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Da Vinci STEM Toys By Elenco
While recognized by the internet as the world’s first proper supervillain, Leonardo Da Vinci is more widely recognized by the world as the master renaissance artist that painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper in addition to his many, many contributions to science and engineering. While many of his science achievements and designs didn’t work quite as intended or well enough to implement, the sheer number of modern inventions that he conceptualized is nothing short of astonishing. Some of the things he conceptualized are: underwater warfare, machine guns, concentrated solar power (aka death rays), ornithopters, helicopters, Batman and so many more. In short, a study of Da Vinci will be a fun and educational work at conceptual engineering and design improvement especially if you compare his concepts with the technology we have today.
To help introduce kids and young people to this man of genius and his works and perhaps inspire a spark of innovation in your child, Elenco Da Vinci models and STEM toys are just the thing. Intended for children eight or older, these kits will help young people learn patience in putting them together as well as basic scientific concepts. They also look really cool when they are done.
Da Vinci was incredibly inspired by flight, and many of his inventions have to do with some way to help humanity achieve flight. His “Great Kite” inspired not only hang gliders and probably the Wright Brothers, but also Batman creator Bob Kane. Another building kit inspired by Da Vinci’s love of flight is the Mechanical Butterfly which actually looks a bit more like a dragonfly and functions more like an ornithopter.
Shifting our eyes from air superiority to ruling the seas, we start with Da Vinci’s paddleboat which features a steampunk-ish paddle mechanism to propel the boat that is powered or moved by gears. It’s a design that took more or less 400 years to implement once steam power was available, so it looks pretty cool. Moving a bit closer to evil genius, the Da Vinci submarine features a more or less standard boat with what appears to be air bladders on each side. The model’s ballast system is not functional, but it’s interesting to see how the basic concept of an air bladder and wings could be used to raise or submerge a ship. Lastly, going full supervillain, Da Vinci’s ship’s cannon with shield is an early concept of how naval warfare might progress in that it allows for attack and defense.
Rounding out Da Vinci’s attempt at world domination is the standard catapult, the model of which actually does work and the multiple sling which is one of the earliest concepts at a rapid fire projectile machine that we know of.
If your child is interested in science or engineering, these kits are a great way to teach them from real projects imagined by one of humanity’s greatest minds. One of the other great features about these kits is that Elenco can send you missing pieces in case any wind up missing.
Have you put one of these together or been inspired to make something original because of these kits? Share it with us on Facebook or Instagram!