Reverse Engineering Kit Giveaway

Reverse Engineering Kit Giveaway

One of our most favorite projects and one of the most popular posts here at The Homeschool Scientist was Reverse Engineering. The kids loved taking machines apart, seeing what was inside, and trying to figure out what role all those little parts played in making the machines work.

While that project really got the kids’ hands and minds engaged, more times than not, we really had no idea what we were looking at. The kids and I worked together and made educated guesses, but weren’t positive we were correct. If we only had a diagram for each item we took apart that gave descriptions and instructions.

IQLocker.com

While browsing the huge vendor hall at Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, this caught my eye. Reverse Engineering Project Kit from IQLocker.com

A Reverse Engineering Science Kit!!! My geeky heart did skip a beat. (Don’t judge.)

As I looked at the vendor banner, I noticed this was IQLocker.com. My friend Connie at The Daisyhead blog raved about this company to me over a year ago and I hadn’t had the time to make contact. Well, I guess this was the day!

After speaking with the owner and engineer, Arthur Hess, about IQLocker.com and the Electro-Mechanical Reverse Engineering Project kit, I had to have this kit! Mr. Hess did let me have a kit for the purpose of a review, but as always, my opinions are my opinions and can’t be bought. I’m always honest with you!

The Guide

The Electro-Mechanical Reverse Engineering Project kit includes a device to be taken apart, an electrical connector and battery holder to make the device work, a screwdriver, pliers, and a Destruction Manual. It has everything you need for this project!

The real key to the Electro-Mechanical Reverse Engineering Project kit, and what sets it apart, is the Destruction Manual. It is part user guide, part textbook, and part workbook, and part career exploration guide. The manual is divided into chapters that gives you:

  • background about the device to be taken apart (an Automotive Exterior Mirror Glass Actuator – the little motor that makes the side mirrors on  your car move).
  • the requirements that this device had to meet to be used in an automobile
  • how the device works
  • what the parts of the device do
  • how the device is made
  • a look at the many professionals that had a hand in creating this device and making it work in an automotive application
  • destruction instructions
  • questions to test comprehension and to get students thinking

Having the manual divided into chapters keeps the information from being overwhelming, while providing a wide breath of knowledge. The kids and I went through chapters 1 and 2 the first day, and then worked on a chapter a day after that. (5 chapters in all) We found that very manageable. Looking back, I’d say this kit was more than a science kit, it was more like a unit study.

The Project

The kids and I read through the Destruction Manual together as we worked on this reverse engineering project.

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Using the instructions given in the Destruction Manual, I let them take turns taking the actuator apart and hooking it up to the battery pack.

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The kids got to see how the inner parts of the actuator worked together to make the mirror move.

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The Electro-Mechanical Reverse Engineering Project was about more than taking something apart. It was about learning how things work, why certain parts are used, how those parts are made, and who has a hand in making them.

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Final Thoughts & Giveaway

In these weeks since we’ve completed the Electro-Mechanical Reverse Engineering Project, I can see lasting effects of the project. The kids have been asking questions about and discussing the small parts that make everyday things work. They have been talking about careers and what kinds of professionals work with things like metals, plastics, and drawing plans. These are discussions we’ve not had before. I’d call that a success.

The Electro-Mechanical Reverse Engineering Project kit fits an open niche in the world of science kits and science education, for that matter.

Where else will you get tactile learning, engineering, math, career exploration, and critical thinking in one package??

 

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Comments

  1. 1

    Carrie U. says

    I haven’t yet, but should. My husband always loved to tinker with things as a kid and he can now fix anything as an adult. My boys would love this kit!

    • 2

      Karen M. says

      We love to deconstruct things. I grew to love, of all things, taking apart vacuum cleaners and fixing them and I’m also inordinately fond of anything messy, like fixing drains and dishwashers. She prefers to turn the parts into robots. Girl robots, of course. They don’t actually do anything, but she’s now part of a robotics club. She’s already learning about different types of circuits and definitely catching on much faster than I.

  2. 3

    Kayra says

    I haven’t tried any yet but definitely going to start doing more engineering projects with my kids!

  3. 6

    Hydrangeas and Harmony says

    We haven’t tried it specifically but my son helps my husband with house projects all the time. They also like to disassemble old computer gear from hubby’s work to take to the scrap yard. But that’s all destruction. :)

  4. 9

    Heather B. says

    We’ve tried reverse engineering with several old small appliances, but I’ve never seen this kit. It looks really interesting!

  5. 13

    Antionette Robinson says

    My one son is always taking things apart, but I have not done anything structured with him. This would be perfect for him! My engineer husband is giing to love that this is available!

  6. 14

    Celia T says

    My 9 yr old daughter has taken apart non working laptops, telephones, and computers. I wish I had the knowledge to tell her what all of the parts do. This kit sounds awesome!

  7. 17

    Laura says

    We’ve put components together, like Snap Circuits, but haven’t reverse engineered anything that has a purpose. This kit would be pretty cool.

  8. 18

    Tanya says

    We would love this kit. My husband and I were just talking about taking apart old electronics for my son to get a look at the inner workings. However, we are not sure as to the safety of doing it. We have looked into Snap Circuits also. This looks like so much fun and more like what we are looking for.

  9. 19

    Melissa says

    I’ve never heard of this company but I think my eight year old would love to do this. She enjoys learning how things work and why they work the way they do. I’ll be looking into this company.

    • 22

      Sara says

      lol when my son was 3 he took all the screws out of the bottom two hinges of the doors, went to go in the bathroom and the door flew, luckily it was still attached by the top hinge he couldnt reach, he was trying to figure out how doors worked lol, will never forget it

  10. 23

    Karen says

    We have never tried reverse engineering but my oldest is a budding engineer and would LOVE this kit !!

  11. 25

    Carrie Elsass says

    My husband is better about encouraging this than I am. My son likes to see what’s inside things but sometimes that just involves smashing. My husband used to take things apart when he was young, but now is great at putting them back together as well, so we try to foster that.

  12. 27

    DeeAnn says

    This looks cool. My 9 yr old son would love it! And no, I haven’t tried any reverse engineering with him yet.

  13. 29

    Amy says

    Sort of… my husband upgraded our son’s computer and our son helped where he could. It’s not the same as taking it all apart to inspect it, since my husband only took out what he was replacing.
    For engineering projects, I recommend EEME (I hope it’s ok that I post this. If not please let me know and I can delete it -assuming I can edit my post)

  14. 33

    Jen says

    Yes, but only a couple of times. Wasn’t something I did as a kid, so I’m a little shy of taking things apart. DH, OTOH, grew up taking things apart (and sometimes even putting them back together!)

  15. 34

    says

    My older kids liked to take things apart, especially the boys. We didn’t do reverse engineering specifically, though. They just took things apart to see how they worked, but I didn’t really explain anything to them. This looks like a great project to get kids thinking about and interested in engineering.

  16. 35

    says

    Well, if you count the things my oldest child has taken apart and put back together incorrectly, or even losing the pieces, then yes we have done some reverse engineering. Grins!

  17. 36

    bren says

    Our oldest got a little airplane to take apart/put together a couple years ago for Christmas. Even at five she loved it!

  18. 38

    Raylene says

    My kids have pulled gadgets apart before but we’ve not really known what we were looking at. This would be awesome.

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