I was really excited when Renee ‘Head of Explosions’ Watson contacted me to tell me all about The Curiosity Box. The name alone had me intrigued and what an awesome job title Renee has! The Curiosity Box was sucessfully funded on kickstarter and I can see why. It has developed into something so interesting, unique and brilliant that I wish Renee and her team every success in exploring and exploding the world of science in young minds. The Curiosity Box is a monthly subscription service where a box of intriquing and fascinating experiments are sent straight to your door to investigate. Each activity box is created for 7 to 11 year old “Curiosity Cadets”. Designed with the school curriculum in mind the wonderful scientists and educators at the Curiosity headquarters have expertly gathered, prepared and supplied all the ingredients and tools for amazing experiments right at your kitchen table. I gathered up my two little scientists – my inquisitive 11 year old nephew, C and enquiring 8 year old niece, A. “What’s in the box?” they asked me as they saw it sitting on the kitchen table with a Curiosity Box white lab coat and goggles. Well then, lets find out!
Firstly, I have to admit, I am not science minded and probably hindered the experiments with my goofy fingers. My Dad would have been much more suited to the task of adult supervisor and we should have asked him to jump on board and explore with us. Hindsight is a great thing, but there will be more Curiosity Boxes heading our way since I am hoping to get a box for my little scientists for Christmas because they loved it so much! In fact, I really enjoyed it too, despite having to ask C to explain some of it to me.
Our box contained three experiments, full of information and all of the ingredients to create some spark. Our experiments included Electric Artwork, Static Electricity and Sparky Sculptures. Every experiment is individually wrapped and includes all instructions, guides, ingredients and tools needed to become a budding scientist.
The information in each pack is well written and explained for both little and big minds to easily understand. The experiments are fun and intriguing and really make you think about the science behind it all. I was just as interested in finding our way through the steps as C and A were.
We started off with Static Electricity and worked our way on to Electric Artwork. Unfortunately, we were running out of time as the kids had to get home for dinner, so we weren’t able to properly work through sparky sculptures together. C and A have all the instuctions and tools with them and I know they will try this experiment again at home.
Static Electricity was a simple but fun experiment which reminded me of the times we would try to get balloons to stick to the wallpaper in the 90s. C and A started off charging their ballons and racing to see who could pick up and drop as many fish on to their plate first. We then chased Ping Pong balls with ballons around the kitchen without touching them. C explained the principle behind this experiment to me which was so great that he knew the science around it.
I loved the concept behind Electric Artwork which had C and A draw an image and attempt to light up the glowing eyes. As I say, my science is not in tip top condition and it took us a while to get this one right with the copper tape. When an experiment fails, that in itself is an answer. Trying to find the solution to making an experiment work is half the fun and a great lesson for little science minds.
The step by step instructions from the Curiosity Box Scientists are the perfect guide to getting these experiments working.
As we had spent so much time on our first two experiments, our final experiment was rushed and we had to abandon ship. In Sparky Sculptures, the aim was to create a dough scultpture, making the dough from scratch, and attaching lights which lit up with the dough as a conductor. The aim and the process is perfectly explained on our accompanying information sheets, and while we didn’t see our sculpture lit up, we talked through the principles and C and A will attempt this experiment again themselves.
Adult supervision is not necessarily essential as all of the instructions are clearly laid out, the materials are all supplied and being hands on is an excellent way for kids to learn. However, things can get messy, and it is science so some guidance may be necessary. Besides that, its incredibly interesting so you’ll probably want to get stuck in yourself.
A Whole Days Worth of Fun
A single Curiosity Box will have the kids lost in science for the whole day, if not longer. We were unfortunately time poor as I had to get the kids back for dinner, but the few hours I had exploring with them was so much fun and we will definitely do it again. I can see The Curiosity Box being especially popular around school holidays as it is very easy to get sucked into the science for a good while. Perfect to keep your little scientists occupied on long holiday days.
One thing I loved about the experiments was how C and A worked so well together. They helped each other out and guided each other (better than I did) with the instructions for each task. Generally, The Curiosity Box is designed for one person but can be easily worked on as a group. C and A worked so well together and shared the roll of scientist in each experiment.
C already has a scientific mind. I marvelled at how well he was able to explain the idea of conductive material and why that ping pong ball was rolling around my kitchen floor without being touched.
Verdict – A Massive Science Thumbs Up
C aged 11 = “It was really interesting. I’d do the experiments again and would get another box.”
A aged 8 = “I loved it. It was really good fun. I loved getting messy.”
Momma Bear = “The Curiosity Box is a fantastic idea. The experiments were educational and everything was explained so clearly. I appreciated how everything was included in each pack including batteries where necessary. It was a great day and I learned as much as the kids did.”
About The Curiosity Box from Renee and her team:
We want to make the world a better place, and believe that young people and science are a powerful combination that can affect positive social change .
We want to disrupt education by re-balancing the value placed on education children receive at home with more formal education.
We want to give every child the opportunity to become the next Marie Curie, Albert Einstein or Ada Lovelace. Just like Mary Poppins’ spoon full of sugar, we believe that The Curiosity Box provides just the right ingredients to make great scientists!
We love STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths) and we’ve learned from over a decade of delivering STEM activities and information to families and schools alike that, when made engaging and fun, love of STEM is infectious! Our mission is to get science actually happening and being discussed in every household, not just behind closed laboratory doors. We want to break down perceptions of all scientists being crazy-haired, bespectacled men in lab coats and show people that scientists come in all shapes and sizes! The most exciting thing for us is about giving kids the tools they need to both think for themselves and problem solve and thereby be creative and inventive. So, to this end, we thought why not pack all the necessary tools, a bit of inspiration and loads of seriously sciencey fun into a box? It takes the pain out of planning, sourcing and preparing for parents and will turn you into an absolute hero in your kid’s eyes!
Every child deserves the chance to engage with science from an early age. Let us make it as fun and interesting as possible!
Currently, The Curiosity Box subscriptions are only shipping to the UK but they are expanding and will be shipping to Ireland very soon. I will do my best to keep in touch with Renee and find out when you can order your own Curiosity Box.
*This is a collaborative post. All opinions are completely and wholeheartedly honest and mine*