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Gravity's Edge

Lower Age: 6+
Website: http://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/gravitys-edge-a2-68540.fltr
Price: $24.95
Year Added: 2017

Gravity’s Edge is an interactive game for children six years and up that requires a minimum of two players. The game includes a center dome, three counterweight baskets, a balance pole, 14 spokes, and 28 Tipping Points. To play, children connect the spokes, center dome, and counterweight baskets to form a tower. This tower rests on top of the balance pole and is free to rotate in any direction. Player’s takes turns taking Tipping Points from one of the counterweight baskets and placing them at the end of the spokes. The goal of each turn is to avoid tipping the increasingly unstable tower over. The winner is whoever completes the most turns without knocking off any Tipping Points or the tower. While playing children develop skills in observation and evidence-based reasoning as they generate ideas for their next move. The process of deciding where to place Tipping Points helps children learn how to recognize patterns and refine ideas for future moves. Also, the cooperative play element of the game promotes communication and collaboration as teams work to determine their next move. Overall, Gravity’s Edge helps children practice spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and logical thinking skills using intense, fast-moving gameplay.

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem, ask questions about the problem, make observations, idea generation, plan a solution, refine ideas, recognize patterns, communicate their solution, apply science, work in a team

 

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: Problem to be solved, criteria, constraints

 

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

Spatial reasoning skills, critical thinking, working collaboratively, evidence-based reasoning, logical thinking

 

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating: 4.13 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “It was suspenseful like a better version of Jenga. I loved it!” M, 11
      • "I liked picking out which piece to play and deciding where to put it." F, 5
      • “I liked that it made you think, and you had to make it work so that the tower didn't have to fall. It was stressful but fun at the same time.” F, 11
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: 4.33 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I liked that it taught my kids about balance. It was fun!” parent of a 2-, 5-, and 7-year-old
      • “It's great to help kids learn how to balance and use fine motor skills. It's great for problem solving.” parent of a 8-year-old
      • “An excellent counter balance game. A twist on Jenga.” parent of a 4-year-old
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “You have to plan a strategy and changed it based upon what happens. It also encourages ‘what if’ statements, such as ‘what if I take a piece from this side?’
      • “The toy requires the user to think about what causes the problem (tilting) and how to solve it.”
      • “The user has to test and come up with ideas in order to solve a problem at hand. Each turn, the player can see the outcome of their move. The user can then modify their strategy in order to solve the problem at hand.”
      • “The child learns about how gravity can affect a system. They learn how one movement can affect an entire system.”