Forget old-school remote controlled cars that drain your batteries -- alternate energy cars teach kids about the fuel sources of the future while ensuring you'll never need to buy a battery again. The simplest versions of these toys contain magnesium metal sheets. Sprinkle a few drops of saltwater into the car and it will run for hours without assistance. More advanced fuel cell cars, like the i-H2GO, come with all the pieces kids need to construct a hydrogen-powered car, then allow kids to connect the car to a smartphone, which acts as a wireless controller. Volta racers use built-in flexible sheets of solar panels to operate even in low levels of light. Like the i-H2GO, Volta racers comes in pieces, requiring kids to use their engineering skills to assemble the car before it's time to play.
Author's Note: 10 Science Toys Kids Will Love
When I set to work researching this article, I was fully prepared to try to play up the same boring old science toys. I was surprised to find out just how many great STEM toys are available for kids, and just how much fun some of these toys seem -- I have to hold myself back for a few more years before my daughter is old enough for those GoldieBlox toys! After plenty of research, I realized that some science-obsessed kids would have a blast with the more traditional toys like microscopes and model rockets, while others would need more cutting edge options like Lego Mindstorms or Roominate to truly get them interested in STEM topics.
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Lego announced it is switching to a sugarcane-based plastic as part of its commitment to sustainable materials. HowStuffWorks looks at the change.