REVIEW – There are many types of STEM experiences available for kids that support curiosity, creativity, imagination, fine motor skills, etc. I have reviewed a few in the past, and now I get to test and review the UGears Differential Educational Mechanical Model Kit.
What is it?
The UGears Differential Educational Mechanical Model Kit is an educational model with an interactive study guide to the mechanism. It is only for learning the essentials and principles of working.
What’s in the box
1 x Differential educational mechanical model kit
1 x Pocket Model Study Guide
1 x Wooden Boards with Pre-cut Parts
1 x Instruction Manual
1 x Candle Wax Stick
Design and features
- High-quality wooden boards with pre-cut details and other standard supplies. Assembly requires no glue or additional tools. The details come out of the boards with a slight push.
- Detailed step-by-step color instruction manual. Easy to follow – easy to learn.
Examples and suggestions for your fun hands-on projects.
- QR-code to Pocket Model’s Study Guide (the Differential Essentials with a description of the mechanism, principle of working, main characteristics, definitions, and formulas).
- QR-code to Ugears AR Application. New exciting features from Ugears to make your learning experience even more fascinating!
This kit comes with 4 perforated composite wooden templates (at least it feels like a composite wood board of some sort) with the parts that you “push out” of the template. There are 2 tools included with the template to help with assembly. A small candle wax stick is also included for greasing the gears.
The concept and principle as per the manufacturer:
“The Differential was designed to ensure that the drive wheels sitting on the same axle rotate with a different rate and cover different distances at the same time. This mechanism allows the car to make turns without the wheels skidding, prevents wheel-slip, reduces tire wear, and makes entering and going out of turns easier for the driver. Having assembled the Differential, you can unblock it pushing the lever in position 1 (Up) and set both wheels in motion by rotation of the drive gear or the wheel. The Control lever regulates the smooth locking of the left and right wheels independently by turning left or right respectively. In the “down” position of the lever, both wheels are linked in a rigid coupling and can either rotate together (propelled by the drive gear or a wheel) or lock simultaneously (by the lever of the wheel).”
The first thing I did was to punch out the tools from the template and place them aside along with the candle wax stick.
The following photos are of some of the steps of the building process. I tried to show as many as I could to provide an idea of how the build went. It took me approximately 90 minutes.
The building process was quite nice and the parts stayed together surprisingly well considering that it is mostly square pieces plugging into square holes. The finished product is delicate yet still somewhat sturdy. This is a great STEM experience for a child who I agree should at lease be around 8 years old. The building does require, patience, care, and the ability to carefully follow directions.
Here is the finished product in action:
There is also a Ugears AR app that you can download and then use to view the kit you build in a real-life operational way.
You can order spare and/or additional parts via the Ugears website.
What I like
- The design concept
- The ease of assembling
- The availability of replacement parts
- The STEM learning factor
What I’d change
- No changes that I can think of
If you have patience and if you like building things, then even as an adult, you will like this kit. I think that it is at a nice price point that will allow parents to provide affordable experiences for their children especially since Ugears offers several kits with different designs. While it does require some amount of care when building, for the right age group in my opinion it is well worth it.
Where to buy: Ugears website
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Ugears