If you want proof that human ingenuity is an infinite resource, just look at the toy and game industry. Every year, there’s a new pile of shiny objects to inspire curiosity and family fun. We take games seriously here in the TAME office (don’t let the elf hats fool you). After weeks of research into 2015’s offerings, we’re pleased to offer you over 60 suggestions for gifts all about STEM–science, tech, engineering, and math.
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TAME’s 2015 Holiday STEM Gift Guide: Staff Picks
Staff Pick Gift Ideas
Möbi, the Numerical Tile Game – Möbi is a fun, fast-paced number tile game, like Scrabble or Bananagrams. The goal is to make simple math equations as quickly as possible—a great way for kids or grown-ups to apply math skills. Plus, it comes in an adorable blue whale. $24.95
Hoverkraft Levitating Construction Challenge – Hoverkraft is an old-school building game with a twist. Players take turns stacking pieces on a platform… that levitates. Using magnetic repulsion, they’ve built a gameboard that defies gravity (take that, weak force!). Stack translucent game pieces higher and higher or remove them as the die dictates. The last player to place a block without causing the platform to tumble wins. $29.99
Universal Smartphone Microscope – Perfect for young scientists! The bright LED light of the magnifying glass provides enough light at dim conditions, and you can adjust focus and light angle. A precision illuminated pocket microscope with 60X power to discover the world. $7.99
3Doodler 3D Printing Pen – Just draw in the air and you’ll be 3D printing with plastic. Safer than welding or glue! Bondic dries by using the attached UV light, which hardens the substance in seconds. But even better, it won’t dry UNTIL you use the light. So you can figure out exactly how you want to repair a crack or bolster a weak area and only apply the light when you’re ready. No need to apply pressure, either. Use this liquid welder to build anything your mind can make your hands draw. $99.99
You-Build-It Headphones– Featuring swivel-mount earpieces, multicolored LEDs, a pre-assembled PC board and an adjustable headband, these DIY Headphones are great for a kid into tech and engineering. Kids will learn about electricity and sound while using the 16-page instruction booklet. Features pulsating lights that sync to your beats. $14.93
T4 Transforming Solar Robot – A Transformer that just needs direct sunlight? It’s more than meets the eye. T4 Transforming Solar Robot Kit! Assemble a robot that transforms via direct sunlight with four different shapes! Large enough parts that younger students can participate in building it, too. $17.95
Trailblazer Visit to Community of Your Choice – The TAME Traiblazers connect students to STEM concepts and real-life educational and career tracks. Every year, our science-museums-on-wheels travel more than 17,000 miles, delivering hands-on STEM excitement and inspiration to over 20,000 kids in communities across Texas. Where will the Trailblazers travel next? You can decide! Every $1000 you give will bring a Trailblazer to a community of your choice somewhere in Texas. The Trailblazers don’t just show kids the moon—they show them how to get there. This year, give your community students the gift of inspiration and show them a way to a great future.
Leveling Up in Electronics
Makey Makey Kit – Turn everyday objects like bananas into touchpads! Connect the world around you to your computer. Setup takes just seconds. Just plug, clip, and play, no programming knowledge needed. 1000s of possibilities! Draw your own game controller! Dance like never before! $49.95, Ages 8 & up.
littleBits Electronics Gizmos & Gadgets Kit – The Gizmos & Gadgets Kit comes with 15 electronic building blocks, detailed instructions for 12 projects, and all the accessories and tools you need to unleash the inventor within. Create, play, remix, then share your creations with the world. Spark imagination while building science, technology, art and math skills. Develop skills for careers that haven’t been invented yet! Invent new creations, or give everyday objects new superpowers. $199.95, Ages 8 and up.
STEM Gift collections worth exploring:
Other ideas for boys and girls to build their own big dreams: