As we draw close towards the fag end of 2017, most of us are looking ahead to the new year to unravel and learn new things that will be fun and innovative. But how do we find something that is of high educational value, bang for the buck and at the same time productive since the market is extremely crowded with too many products and claimants?
A very thoughtful and thorough research on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) tools is the need of the hour. However, as technology advances at a very fast pace, and new products are being launched in the market every single day, researching consistently is a time consuming process. Therefore, we have made an effort to make it easier for you and your child and narrowed down on a hotlist of STEM kits that you can tinker with in 2018.
We have compiled a list of STEM kits that are not just about academic subjects, but also about enhancing your creativity skills, besides adding on to your fun and hands-on quotient. Here’s our list of 5 kits that are innovative, imaginative and educative.
For those of you who love to experiment with chemicals and love the reactions thereafter, Thames and Kosmos’ CHEM C3000 can be the perfect kit to watch out for. Considered to be one of the most sought-after chemistry sets, this is an upgrade from the CHEM C2000. This kit comes with dozens of extra tools, chemicals and over 100 experiments and will let you dabble with about 333 projects.
Recommended for 12 years and above, CHEM C3000 also includes an all-color, 192-page instruction manual. With topics like atomic structure, chemical equations and periodic table among others, CHEM C3000 delves into more advanced topics and lays the foundation for a child’s high-school chemistry. This kit follows the hands-on approach of the previous CHEM kits.
Priced at $199.99 it is available on its website as well as on Amazon. The kit also has its CHEM C-2000, CHEM C1000 and CHEM C500 versions. The lower versions come at a lower price tag than the CHEM C3000 edition.
If playing with circuits or working with raw electronic components is what you enjoy, then KIT-1 is what you should look out for. Focussed on teaching electronics in the most simplest and comprehensive way possible, this kit from Mand Labs comes bundled with all requisite hardware, tools and electronic components in one place required to build an array of 50+ projects. KIT-1 will let you physically play, understand and build circuits hands-on with real world parts.
Meant for any tinkerer or enthusiast above 14 years, the kit comes with two visually rich reference books that help you visualize concepts and build a strong theoretical base. If you feel you need to understand the concepts better, the complementary learning videos consisting of lectures will help you with live assembly of projects and schematics. The best part of the kit lies is in its step-by-step visual building instructions. It also offers a rich curriculum covering complete basics of current and electricity and semiconductors that comes handy in understanding high school and college level physics.
You can also upgrade your kit to advanced learning modules that cover integrated circuits, sensors and programming. So, based on your requirement, you can either opt for the KIT-1 Standard Edition, priced at $149.99 or KIT-1 Premium Edition at $199.99.
Anybody who is interested in robotics and loves programing, can check out the VEX IQ Starter Kit with Controller from Vex Robotics. Focused on introduction to STEM and robotics, the kit comes with a handheld controller and a pre-programmed code to drive robots straight out of the box. It also includes over 850 structural and motion components.
Approved for anyone above 8 years, VEX IQ comes with smart motors, sensors, robot brain, controller and batteries. It also has a storage bin and a tray that takes care of the storage of all parts. The graphical instructions will let you build the Clawbot IQ and the intuitive snap together VEX IQ pieces will let your imagination run wild .
Priced at $277.99, VEX IQ Starter Kit with Controller, is available on its own website and also on Amazon. It comes with bumper switch, gyro sensor, touch LED among others. Vex Robots also has the VEX IQ Starter Kit with Sensors, which focuses on STEM and sensor integration. It comes with almost all the same components as the Starter Kit with Controller and is placed at the same pricing at $277.99.
The Piper Computer Kit with Minecraft Raspberry Pi edition is another way to motivate your child to start building things with electronics and coding. Piper focuses on tapping a child’s potential to learn about technology through its computer kit, which comes with everything you need to assemble your own computer.
Targeted for children between eight and 12 years, the hand-crafted wooden computer kit comes with an LCD screen monitor, self-contained computer running on a Raspberry Pi 3 project board, LEDs, motion sensors, buzzers, buttons and switches, USB mouse with a retractable cable, Raspberry Pi-edition of Minecraft adventure play with hardware components and challenges.
With a price tag of $299.99, the kit that is wi-fi enabled, is available on its own website and also on Amazon. It also comes with a laminated instruction that will help you and your kid in assembling your computer. So, if you need to teach your child about engineering and programming, check out the Piper’s computer kit.
Stembox is a great way to empower your little girl in STEM. Based on a monthly-subscription model, Stembox sends over a new science experiment kit with all the essential components to complete the projects. The pack also includes all the safety tools, instructions and video tutorials to guide you through the experiments.
Designed for girls from seven to 13 years, Stembox focuses on inspiring little girls to get interested in STEM with their regular stream of monthly science experiments. The projects that can be done at home include experiments on DNA extraction using strawberries, LED lights powered by lemons among many others.
Stembox’s subscription has three-term length, starting from 3-month prepay of $87 or $29 a month; 6-month prepay for $168 or $28 a month; 12-month prepay for $300 or $25 a month. So, whether your child loves chemistry or electrical engineering, computer programming or math, spatial awareness or biology, Stembox has an experiment for all your child’s science needs.
Do you want to add some more STEM kits to our list? Please feel free to enlighten us in the comments section.
Note - We have not covered educational and construction toys in this list. We looked at raw kits that are oriented towards hands-on education, and project-based learning in STEM.