Alignex Blog

The Best STEM Gifts of 2017

Kevin Breindel on November 30, 2017 at 11:30 AM

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It's that time of year again. Our waistlines are still recovering from Thanksgiving feasts, the weather man continues to threaten us with more snow and the realization we haven't even started our Christmas shopping is beginning to set in. Tis the season, am I right?

Although we can't help you with the first two, we over here at Alignex have taken the time to compile some of our favorite STEM gifts available this holiday season. So strap in, dig out that credit card and get ready to discover some incredible toy options that will convince your kids to put down the screen for 5 minutes and start learning (even if they don't know it). 

Ages: 2-4

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

Goodnight Lab: A Scientific Parody

A parody of the children's book classic "Goodnight Moon," Goodnight Lab gives your kids a behind-the-scenes look at what life in a laboratory is like. It's a great story for the little ones but also contains just enough humor to give parents a laugh as well. Think of it as a Pixar short, only in book form. ($13)

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

Totter Tower Bamboo Stacking Set

Add an extra level of difficulty to your standard blocks set with the Totter Tower Bamboo Stacking Set. Designed by Hape, a German company focused on enhancing child development skills, this uniquely-angled block set encourages kids to be more creative when building their creations. They are well-made, affordable and a great stocking stuffer for that picky 2-4 year old who you just can't shop for. ($25)

 

Ages: 5-7

 

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

Osmo Starter Kit

Compatible with all versions of the iPad 2 and up, Osmo aims to give children an interactive learning experience that bridges the digital and physical worlds. With a wide variety of expansions available, you don't have to worry about running out of new experiences for your children to engage with. ($80)

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

Sum Swamp Game

Sum Swamp is the perfect balance of education and entertainment. In order to progress across the board, kids are required to roll 2 number dice and 1 math symbol dice, then do the math to continue. It's simple, it's fun, and it helps kids gain more confidence in their mathematical skills. Also, it's super cheap. ($15)

 

Ages: 8-13

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

TKx400i Dual-LED Microscope

I still to this day remember the old microscope my family had growing up. I spent hours "researching" slides of all sorts of things ranging from bugs, to plants, to even the "dinosaur bones" I found in my backyard. This is the perfect gift for that kid who just wants to learn as much about how the world works as possible. Pick it up, you won't regret it. ($80)

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

Piper Computer Kit

Teach your kids engineering and programming with this miniature home computer. The Piper Computer Kit contains everything needed for kids to build, code, and play their own Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft. Turn your child's favorite game into a hands-on learning experience they are sure to remember for years to come.  ($300)

 

Ages: 14 & Up

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 

OK, this one is a bit personal. We gave one of these away at our MechFuse event back in September and I was shocked we were able to get it out of the office without one of our engineers walking off with it. Blending together both science and history, this set is a great one to sit down and build together. Pick it up for your kids......or yourself. ($120)

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

Wonder Workshop Cue Robot

Practice your programming skills with the Wonder Workshop Cue Robot. Using Emotive AI, kids can program Cue to act with a variety of different attitudes. Plus, since it uses block and JavaScript, kids will get an easy to learn introduction to programming language without being scared away by too much complexity. ($200)

 

Ages: Too Old to Be on this List

The 2017 STEM Toys Buyers Guide

 

Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon

OK, this one is not for the faint of heart. Boasting an insane price tag ($800...ouch) the new Millennium Falcon is the largest set in Lego history. If you can get over the sticker shock, it is hands down an amazing gift for that tech nerd in your family who can't get enough of that galaxy far far away. So if anybody in my family is reading this right now.....this is how you become my new favorite. ($800, currently in production. Don't overpay.) 

Conclusion

There are certainly more things that could be added to this list, but hopefully this gives you the kind of head start needed to knock out all of your holiday shopping before it's too late. Nobody wants to be the one running down to the gas station the night before and loading your family's stockings full of $5 scratch offs. Trust me, I know.

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