April 1, 2015
I don’t care what anyone says, science is awesome. From growing beans on cotton balls to dissecting a frog, I love how much kids learn from interacting with the environment. Apps and online websites offer great advantages to the learning experience, but it’s not the same as getting down and dirty. That’s why MudWatt, the science kit that helps learners build batteries with the mud underneath their feet, is a cool project recently launched on Kickstarter.
MudWatt is a fun and educational science kit built around the fascinating phenomenon of electric bacteria living in nearly all of Earth’s soils and sediments. When these bacteria metabolize, they expel electrons that can be captured and used to power things. MudWatt unveils this unseen electrical activity, sparking kids’ interest in the natural world, and exposing them to important concepts in energy, sustainability, biology, chemistry, electronics, and engineering.
“When we were kids, learning science was all about replicating experiments that always had a ‘right answer’ or a prescribed outcome. It wasn’t until we were able to input our own creativity into projects, in the form of potato cannons and pirate ships made of plumbing pipe, that we realized how creative and adventurous science and engineering really are. We made MudWatt so that young people could get engaged with this exciting nature of science and engineering at an early age,” said inventor Keegan Cooke.
The best thing about this kit is that you can find mud anywhere! Also, it seems like a great learning alternative to endless online games and apps that are replacing learning through experimentation. There is an ongoing debate on whether kids today are spending too much screen time with the arrival of interactive devices like smartphones and tablets. Although research on interactive media’s effect on children is at its infancy, it’s great to hear about alternative learning methods.
“The whole idea of MudWatt is to make science accessible and fun for young people,” says co-inventor KevinRand. “We want to show kids that there’s more than meets the eye out there in the world, and those secrets are right there at their fingertips. That’s why it’s so great to be able to offer these new versions of our awesome kit, so that more kids can get their hands dirty and experience the magic.”
The original MudWatt kit has been selling online and through distributors, but with proceeds from the Kickstarter campaign the company will be able to offer these new versions and transition to compostable packaging that can be torn up and be used as fuel for the kit itself. Furthermore, Kickstarter proceeds will be used to develop classroom-approved curriculum, and for further enhancements to the Mudwatt companion app.
Who’s ready to get mud on their faces?
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