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Latest News
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New storage boxes for group sets
6th Sep 2016

Our Minit groups sets (Organic/Inorganic, Lattices and Biochemistry) are now supplied in sturdy plastic compartmented storage boxes. So your packaging will last as long as the sets themselves – however many times you use them. Plus, due to the great feedback we’ve received on the Minit sets we’ve also used these durable boxes for the Orbit Large Sets. We hope you like the new versions.

Sponsor of Imperial Festival Art installation
5th May 2016

We are very pleased to sponsor the first edition of the SENSORIUM project, as part of the Imperial Festival, 7-8 May at Imperial College London.

Organised by The Imperial College Advanced Hackspace and The Dyson School of Design Engineering, Sensorium is a cross-disciplinary project bridging art and science and creating collaborations across a range of disciplines at Imperial College London.

Visitors will gain a unique insight of combined engineering, science and design.

Tom Cochrane, Managing Director of Cochranes of Oxford, says: "We are proud to be involved with the Imperial Festival Art installation. Whilst our business provides mainly resources to help people understand our world in a scientific or technical way, I strongly believe in the importance of the arts and culture in our society. I’m really pleased we can help bring science and art closer together"

To find out more visit: Sensorium website | Imperial Festival Website

Holiday Closure Times
18th Dec 2016

We wish you a very happy Holiday.

Please note we are closed for the holiday season from midday Wednesday 23 December 2015 and will reopen Tuesday 3rd January 2016. Please contact us if you wish to confirm delivery for a particular order in advance of the Christmas holidays.
Go large! New demonstration set
16 July 2015

The Unit demonstration scale molecular modelling set creates extra-large organic, inorganic and biochemical models that all the class can see!

Highly versatile and durable, Version 2 of this superior modelling set now contains plastic bonds in place of the metal ones used in previous versions to make it more affordable for more institutions.
UFO-SAM among best recreational kites
12th Aug 2014

The Daily Telegraph has just listed the Holographic UFO-SAM as one of the best five recreational kites available for sale.

Amaze onlookers as the kites flashes and shimmers as the sun catches its surface, the holographic foil reflecting the light in a kaleidoscope of colour. The kite spins as it flies and is an aerial sensation wherever it is flown.

Try it now.

Share your product images
15 Aug 2013

Upload and share photos of your construct-o-straw creations, magnificent molecules and more...

We have seen some great images of our products in action and various models made with our kits and sets. We'd like to encourage you to share more of these so please upload your own images to our new gallery section.
New stand for DNA Proview model
20 June 2013

After all the hard work of building the Orbit Proview DNA model, show it off to its best with this purpose built display stand.
Fun at the Education Show
19 Mar 2013

We had great fun at the Education Show this year. Thanks to everyone who stopped to see our square bubbles, red nose day kites, the new Orbit Mathematics class set plus our range of molecular modelling kits and the ever-popular Tellurium.

We sold out of Construct-o-Straws and Kubic Bubbles so please remember you can order both of these plus our fabulous new Math's set and all our astronomy, physics and chemistry teaching products here on our website.
See us at the Education Show
7 Mar 2013

We look forward to meeting with you at the Education Show in Birmingham, UK, 14-16 March. Drop by to try out our new math's set, create a kubic bubble, see our Construct-o-straws creations and be amazed by how good our tellurium really is!

Get inspiration for future lesson planning - from molecular model kits to kite making projects. Plus enter our prize draw to win a Kindle ereader. We're on Stand H31 - hope to see you there.
New! Carbon nanotube model kit
21 Jan 2013

Until the mid 1980s, carbon was thought to exist only in two physical forms - diamond and graphite. The discovery in 1985 of Buckminsterfullerene with its spherical shape, comprised of hexagonal and pentagonal rings similar to a football, led to further discoveries including, more recently, the long cylindrical tubes of carbon atoms known as carbon nanotubes.

To help teach the structure and properties of these molecules, we are pleased to announce a new single walled carbon nanotube model, made from the Minit building system, as an addition to our range of modelling kits.

Using the kit you can make a graphene sheet, three different types of carbon nanotube (chair, zigzag and chiral), a C60 buckyball and related structures with up to 260 carbon atoms.
8m long carbon nanotube
10 Jan 2013

Check out this amazing carbon nanotube model.

Built by the Hoffman Group at the University of Cambridge as part of the nCam2012 conference, the finished model was 8m long!

Look out for more news on carbon nanotube models coming soon...
Latest blog - from Uganda
13 Dec 2012

In this months blog, our guest blogger Jean M Johnson reports from a recent visit trip running courses for chemistry teachers and students in Uganda. Limited in travel by a outbreak of the Marburg virus Jean taught her first local A-level class. Topics included polymerisation and a look at carbon structures.

Read her blog and view some of the pictures from her trip here.

Postcard from Basel 2012
31 Oct 2012

It was nice to see so many of our customers and meet new ones at Worlddidac 2012. We hope you all had a productive visit and safe trip home. See you next time!
Quadruplex DNA
25 Sep 2012

The University of Cambridge sent us some lovely photographs of a DNA quadruplex model they constructed from our Orbit molecular building system for display at a recent open day.

Work in the quadruplex field is led by Prof Shankar Balasubramanian. The models were constructed by Dr Pierre Murat and Dr Marco Di Antonio and photographed by Nathan Pitt.

You can see more photographs of the model on our Facebook pages.
Orbit Material for Mathematics
13 Sep 2012

We've updated our math's set! Used in lessons and math's clubs for more than 40 years, this versatile hands-on construction set has been completely revised and updated.

The new class set includes 38 double sided colour work cards to guide pupils through the construction and investigation of a variety of 2d and 3d shapes and patterns.

Read our related blog posting here.

In Print - 50 year anniversary
23 Jul 2012

You can read all about our first fifty years in the recent article about our anniversary published in the Oxford Times In Business magazine.

Download the article here
Teaching in Uganda
24 May 2012

Some great pictures of our models in action in Uganda sent by Jean Johnson, who runs courses for African chemistry teachers and students, funded by RSC.

These teachers usually teach by dictation and have rarely done practical and never handled models. Jean instructs them to make models of ethene which they then squash so the bonds break and the students rejoin them to make polythene.

The pictures of PVC include students from Sudan and Tanzania.

Jean now has a big box of our models and is planning to extend what she teaches when she next travels to Africa.

You can see more pictures on our facebook page.

Please send any of your own photos which you would like to share to

50th Anniversary Schools Competition
17 May 2012

Win a Tellurium!

As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, one lucky school will win an Orbit Tellurium 2. Simply visit our competition page and answer the question correctly to be entered into the prize draw to win the Tellurium.

The deadline for entry is midnight 30 September 2012. Good luck!
Go fly a kite!
8 Mar 2012

Spring is in the air in the UK. Get out of the classroom and fly your own kites. Download our resource sheet to find out how to make a sled kite or buy one of our kits (great value with 10 kites per pack).

If you ever wondered how we got into kites, read our anniversary blog. In February's posting, John Cochrane looks back on the early years of kite making and where it took us.

Happy flying!
Watch our Tellurium video
3 Apr 2012

Our best selling Orbit Tellurium 2 offers so many ways to introduce and explain the complicated relationships between the Sun, Moon and Earth that we found it hard to explain it all on paper.

So we've made a video to give you an insight into everything you can teach using this versatile model. We hope you enjoy it!
It's our 50th Anniversary!
16 Jan 2012

In 2012 we are celebrating 50 years of trading.

Watch out during the year for some special promotions. In addition we are launching our 50th Anniversary blog – a mixture of memories, new perspectives and a few interesting facts from our staff and customers over the course of the year.

Plus, look out for our new resources sheets – 50 STEM teaching ideas for you to download and use.

Read the first of our blogs and resource sheets now and keep track of updates throughout the year via our Facebook pages.
Get creative with maths
22 Mar 2012

You can now order a starter pack of pre-packed angular nodes and flexible straws based on the Maths and Art project run by Devon Learning & Development Partnership straight from our website.

This new pack – product code 2114 - contains 500 Minit Oxygen Ol joiners and 1000 Minit green straws as used in the project. Other colours and joiners can be purchased here.

For more details of the project visit the Devon Learning & Development Partnership pages.
Best of 2011
30 Dec 2011

We’ve seen some great ‘Best of 2011’ compilations so we thought we’d do our own.

In 2011 our best selling products per category are:

And topping our best sellers list for kite sales this year is the Dunford Birdscarer Mark IV kite.

See our facebook pages for some interesting links to the best in science in 2011.
Wow! What's that??
Until you see it climb into the air, you would be forgiven for doubting that it could fly. Then you set the UFO-SAM kite spinning in the air. The flashing, almost magical flight that follows inspires and thrills old and young alike.

Ideas for outreach activities
20 September 2011

We've noticed an uptake in the use of our products for outreach activities and have pulled together some examples as inspiration for others. See how our kits and construction materials can be used to:

Make learning fun through hands-on experiential activities
Inspire pupils and promote STEM subjects
Motivate pupils of all ages to explore beyond the curriculum

(Picture credit: Ruthin School at Bangor University School of Chemistry's Chemistry Pharmaceutical Outreach event)

Buckyball activity kits
11 August 2011

A fascinating group activity using lecture material from Professor Sir Harry Kroto. Each pack has 100 kits making it a great outreach or extension activity in addition to using in the classroom.

Jonathan Hare from the Creative Science Centre at the University of Sussex has some fantastic instructions to download and comments, "The Buckyball Kits are great! We always use them in our workshops. They allow people to dicsover for themselves the fabulous structure and symmetry of C60."

Click the More Info button for links to activity resources.
Take a look at our new images
28 April 2011

You'll see lots of new product images added to our site - with a few more to follow! Many thanks to the local school children who had great fun demonstrating some of the products.

We hope they give you a better view of our models and apparatus.
Get out front with our new Unit sets and orbitals
10 May 2011

Build crystals, lattices and molecules that the whole class can see with the Unit Molecular Building System. The system features 44mm diameter spheres in seven colours to represent different atoms plus a 25mm white sphere for hydrogen while different shaped pegs and strong alloy tubes allow you to create a number of bonding angles.

And now you can clearly demonstrate VSEPR theory to the whole class - New to the system are packs of model electron orbitals to build any VSEPR shape.

The unit range is available as a Large Demonstration Set of 70 atoms and 90 bonds for building inorganic, organic and biochemical models or as individual parts for bespoke models.
28 January 2011

We hope you enjoy using our new website. Some of the new features we think you'll like are:
- Option to Save your basket for later
- Priority delivery option
- Feedback your views via product reviews

If you have any comments on our website please do contact us.
Need it quickly?
You can now select a priority delivery service for your online orders – simply check the Priority Delivery box in your basket. For orders over £300 you’ll need to contact us for a quote on price and delivery times.
More than 3.5m of DNA
27 January 2011

Take a look at the DNA model constructed by Professor David Ball and a team of helpers at Cleveland State University. It forms part of their celebration of the International Year of Chemistry and took a team of eight 7 hours to construct using 3384 atoms from 4 sets of our Orbit Proview DNA models and stands nearly 14ft high.

We customized the model kits so multiple models could be joined together and Professor Ball said, “Many thanks again for helping us construct such a great piece.”

If you are using our models as part of your IYC celebrations we’d love to hear from you. Send your details and pictures here.
And the winner is...
10 January 2011

Congratulations to Roger Ackroyd from William Lovell school in Lincolnshire who most accurately guessed the number of atoms in the jar at the ASE exhibition in Reading, 6-8 January 2011.

Many thanks to all those who entered - in case you are wondering, the correct number was 1192!

Like our page!
7 Nov 2011

Visit our new Facebook page and share your experiences of using our models and kits.

If you have an outreach activity or learning resource to share, pictures of our products in action or ideas for new ways of using our products then please upload your posts. Alternatively Like our page and use Facebook as a way to stay informed.
Easy eclipses with the Orbit Tellurium
Watch as the Earth orbits the Sun, the moon orbits the Earth and the Earth spins on its axis. The Orbit Tellurium 2 makes easy work of explaining complex relationships - especially eclipses. Use the shadows created by the small earth and moon models - which are set to scale and orbit on separate planes - to show why lunar eclipses do not occur every month.

Other subjects to study include night and day, shadows, changing length of day, phases of the moon, Lunar months and festivals linked to the Moon.

Postcard from Basel
Thanks to everyone that dropped by at WorldDidac in Basel. It’s always great to meet with our customers and get first hand feedback on our products. If you missed us this time we are next exhibiting at the ASE in Reading, UK, 6-8 January 2011.
Astronomy Focus: How to use an Orrery
Download our updated teacher resource for using an orrery. This includes a full guide to teaching the arrangement and motions of the solar system, updated astronomical data for 2011 and suggested classroom ideas. Find out more here...
KidAround magazine reviews Fun Straws
On opening Fun Straws Jacob the eldest instantly grabbed the instruction booklet and made the most complicated looking windmill I think I've ever seen. Sam made a skittle set and the girls made lots of balls to knock them down. It was great to see all of the children playing together and helping each other out. They've all managed to make models with varying degrees of difficultness and it's something they have come back to again and again. The only downside is I'm running out of room to display all the models. I would definitely recommend this construction set to girls or boys as it kept my lot quiet for hours!

Laura White
Jacob 9, Sam 7, Charlotte 6, Chase 3, Lucy 3
New storage boxes for group sets
Sturdy plastic storage solutions to last as long as our sets
More info...
Share your product images
Upload your photos of our products in action to our new gallery page
More info...
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