12 Educational STEM Gifts for 2016

chem-c3000Homeschooling parents play an important role in promoting their students’ academic success. So they are always on the lookout for that perfect educational gift, especially one that makes learning fun! For this holiday season we’ve put together a list of top STEM gifts that includes a varied assortment of items for every budget, from 3D printers and recycled robots to chemistry sets and gardening kits.

STEM Gifts < $20

Galileo Thermometer This colorful glass thermometer is based on Galileo’s theory: in liquid, a body of fixed mass becomes less buoyant as the liquid temperature rises, and more buoyant as the temperature decreases, due to changes in liquid density. As the temperature changes, the multi-colored spheres will rise and fall within this liquid-filled thermostatic tube. The instrument indicates the ambient temperature between 64-80 degrees F. Invented 400 years ago by Galileo Galilei, a pioneer of modern physics and astronomy. Educational and fun for all ages!

Human Anatomy Model Kit This skeleton replica is great for display and instruction, a must-have for anatomy class. Easily follow the step-by-step pictorial instructions to build the skeleton while learning the names and locations of the major bones and how they support the body. The Activity Guide provides additional interesting facts on the functions of each bone. The completed model measures 9″H when assembled.

OWI Super Solar Recycler By making use of old disks, bottles, and beverage cans, you can make six different model robots. The Super Solar Recycler Kit is powered completely by natural light so you never have to worry about batteries! All you need to get started is included in the kit (solar panel, motor, and instructions), along with some recycled materials you can find around the house. Turn a soda can into a Street Roller or Walking Robot, use a plastic water bottle to create Bottle Yacht, Drummer Robot and Flying Bird, and even turn your old scratched CD’s into a CD Racer. Ages 13+.

STEM Gifts < $30

Nature’s Blossom Sow & Grow Kit Nature’s Blossom’s indoor grow kit contains everything you need to grow five popular culinary herbs from seed: Basil, Thyme, Cilantro, Parsley, and Sage. It’s a unique and original indoor gardening project for the entire family. Perfect Christmas present for men and women, boys and girls, teachers, gardeners, and for mom or dad. Step-by-step sowing and growing instruction manual are included so it’s great for beginners. Made in the USA.

ROCK ON! Geology Game with Rock & Mineral CollectionThis educational science game kit offers STEM-based, hands-on learning while exploring Earth’s geological treasures. Includes 15 rock and mineral specimens, plus over 60 polished rock and mineral pieces. Also includes player cards for up to 6 players, a Master Rock Guide, and 18 rock and mineral cards filled with educational and fun facts. All enclosed in a carrying case with an easy-grip-handle. Various levels of play will keep 6-year-old, 16-year-old, and 60-year-old rock lovers excited to play this game. Made in the USA.

STEM Gifts < $40

Molecular Model KitThis is an excellent set for both students and teachers to aid in organic and inorganic chemistry studies. It contains a total of 252 pieces made of durable and sturdy plastic which are color coded to national standards. Makes chemistry an interactive hands-on activity for students in grades 7-12, to visually demonstrate molecular geometry and structure of compounds and other molecular shapes. Made in the USA.

Microscope SlidesSet of 100 prepared glass slides including plants, insects, and animal tissues for use in biological education (zoology, biology, botany, anatomy and physiology). Perfect for all levels of study up to college. This set comes in a nice wooden storage case with a guide sheet. (Or you can get a smaller set of 25 slides.)

STEM Gifts < $50

Solar Lab 1.0 – One of the most advanced solar energy educational kits on the market, SolarLab is being used at middle schools, high schools and universities around the U.S. and internationally. Designed to teach students ages 12+ how solar cells work and how they can be used in real electrical circuits that are simple to build, the SolarLab 1.0 contains 10 step-by-step labs in a clearly-written illustrated manual to guide you through the basics of solar electricity. You will learn: all about solar photovoltaic electricity and the history of solar; how to build circuits to power different devices; how to use a digital multimeter to learn about voltage, current, power and resistance; adding voltage with series circuits; adding current with parallel circuits; how to build a solar battery charger and LED light. The kit includes: comprehensive 44 page manual with 10 lab exercises, multi-voltage solar panel with adjustable stand, digital multimeter, motor with fan blade and stand, LED’s, diode, resisters, battery holder, batteries, and test leads.

Water Garden Fish Tank – Bring the garden inside with the Back to the Roots Water Garden. This mini aquaponic tank is a closed-loop ecosystem — the betta fish waste fertilizes the plants on top, and the plants filter and clean the water for your fish. You can even add a snail for good measure. The Water Garden aquaponic kit comes with everything you need to get started including: 3-gallon fish tank, organic wheatgrass and radish sprout seeds, a coupon for your betta fish, fish food, natural fertilizer, a silent, submersible water pump, gravel, and growstones. Learn more about the science inside your fish tank — download the Water Garden curriculum at backtotheroots.com for lessons on the history of aquaponics, how it works, and the benefits of home and commerical aquaponics. Made in the USA.

STEM Gifts < $100

Student Microscope – This microscope comes with full optical glass elements, metal framework, 360 degree rotatable monocular head, and LED illumination. It offers five magnification settings: 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X and 1000X. It’s an ideal microscope for science students from elementary to high school – and it’s the same quality as those used in schools and colleges. Excellent value! You can also get a complete Student Microscope Set that comes with the microscope, slides, book, and other accessories.

STEM Gifts > $100

Thames & Kosmos CHEM C3000 (V 2.0) – CHEM C3000 is the ultimate chemistry set. This kit includes all of the components from CHEM C2000, plus dozens of additional tools and chemicals, and 100 additional experiments, for a total of more than 333 experiments. The 192-page, full-color experiment manual is written at a more advanced level than the other CHEM kit manuals. You could call it a textbook, but the manual is too much fun to make that comparison. CHEM C3000 has a similar hands-on approach to teaching chemistry as the manufacturer’s other CHEM kits, but also teaches more advanced topics such as chemical equations, atomic structures, and the periodic table. These concepts are critical to continued study of chemistry. CHEM C3000 is an excellent preparation for high school level chemistry. Ages 12 and up.

3D Printer – Not your ordinary STEAM toy, this is a real 3D printer! The XYZ da Vinci miniMaker is a desktop 3D printer designed for beginners. It has an auto-leveling bed and auto-calibrating extruder module to make the best possible prints, while the printer is lightweight and compact to fit easily in tight places. The 5.9-inch square print bed is non-heated and uses PLA filaments that are DEHP-free and heavy metal-free, ensuring that the prints are safe for children and family. Replacement filaments will cost between $20-30 each.

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