural history, and earth science. For more information, visit www.thamesandkosmos.com.