According to the folks over at Springwise, one day, many new full-sized homes may resemble the Power House. The $149.95 miniature model from science-kit distributor Thames & Kosmos comes with a working green house, solar panels, a wind mill and a desalinization system. The kit’s aim: teach children what it’s like to live off the grid, and get them (and their parents) to “consider a life without fossil fuel.” To make the experience more realistic, the user manual incorporates a storyline about high-tech pioneers inhabiting a small island who must make use of limited resources to survive. The 70 experiments and 20 building projects that form part of the kit mimic the tasks the kit’s fictional pioneers must perform.

As environmental awareness becomes a dominant theme, it’s no surprise that green-tech learning toys such as the Power House are emerging. One popular example: in 2006, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, a Singapore-based maker of hydrogen fuel cells for consumer products, debuted the $115 H-racer, a fuel-cell powered toy car that comes with a solar-powered hydrogen generating station and needs only water to run. The H-racer won kudos from Time and BusinessWeek, and spawned a number of competitors. Full Story