Are you a parent or educator looking for the latest STEM-focused, educational and creative activities for kids? Tech Age Kids is a popular technology blog that reviews the most inspiring educational STEM/STEAM products. We sent them a box of Arckit 360 and asked for their feedback on Arckit as a creative educational tool. Read the full review here.
What’s special about this review?
Arckit has received a lot of press over the years, including a few TV appearances. What makes this article special is that it’s one of the most in-depth and insightful reviews we have read. As a continually evolving system, we are always interested to hear suggestions for how we can make Arckit even better – and Tech Age Kids are really open and honest in their verdict.
The Tech Age Kids blog is run by Elbrie de Kock and Dr Tracy Gardner, two parents who also have real-world experience and a wealth of knowledge in the areas of design, gaming, electronics and computer science. There isn’t much they haven’t seen when it comes to STEM/STEAM products, so we couldn’t wait for them to have a go with Arckit.
“At the end of the day my 10 year old came up and said, ‘Mum there’s something you’ve got to see.’ Bear in mind that Bett (show) is utterly packed with awesome tech. The ‘something’ was Arckit. Apparently my kids had spent ages at the Arckit stand building things and talking to Damien Murtagh the inventor and CEO of Arckit.” – Dr Tracy Gardner
Tech Age Kids covered everything from the quality of the packaging to the experience of building with Arckit. It was fantastic to hear Tracy’s suggestions and praise for the components, which she thought were high quality and felt like a premium product.
Her two children (10 and 8 years old) were excited to start building. We had already met them at the Bett Show and they spent hours at the Arckit stand amazing us with their creations. The photographs of their models are testimony to how quickly they have learnt to design with Arckit and the speed with which kids can spontaneously build new structures.
We are seriously impressed with their talent. The designs are absolutely stunning, the experimental form and pathways leading to various structures are so playful and at the same time sophisticated in appearance. This is also the first time anyone has EVER made an octagonal structure with our new angled floors, which goes to show how versatile Arckit is as a design tool.
“I was glad that I got hands on with Arckit as it gave me a really good understanding of how it works. My 10 year old seems to have a real affinity for the concept as he made amazing structures appear in no time, while I worked away on a small boxy building! He build and rebuilt several large structures while I made one!” – Dr Tracy Gardner
Arckit compared to Lego (and Minecraft)
It’s always wonderful to hear people compare Arckit to Lego (even though the two products are really quite different). These comparisons didn’t escape the attention of Tech Age Kids, who are Lego fans and thought that Arckit was like a grown-up version of Lego and a natural progression for older children who want to specialise in more realistic modelling.
“Obviously comparisons will be drawn with Lego. My kids felt that Arckit feels much more grown-up then Lego. Lego has chunky pieces whereas Arckit uses slim walls. Incidentally, Arckit make perfect models for Lego minifigures.” – Dr Tracy Gardner
They also picked up on the connection between Arckit and Minecraft. Tracy says, “Arckit gives children an opportunity to make use of and enhance the skills they have developed [building in Minecraft]. I love my kids spending time with Minecraft but I’m always conscious of the need for them to keep developing their physical skills.”
What’s the verdict?
Tech Age Kids declared Arckit a huge hit and a great way to develop STEAM and model building skills. The added bonus for us was seeing how they modified the structures with electronics such as internal lights using an LED and coin cell battery. We really can’t wait to see more of their experiments using Arckit and electronics!
A STEAM project to try at home
Speaking of experiments, Tech Age Kids have since published a second article documenting their progress with 3D-printed Arckit components using Beetle Blocks (a graphical 3D modelling tool). This allowed them to create smooth internal floors using bespoke 3D-printed floor panels. Talk about a cool STEAM project to try at home! Read the full article here.
Note: If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you will soon be able to enhance your models with bespoke ‘one off’ 3D-printed components ordered from our Arckit Infiniti 3D store.