I think we can all agree that robots are pretty awesome. As the world becomes more and more automated, the more you know about this rapidly growing field, the better position you’ll be in to contribute to the modern workforce.
But where do begin to learn about something as advanced as robotics? Well, this is a good place to start! If you’re looking for gifts that will teach people about how machines work, this STEM robot gift guide is just what Santa ordered. Learning about robotics and coding might sound intimidating, but with these great toys, you’ll be giving the gift of knowledge AND fun this year.
If you don’t already know, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The idea behind STEM toys is to give young kids an exciting and fun introduction to some really valuable career skills in today’s tech-driven world. There are many different levels of involvement when it comes to STEM toys, and ages from as young as 3 all the way up to high school. Many STEM toys also feature some sort of coding element, which opens the door to full-fledged coding languages in later life. To learn more about STEM education toys and everything they can do, check out this article.
First up, the Airblock Drone STEM Toy. This cute little drone is not only basically indestructible, its modular design means you can put it into a variety of configurations.
There is one primary module and six propeller modules that attach using magnetic connectors. You can transform it from a drone to a hovercraft very easily, and because it’s all attached with magnets, if you crash it and it falls apart, no problem! Just snap it all back together and you’re good to go.
You can control the Makeblock Drone with a simple graphical interface, and it doesn’t require any real coding experience. You can control the Drone with your phone, so picking it up and learning how to fly is a breeze.
All of these features make it very entry level friendly, so if you have a kid on your shopping list that’s interested in drones, (it’s rated for 8 and up) this is a great place to start.
Ultimate 2.0 Robot Kit
If you’re going to call your robot Kit “Ultimate” you better be able to back it up. Luckily, in this case, the name is deserved.
The Ultimate 2.0 has over 160 metal parts, along with 80 types of electronic modules, so you really are only limited by your imagination. It also includes three encoder motors, a robotic arm, four DC motors, and a bluetooth module, so you can create just about anything you can think up.
If that sounds intimidating, fear not, because the Ultimate 2.0 robot kit comes with instructions for creating 10 different designs that can serve as starting points for beginners. Follow the instructions to get a handle on your part kit, then let your imagination run wild!
This robot kit supports Python programming, Arduino IDE programming, graphical programming and Node JS for those of you with experience. For those with less programming expertise, there is an app that allows you to control the robot with a simple user interface.
The Ultimate 2.0 is an excellent place to start for anyone who is interested in learning how robots really work, while giving enough room for growth and exploration. You can pick up the Ultimate 2.0 building kit here for $349.99.
Piper Educational Computer
If the Ultimate 2.0 seems a little too complex, the Piper Educational Computer might be a good choice. This is a computer that children can put together every step of the way, and finish off by playing a Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft.
This kit includes everything you need to build as fully functional computer, including a wooden box to house the components, a seven inch, 800 x 480 LCD screen, a 6000mAh battery, a speaker, a Raspberry Pi as the brains of the whole thing, and an SD card for storage.
By following the instructions, kids can learn what a computer actually works, instead of just how to use one. While putting together the Piper Educational Computer, children will learn valuable technical and problem solving skills that will be very useful in our increasingly computer based world.
Plus, who doesn’t love Minecraft?
Check out the Piper Educational Computer on sale for $299.99.
Robolink Codrone Programmable Drone
Drones are becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives for better or worse, so understanding how they operate is important.
The Codrone is interesting because it’s not just a fully functional drone, it also teaches you how to program with Arduino.
It’s a durable little guy, perfect for young people, and the unique approach of packaging a drone both as a toy and as an educational tool to teach real world programming is a compelling proposition. It’s great for a classroom setting, but the Robolink Codrone is an excellent gift for anyone who is interested in drones, or learning how to program with real world applications.
There’s plenty of resources available to help you along the way as well, you’ll have access to helpful guides and support to get your Codrone up and flying in as little as ten minutes.
You can pick up a Robolink Codrone for $179.99.
Augie – AR Coding Robot
If the young one you’re shopping for (or if you’re shopping for yourself, we won’t judge!) is more interested in robots as opposed to drones, the Augie Augmented Reality robot might be the perfect gift.
Augie is designed to introduce children to coding, while simultaneously sharpening critical thinking and coordination skills. With Augie, a child can learn from coding tutorials using a free intuitive app. They can play augmented reality games with Augie, while learning how machines think and operate.
The future of play with STEM toys
So there you have it! Though there are countless educational STEM toys, this collection represents some of the best, over a fairly broad spectrum. Whether it’s modular drones or AR (Augmented Reality) robots that help teach children the valuable skills they need to thrive in our modern world, these STEM toys are sure to be a big hit for the holidays and beyond.
For more STEM toys and maker products, visit Newegg’s Maker Hub.