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Dr. Eureka

Lower Age: 8+
Price: $19.99
Year Added: 2017

With Dr. Eureka, children eights years and up form teams that help Dr. Eureka in his mad scientist laboratory. This game comes with 12 test tubes, 24 balls in three different colors, and Challenge Cards. Each player starts off with three tubes in front of them that each contain two of the same color ball. First, they choose a Challenge Card and read the information on it to define the problem they need to solve - the proper arrangement of balls and tubes. The main goal is to be the first player to find that arrangement. Players must quickly develop a plan for moving the balls between the tubes in a way that will result with the correct arrangement across all three test tubes. Yelling “Eureka” signals that they’ve successfully completed this task. The other players then analyze that solution using evidence-based reasoning to check whether the player’s prototype (i.e. arrangement of balls and tubes) matches the one on the card. Several rules constrain what players can and cannot do to complete their task. The main constraint is that players must not use their hands to move the balls. Variations on basic gameplay put different constraints on players’ actions, such as making players keep all three tubes in their hands until they are done, or challenging players to apply mathematics and logic skills to predict how many moves they need to achieve the arrangement on the Challenge Card. While playing Dr. Beaker, children solve problems using spatial reasoning skills as they rearrange the balls. There is also an element of perseverance to reach the end - even if the balls get out of control as a result of the physically and mentally challenging constraints! The many different Challenge Cards mean there are nearly endless possibilities for children to develop these critical skills along the way!


Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem (from card), plan a solution, try the solution, communicate their solution, recognize patterns


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


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Spatial reasoning skills, creative thinking, problem solving, perseverance, logical thinking


Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I love the testing tools because I want to be a scientist.” F, 10
      • “I like this game because it is fun and makes your hands quicker. I liked the test tubes.” F, 11
      • “The best! My favorite! A lot more positive words! But I like it because it is challenging and a good game to play with your friends!” F, 11
      • “I liked the pieces. They were pretty like a rainbow! I felt like a scientist!” F, 6
      • “I liked how you challenge your brain to get the right pattern.” F, 11
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: 3.6 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I liked that it forces players to think several steps ahead and use strategic thinking.” parent of 8-year-old
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “This game really challenges a child's spatial reasoning skills, because one of the rules says that the correct answer can be achieved by placing the tube upside down. When kids can learn to invert an image in their mind, they can improve at this game and become more competitive! I really enjoy the variations to make it more difficult. I really enjoy the option to bet on the lowest number of moves forces the players to use logical thinking and plan their moves beforehand. I think this game, along with Dr. Beaker and Dr. Microbe would've peaked my curiosity of science as a kid. “
      • “While the game does not specifically have a problem for you to solve by developing something new, it does present you with a challenge that needs to be solved. You need to look at the challenge card and come up with a way to solve the problem by using logic and creativity. While moving the ball through the test tubes, you come up with new ways to finish the challenge quicker. You may also find that your initial plan did not work, and you had to refine it. The game had different criteria/constraints that need to be followed, or you will have to sit out of the round. I also enjoyed that the rules gave different ways to make the game more difficult. It also promotes the idea of planning a solution instead of automatically trying to move balls to finish. Even I sometimes struggled to finish the challenges!”