Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Japanese Science Magazine with Hands-on Kits!

Now THIS is a science magazine. It's called Otona No Kagaku, and the publisher, Gakken of Japan, calls it a Mook (Magazine+Book). Leave it to the Japanese to include actual kit parts and instructions so people can throw down some real hands-on experimental action. Maybe if we ramped up manufacturing in China and whipped off a few quick translations we could bring the issue/kit costs (typically around $45 ) down to the point where we could get subscriptions for a significant number of kids....Given MobiTV, I'm a little swamped at the moment. Anyone else wanna start a fun company?

The first one I stumbled across was the Sterling Engine issue that several people had managed to acquire, build, and document including a nice video on YouTube.

I'm particularly fond of the Sterling engine marketing photos on their US distributor's web site (The Karakuri Corner) The Canine-driven engine is my favorite.

Low Temperature Differential Stirling Engine

There are a bunch of other great issues that include great projects such as an Edison-style phonograph and a Berliner style Gramophone that record and play audio on plastic cups and CDs.

And check out these other fantastic projects from previous issues:

A mini planetarium and a replica of Newton's scope.

A crystal radio, and a Hooke's Microscope replica.

The working Gramaphone issue.

Needless to say, I've already subscribed and ordered several of the back issues. They also have a few other cool gadgets that are hard to pass up as holiday presents, including the Homestar planetarium.

Homestar Planetarium Star Projector Black

This nifty little gadget takes a 5cm diameter film image of the night sky and projects it on your cieling! Boy wouldn't one of those be a great Christmas gift for an astronomically inclined nerd... (hint, hint...) There's also an industrial version better suited for larger rooms called the MegaStar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool, I'm glad you liked the post. I'll be sure to email you if I get any more of these kits.
I hope that one day everyone will be able to find quality science kits like these in local shops.