Just in time for the World Cup, GEOMAG has released Mechanics Challenge Goal! This time around, your job is to create a machine that will launch a projectile across the room and into a soccer-like goal.
GEOMAG has been making wonderful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) playsets for a while now, and they just keep getting better. The Mechanics Challenge Goal! set includes steel ball bearings, struts, interlocking gears and stands, and allows for a variety of permutations and construction options.
Editor’s Note: Check out our other GEOMAG toy set reviews of STEM playsets. This includes sets that glow in the dark, color blocks that stack in mysterious ways for young builders, and tracks that are filled with more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at.
As with other GEOMAG sets, the instructions for Mechanics Challenge Goal! shows three completely different builds that focus on demonstrating how polarity can be used to move objects with magnets. In this case, magnetics can be used to shoot a ball into a goal or other object.
It’s enjoyable to construct the machines and once you understand how everything fits together, you can build your own ideas. There are several playsets available that can be combined into just about anything you can imagine.
The instructions are well illustrated and easy to understand. The set is listed for ages 7+, but younger children might need assistance as some of the parts require dexterity to get together and attention has to be paid to which way up the pieces are placed since at first glance some pieces seem the same on both sides, but they aren’t. On the other hand, attention to detail is an important teachable moment and a critical skill in STEM subjects, so that’s a good thing. Getting everything lined up correctly is part of the fun.
I’m always pleased by the quality and construction of GEOMAG products. The ninety-six-piece set is stamped Swiss Made, and the parts would seem to bear that out. The plastic is heavy duty, and the parts lock and unlock without feeling like they will break when taken apart. The metal pieces are heavy.
Fair warning though, the magnets are strong and need to be kept well away from toddlers or pets that might swallow them, although, the magnets are set into larger pieces that would have to be broken apart to be swallowed. Wisely, GEOMAG doesn’t make the ball bearings actual magnets which makes them far safer than something like Bucky Balls. My only quibble with this set is the ‘net’ for the goal is made out of paper instead of sturdy plastic like the rest of the set. Despite that, shooting a steel ball into a goal after constructing the mechanism to do so was pretty satisfying. This is a fun set that anyone who enjoys building toys would be happy to have.
Check it out and let us know what you think.