There is a lot of debate at the moment about whether the US is going through an engineering crisis. Some say we have too few graduates applying for science, technology, engineering and math careers. Others say that we have more than enough.
However, it doesn’t matter which side of the camp you lie on. There is so much potential for your children to enjoy an excellent career if you nurture their interest in STEM subjects. Here is a selection of super cool toys that will help you do just that.
Trobo is an excellent toy for kids as young as two years old. It tells children interactive stories with science, technology, engineering and math at their core. We featured it a year or so ago when they were trying to raise funds through Kickstarter - which they passed with flying colors. Read more about Trobo here.
Three Little Piggies
Kids as young as three will enjoy the Three Little Piggies game. It’s perfect for developing skills in logic, reasoning and spatial awareness. It’s a puzzle, block building-style game in which the kids have to protect the three little pigs from a wolf by rotating pieces of their house. Three Little Piggies is a lot of fun - check it out here.
(Image: Flickr/Arjan Oude Kotte)
It’s hard to quantify just how much LEGO has contributed to the world of science. I know several engineers, for example. Each of them remembers using the building blocks of LEGO as kids, and all state it’s importance in developing their interest in the subject. There is so much you can do with the stuff, and LEGO sets are a perennial hit for Christmas and birthdays. There are only two issues I have with LEGO. The first is that they hurt - a lot - when you step on a small piece! Also, they can be too small for younger children - parents with toddlers should start them out with DUPLO instead.
It can be tough to get beyond the sinister aspect of drones - until you get to control one yourself! They are great fun, and your kids will be fascinated by them. My advice would be to get a photography drone so that it introduces your children to seeing the world a little differently. Check out what’s on offer here - prophotouav.com - for a good example. They are an impressive feat of engineering and ideal for introducing some basics of science. Do you children want to know what it’s like to fly like a bird? Are they interested in their place in the world? Send up a camera with a drone and you can go a long way to opening their eyes to many different things.
Let’s move on to computing with the Raspberry Pi. We’re living in exciting times, when computing is almost entirely democratic. In years passed, only the wealthiest households would have a computer at home - now they are everywhere. And, coding is slowly becoming a part of the education system, too. Give you kids a head start by introducing them to Raspberry Pi. It’s a fantastic way of teaching kids how computers work, and how you can connect devices together.
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