Smithsonian Newtons Cradle
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone younger than 70 who hasn’t at one point been entranced by this desktop “toy” and with good reason. Newton’s Cradle (most testers admitted to not ever hearing its name before) is a hands-on physics experiment that holds a fascination for kids as well as us “older” folks who still marvel at its simple, elegant movement. When one (or more) ball(s) at the end are lifted and released, they strike the stationary spheres, transmitting a force through the other balls that push the last ball, or an equal number of balls that were initially launched upward then back again and again. For kids in our testing center that had never seen this before it was really something to witness how they were transfixed and engaged. It was fascinating watching their minds working out just what is going on and why. NSI has produced a great version of the Cradle, and parent testers noted the unique zig-zag design on top as being a cool twist on previous versions they had played with. If you are looking for a different kind of gift for any age, this could be a fun place to start.