This year why not put some scientific knowledge under your Christmas tree? STEM toys enable students of all ages to learn, play, and discover while providing exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math concepts. Even teenagers enjoy STEM activities that spark their curiosity, allow them learn while having fun, and teach them something new. Best of all, STEM toys can double as educational tools or as inspiration for a science fair project. Here is a great selection of STEM gift ideas for older kids and teens! Click through the links to purchase the products on Amazon.com.
LEGO Research Institute – The Research Institute has everything that you need to explore the world below, around and above us! Created by real-life geoscientist Ellen Kooijman (alias: Alatariel) and selected by LEGO Ideas members (formerly known as CUUSOO), this collection of scenes depicts three varied professions within the world of natural science. Help the paleontologist study the origin of dinosaurs with the magnifying glass, map the skies with the astronomer and her telescope, and assist the chemist as she carries out experiments in her lab. This set includes building instructions as well as a booklet containing information about the creator and an introduction to each of the professions featured in the set. There’s a whole world of exciting professions out there to explore – build and role play them to see if they suit you! Includes 3 female minifigure scientists: a paleontologist, an astronomer, and a chemist. This set is extremely popular but it’s a limited edition that’s really hard to find!
AcuRite Color Weather Station with Forecast/Temperature/Humidity – Plan the day with confidence using accurate weather prediction information right from your own backyard. The AcuRite Color Digital Weather Station uses patented Self-Calibrating Technology to provide your personal forecast of 12 to 24 hour weather conditions. Self-Calibrating Forecasting is generated from weather data measured by a sensor in your yard – giving you the most accurate forecast available for your exact location. The backlit LCD screen includes indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity, moon phase, barometric pressure with weather trend indicator, time and date. Intelli-Time clock automatically updates itself for Daylight Saving Time. Display stands upright for tabletop use or is wall-mountable. The outdoor sensor features powerful wireless technology, a weather-resistant design, and an integrated hanger for easy mounting. Or step it up a notch with the AcuRite Wireless Weather Station with Wind and Rain Sensor.
K’NEX Education Investigating Solar Energy – Go green and bring STEM concepts to life while enhancing your understanding of renewable energy. Build six different models with this 128-piece K’NEX construction set that runs on solar energy (a sunny windowsill will work). Designed originally for the classroom, it will provide a hands-on experience of building a working machine from scratch, while learning real world math and science concepts. The set comes in a good-sized tub for easy storage. Building instructions and a teacher’s guide aligned to National STEM Standards are included. See also: K’NEX Education Exploring Wind and Water Energy. For ages 10 – 15.
Thames and Kosmos Gyrobot-Gyroscopic Robot Kit – Did you know that gyroscopes are used in countless devices? From smartphones, tablets, and video game controllers to airplanes and space telescopes! With this experiment kit, young engineers can experiment with and learn about the physical science principles of gyroscopic devices and the indispensable role they play in our lives. Seven motorized projects include the gyroscopic robot, a balancing personal vehicle, a gyro horizon (or artificial horizon), a gyrocompass, a balancing game, a tightrope walker, and a flight simulator. A full-color, 24-page, illustrated experiment manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions and scientific explanations. For ages 10 – 15.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 – Unleash the creative powers of the new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set that combines the versatility of the LEGO building system with an easy, intuitive, icon-based programming interface. Build and command robots that walk, talk, think, and do anything you can imagine! Mindstorms EV3 is expensive, but just think of it as a school robotics curriculum and it seems more approachable, especially if you have multiple kids who can use it. For ages 8+.
Snap Circuits SC-750R Student Electronics Training Program – The Model SC-750R is an in-depth exploration of electronic components, ideal for use in homeschooling (middle school and high school), to teach students the basic principles of electronics. The Student Guide for the SC-750R includes 138 pages of educational curriculum written with the help of educators, essential in covering all topics related to electricity and electronics including real world applications. The teacher guide is meant to prepare educators for proper introduction of Snap Circuits and guide them through each chapter with quizzes for students to test their knowledge. Topics covered include: Resistors, Capacitors, Transistors, Motors, Integrated Circuits, Switches, Series Circuits, Parallel Circuits, Batteries, Relays, Transformers, Digital Recording, 7-segment Displays, SCRs, Analog Meters, Diodes, FM Radio. For ages 8 – 15. You can also buy the Student Guide, Teacher Guide, and Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Discovery Kit separately (you just won’t have the handy storage case).
4M Math Magic Kit – Amaze your audience with number tricks, speed calculations and funny math tricks. Kit includes a keychain calculator and everything you need to do more than15 tricks, puzzles and games. Perfect for math enthusiasts and magicians! For ages 8+.
Think Fun Math Dice – In this captivating 3D math game, players try to get closest to the target number by creating different equations using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, even powers. You won’t believe how much fun math can be! For ages 8 – 15.