100 years of DIY science
100 years‘ worth of experience in developing experiment kits: Already the first little scientist kit from 1922 called “Baukasten Elektro” (Electro building kit) heeded the principle of assembling individual parts to create something big. Something functional from the adult world that is revealed piece by piece, requiring diligence, understanding of connections, perseverance and dedication while all the while being a lot of fun for everyone. Kosmos has always managed to gather all generations at one place with this principle. This sounds a bit like a pedagogical purpose – and that is what it is. The first Kosmos Experiment Kit consultant was a teacher from Switzerland, Wilhelm Fröhlich. His passion was to make illustrated lessons for children and convey knowledge visually. The cooperation between this passionate pedagogue and the book and game publisher lasted 40 years.
What toys can achieve: make children sharp
Many of the topics that land in the Kosmos Experiment Kits are known by all children today. And if you ask around among your friends, it’s not a surprise to learn that many of today’s engineers, computer scientists, chemists, biologists or teachers took their first steps into the world of science with a “Technikus”, “All-Chemist”, “Optikus”, “Radiomann” or “Photomann”. “Making children sharp” is one of the Stuttgart-based company’s mottos. And still today the unique selling proposition of this approach is the perfect combination of teaching and fun. “Conveying fun and joy” is what Matthias Kienzle, marketing and sales director at Kosmos, calls this claim. That is how the Kosmos experiment kit itself turned into a role model of what toys can achieve.
Stories out of the science box
Telling stories has always been one of the main tasks of the Kosmos Experiment Kit editorial staff, developing around 30 different topics each year. The 12-member team consists of both women and men coming from the most diverse fields: “We studied biology, geography or chemistry, either to become teachers or for an academic degree; we are geo-ecologists, or media and communication designers”, as team leader Annette Büchele, who herself is a graduate geographer, lists her team. The experiment that took the longest (and led to the most fan letters) is called “Triopszucht”, which is all about the famous living fossil crustaceans. Growing crystals is another example of how children’s dreams are made reality. This story has come to life almost six million times in the past 20 years.
2022 is the big anniversary
2022 is a big year for Franckh-Kosmos publishing, which the whole house is celebrating: In 1822, the founder Johann Friedrich Franckh registered the first company. Classics and bestsellers such as “Catan” and “Exit” are today just as much a part of the Kosmos publishing company’s collection as children’s books, as well as guidebooks on gardening, astronomy, horses, dogs, fishing and hunting, health and mindful living – things that bring people together. The company wanted to celebrate its big anniversary in grand style and had numerous compelling and creative ideas for a brilliant appearance at Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg. Well – the preparations for the trade fair in 2023 are already underway – “we are very much looking forward to returning to the international meetup, conducting conversations with our business partners and journalists that we had to be without for so long”, as Matthias Kienzle looks forward to the future.