Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are core components of numerous educational and career pathways. To enhance the appeal of these fundamental fields, there are numerous STEM learning tools and all-in-one hands-on kits. These immersive options expose students to a host of critical education fields in an engaging, hands-on experiential format. From rocket propulsion systems and gravity mazes to hardcover books for aspiring chemists, here are some of the top STEM gifts for kids. Be sure to check out all of TechRepublic’s holiday gift guides.
LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox
The LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox is a great way to introduce children to coding and robotics concurrently. The kit allows children to build five robots including Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, the Multi-Tooled Rover 4, and more. Once constructed, children are tasked with coding these various bots enabling them to dance, play the guitar, rove around the room, and more. This coding kit is intended for children between 7 and 12.
Solar robotics kit
This kit allows children ages 8 and older to design and reconfigure the included robot into 12 different forms ranging from a quadruped to a crab. The included accessories give the bot amphibious capabilities allowing the unit to function on land or water. In certain configurations, the unit is able to thread water to operate as either a “row-bot” or “surf-bot.” The two-in-one drive motor can be powered by batteries or the included solar panel for added versatility indoors or outdoors.
Botley the Coding Robot
Similar to the aforementioned LEGO coding kit, this particular model is geared toward slightly younger children (ages 5 and older). The 77-piece set includes 40 coding cards allowing children to control the roving robot, Botley. Additionally, this kit minimizes screen time and functions without a paired smartphone or tablet.
ThinkFun Gravity Maze
The Gravity Maze uses a series of challenges, blocks, a marble, and gravity to enable creative spatial problem-solving in a unique format. Each maze challenge details a starting and ending point as well as the pieces needed for this particular task. Then children are tasked with arranging the maze cubes so that the marble completes the course. The set includes 60 different challenges and these increase in complexity from beginner mazes to more advanced offerings. The Gravity Maze is recommended for children 8 and older.
Mega Fossil Dig Kit
The Mega Fossil Dig kit provides a hands-on archeological experience for children. Using the provided tools, children are tasked with excavating 16 real fossils from the sediment including dinosaur, shark, mosasaur, and ammonite fossils. The kit also includes a 16-page guide detailing fossil formation, identification tips, and more.
Weather Science Kit
The 4M Weather Science Kit is a great STEM gift for kids; especially aspiring meteorologists and earth scientists. This model allows children to gain a better understanding of the water cycle and other meteorological phenomena through a series of hands-on experiments. This kit is designed for children ages 8 and older.
Beginner Microscope STEM Kit
A beginner’s microscope is a great way to introduce children to the microscopic world around them. This 52-piece kit includes 10 prepared slides as well as blank slides allowing children to prepare their own specimens. The microscope offers magnification ranging from 120x to 1200x and the unit comes with a carrying case for convenient stowing and transportability for child scientists on the move.
Green Science Rocket Kit
A rocket kit is a great way to introduce children to physics, aerodynamics, and design. The Green Science Rocket Kit includes materials to build two paper rockets as well as the launch system. Individuals will need to add two plastic bottles to function as the launch stand and propulsion delivery system.
Elements hardcover book
This hardcover book provides an illustrated tour through the periodic table for young chemists, detailing these elements alongside photography and informative guides. Together, these elements provide a clearer understanding of the role these elements play in our day-to-day lives in an easy-to-read format. This STEM gift for children could also act as a reference material for future school projects.