I’m very keen on STEM toys, especially as my son isn’t so keen on the reading and writing side of school life. Anything that helps with his education in a fun way is a big bonus as far as I’m concerned. Power Tracks from John Adams fits the bill perfectly and is aimed at children aged 5 years and over.
Power Tracks from John Adams is a great way to introduce children to coding and circuit building as they learn to navigate Volty around various tracks.
The set comes with Volty the robot, twenty-four double-sided circuit tiles, ten double-circuit diagrams, forty command cards and an instruction leaflet. You will need 3 x AAA batteries to power up Volty.
The twenty different circuit diagrams are numbered and increase in difficulty of coding required as you progress through them.
The first three diagrams show circuits which demonstrate the basic movements that Volty has and as you progress through the various circuits you see his various features come to life.
Volty will always need to start his journey on the blue battery tile, the as you create your track with the jigsaw circuit tiles they also give you hints for the directional instructions you will need to code into Volty. Children can also use the command cards to help them – I can see these being most useful to younger children and my nearly nine-year old hasn’t really used them to assist his coding.
To program Volty once you’ve inserted the batteries required, you turn the button to 1 on his underside. Press the dustbin button on his top to clear any existing programming and you are ready to start coding. Start your program by pressing the program button </> and then create your coding using ∧ to go forward one step, < to turn 90 degrees to the left and > to go 90 degrees to the right.
Once you’ve completed your coding sequence press the √ button. You can see the coding steps you’ve created on Volty’s screen.
Place Volty on the blue rectangle on the Start Battery circuit board with his front corners lined up with the small green circles on the card and press the √ button again to start him off.
If you do program Volty incorrectly it’s easy to change his program as soon as you realise he’s going in the wrong direction. (Full details are included in the instruction leaflet).
I wasn’t sure if my son would find Power Tracks from John Adams too basic for him, but he absolutely loves it. Never one to follow instructions, he soon put the diagram cards to one side and started creating his own layouts for Volty to follow.
Then when he realised that Volty will do different things when he glides over certain circuit boards, well that made this set for my son. For example, if Volty goes over the circuit card with a bulb showing, his eyes light up.
There are various sound features, and if Volty goes over the same track then the sound changes and there are special effects too to only name a couple of features. This element of surprise and ‘how does he do that’ has kept my son entertained and will continue to do so for some time to come.
Priced at £29.99 Power Tracks from John Adams is great fun and is a set that will keep children entertained as they become more competent in coding. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below for your reference. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review
I’ve teamed up with John Adams to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Power Tracks set worth £29.99 Complete the Gleam form below and it could be you. Good luck!
Terms and conditions:
(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).
Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.
This giveaway is for UK residents only.
Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person. The winner’s details will be sent to Norton PR for John Adams, in order that they can arrange delivery
The giveaway will close on 21st November 2018 at midnight.
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