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Pettson's Inventions

Lower Age: 6
Upper Age: 8
Price: $2.99
Year Added: 2016
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Pettson’s Inventions is a puzzle app available in both the Apple app store and Google Play store that requires children to create a certain outcome by placing items into different configurations. Each of the levels use strange and fascinating objects to build Rube Goldberg-like machines to complete the assigned task. The task can be practically anything, from assisting various animals to waking someone up. Each level provides a bank of items to use in the machine that children can drag and drop onto the screen. If an item “clicks” into place then it has been placed in the right location. For added difficulty, the player can turn on “fake items”, which will make items appear in the player’s bank that are not needed for that level. Children can choose to start their invention at any time, but the level will only be successfully completed if the goal is met. The game exposes children to different science concepts and creative design. They will develop a better understanding of how to design solutions with an end goal in mind, how to take a client’s needs into account, and how to work within different constraints.


Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem, ask questions, generate ideas, apply science


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: A problem, criteria, constraints


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Spatial reasoning, creative thinking, design, evidence-based reasoning, problem solving


Overall ratings:

  • Children’s Reviews:

    • Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: “I loved this game.” “It was challenging but really fun!”

  • Parent’s Reviews:

    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: “The price was reasonable and my children really enjoyed playing it. I like that they were having to problem solve and really think while playing this app.”

  • Adults with Engineering & STEM Expertise Reviews:

    • Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: Great for demonstrating the real limits of a Rube Goldberg machine, and teaching science concepts at the same time.”