In the 1960s and 70s, a 'benefit' of a domestic cleaning job was that a child could be taken to work by mother. Presumably, the children were about 50:50 by sex, and that they learned that cleaning is/was hard work.

Whilst you can't buy 'Petro-chemical Engineering Starter Kits', you can still get crystal growing kits off the shelf or assemble a safe electroplating kit. Children can safely assemble a basic primary cell battery.

Just don't lick your fingers!