*product was received free for review
Genius Box is a monthly subscription that delivers a monthly STEM adventure right to your door packed with projects and learning opportunities. Subscriptions are $25 monthly!
Use Coupon Code imnotatree25 and receive 25% off any new Genius Box 1, 3 or 6 month subscription (expires 12/31/15)
Check out the unboxy box video
Here’s the Box Breakdown
Our first glimpse inside the Genius Box! Ouueee this looks like it’s going to be a LOT of fun.
Everything that we received in the “Forensics” themed Genius Box.
This is really well thought out and very deliberate in its purpose. I really like that it’s not all about flashy, cutesy stuff. It’s clear the priority is the substance of the activities and that I can really appreciate.
And I always add this in with STEM learning activities….
I like to stress the importance of teaching STEM to our children and instilling a lot of fundamentals in them early on, particularly our young girls who statistics show have fallen behind.
(Okay, rant over)
So what is all this stuff?
Dixie Cups to use in our Forensic Experiments!
I think that these are included mostly to make the kids feel like they are really forensic detectives because we definitely didn’t deal with anything even remotely dangerous. But Penny was certainly excited and eager to wear these
The Whodunnit Envelope
I accidentally opened this up in the unboxing WOOPS. Penny did not see it though which is good. Basically, this box was a bit like the game clue and as you can see we end the experience with the card that tells us whether we have solved the case correctly
Also for our experiments
Our first Activity (Each Genius Box contains 3) There’s lemon juice, gold paper, a yellow crayon, baking soda, and circle dot stickers in this baggie
Our second activity. In this bag was skittles (YUM), M&M’s (double YUM), toothpicks, salt, filter paper, wax paper, and a pipette
Our third activity. There are two paper wheels and a brass pin in this one
Top Secret Instructions
Inside this envelope were all of our detailed instructions
There is a detailed card for each Clue or Activity and a large card that explains the mystery that you are trying to solve!
Cool little puzzle to try to figure out as an extra bonus!
It’s a tricky little bugger I’ve done a large one of these before.
Okay so now what?
We started with Clue #1 (obviously)
This is a lesson in Science where we are trying to figure out who left a handprint via an acid / neutral / base test. This is actually really cool, because we are using goldenrod paper (something totally new to me) which shows red when in contact with bases and turns back to yellow when in contact with acids (neutral leaves it… NEUTRAL!)
Penny very excited to begin
Our dixie cups with our respective suspects and acid, base, and neutral agents. Ready for swabbing.. this is like Maury Povich…. I can’t even handle the suspense.
|Note the red paper behind the first cup – this person left a handprint because they had a base on their hands!|
We’ve determined the culprits first initials are either A or C with this test!
At this point we moved on to Clue or Activity 2
This activity determines what kind of candy the culprit was eating that left that smudgey handprint!
Basically my daughter got this right and I got it wrong. That is pretty sad for me and pretty great for her!
You put four Skittles and four M&M’s in water, let the coating dissolve and then take that liquid using a toothpick (this is going to get in depth) and swipe onto a filter paper. You then take the filter paper and put it in a salt water solution and see which of the two (Skittles and M&M’s) moves more quickly. To me this sounded very convoluted but Penny got it… GO HER! It was M&M’s. Also, I apologize I totally forgot to take a picture of us running the experiment with all the Skittles and M&M’s in water, Boo on ME!
Then we moved on to the third and final clue or activity
This was a decryption activity. We had to line up the wheel just so. Then we use the encrypted code to decrypt the message from the candy thieving culprits!
You can’t really see but it says, “Haha I stole your candy.” Then there is a second section that uses a different letter for decryption and that one says, “Just kidding I hid it in your backpack.”
This was fun and my daughter (I feel) gained something from this. I’m not sure if it’s a spatial activity or what but when she first started she didn’t understand. When she was done with the code however, she had a new understanding of how to decode the messages.
Moment of Truth
Time to find out who was right… don’t mind our paper.
The moral of the story is that Carla did it… I knew that! She was eating M&M’s which I admittedly would have gotten wrong but Penny figured out. And she hid the candy in our backpack!
Oh you sneaky girl Carla….
We Solved the Mystery!
And we had so much fun doing it!
So in summary
We look for three things in a subscription box; quality, curation, and presentation. I can’t say how much I love how everything is set up so that a child can easily see what he / she is supposed to do. This box is presented so well. Each activity is contained and we can easily reference the cards if we need help or get stuck. Everything is quality, that isn’t an issue at all. As far as curation this box is tops! The lessons are there but they are cleverly disguised in this fun box. Children would never even know that they were learning anything only that they’ve got a mystery to solve! We absolutely adored the Genius Box!
As far as box economy I can’t do a typical price breakdown because we are paying for the “experience” and for $25 monthly I think that this box is definitely worth it!
But don’t forget if you use code imnotatree25 you’ll received 25% off your 1,3, or 6 month subscription!