Awesome learning STEM gifts for middle schoolers to help build strong foundations in science, technology, engineering and math.
Finding gifts for preteens and teenagers can be a challenge, and it’s very easy to just throw them a gift card. But birthdays and Christmases are much more fun when there are actual gifts to open, don’t you agree?
It could be a huge challenge to come up with thoughtful gifts that your kids will actually use, which is why I’ve compiled this list of STEM gifts for middle schoolers and pre-teens.
We love STEM games in our family, and I often spend hours at a time having fun (ego state) with the children as they play with their engaging board games which actually teach them science, math, and more.
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This includes all the topics, skills and fields that fall under the umbrella of these topics. While STEM gifts may be great for any age, they are specifically aimed at helping kids develop their STEM skills.
STEM gifts encourage children to explore their curious minds and learn more about the world around them. Middle school is the perfect time to start encouraging your child to develop their STEM skills.
This will help them for years to come, whether they pursue an engineering or scientific career, or not. STEM gifts have been shown to help children develop useful skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.
Encouraging your tween to explore STEM gifts can help them develop into better, smarter, more informed citizens who are ready to take on the world!
The Best STEM Gifts For Middle Schoolers
The ELEGOO Mega 2560 Project is an awesome STEM gift for middle schoolers and it is all about learning electronics.
Your teen can use this kit to learn all about electronics and how they work. They can make tests and experiments with all the many sensors buttons and diodes that come included in the kit.
This is a great way for your child to get introduced to Arduino.
Here are 6 easy projects you can do with this 2560 project kit:
This M4 DIY Mechanical Engineering Airboat is a great tool to help kids learn about how hovercrafts work.
This kit challenges imagination and is perfect for young scientists. Your child can build their very own hovercraft and watch it glide across tables and floors in your home.
Help your child learn how toys are built and how they function with this awesome STEM gift for middle schoolers.
How this airboat racer kit works:
Did you have a RUBIKS Cube in your home when you were a kid? Check out this GoCube! It’s a modern day rubiks cube that connects to bluetooth.
Why do you need a rubiks cube that connects to a smart phone?
Well, the smartphone helps track the movements that are made when the child tries to solve the puzzle, which helps make improvements for the next time they solve this puzzle.
You can also connect with others via cell phone and have rubiks cube battles. How fun is that? Imagine siblings having a Rubiks cube battle instead of fighting over Minecraft on the X Box.
Need One now?
Here is how the GoCUBE Works:
The Kitables DIY Mini Drone is a very cool hands on STEM project kit.
It does require a little bit of soldering which is a great skill for anyone to have.
The drone takes approximately 30 minutes to put together, and then it provides hours of fun for your teen.
Teens tend to love drones, and sometimes they don’t grow out of it, so you can’t go wrong with a drone STEM gift for your middle schooler.
This project is recommended for kids ages 13 and up because of the required soldering, but if you can help, then I bet your extra smart 10-year-old could benefit from this kit too!
The SpaceRail Game is all about learning physics!
Physics was my FAVORITE subject in school and I absolutely adore this STEM toy. Who says toys are for kids anyway.
This game is very straightforward. Build the rail and let the marbles roll.
Just one thing. Use physics to figure out the balance between gravity and force.
STEM toys don’t have to be dull and boring, they can be exciting!
Check out this SpaceRail set up:
I know, that seems a little early, but hey, the kids just love it.
It’s so much fun to learn how electricity flows and to put circuits together on a board and make a light bulb light up or a sound go off is so satisfying!
Honestly, my kids know more about how electricity works than I do at this point, and it’s all thanks to Snap Circuits.
Here is a snap circuits Extreme review:
More STEM Gift Ideas
- STEM Kits- Perfect for kids who love to build things, STEM kits are the perfect gift for kids of all ages, but especially tweens. STEM kits allow tweens to build rockets, robots, bridges, and more! STEM kits are great for helping your child get creative and learn engineering skills.
- Games- While not all games are STEM gifts, there are certainly some options. There are tons of board games that encourage problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration.
- Telescopes- Looking at the stars is something that almost every kid has dreamed of doing at some point. Telescopes make this possible, and are a great way for tweens to explore STEM subjects.
- Virtual Reality Headsets- Virtual reality is a huge part of the world today, and tweens can get in on the action with VR headsets. VR headsets allow your child to explore new places, play games, and even do things like visit museums or take virtual tours!
- Electronic Devices & Programming Kits- Engineering is one of the STEM fields that is often discarded with the idea that only boys like it. While engineers can work with a lot of different things, electronics is a good example of an engineering field that tweens can explore. There are also programming kits that tweens can use to create their own robotic toys or even apps!
Why is STEM Education So Important?
STEM occupations are on the rise and STEM degree holders are reported to have a higher income than non STEM degree holders. Science, technology, engineering, and math play a key role in the economy, and we can use these fields of study to create a better future for our children and their children.
STEM education creates critical thinkers and innovators too. We need new products in order to keep making the economy better and brighter for the future.
While most careers do require some basic understanding of math and science, many of the higher-paying careers require more in-depth knowledge in these areas.
Science is all around us. It is in every part of our lives from engineering bridges to environmentally friendly products we use in our homes.
Starting STEM education early on can set your child up for success in the future. Starting early can also entice your child to get excited about STEM which can promote further education in these very important parts of our economy.
If your child learns with STEM toys now, they are likely to have a bright future ahead of them.
Frequently Asked Questions About STEM
What do stem toys do?
STEM toys are toys which are geared to teach children about science, technology, engineering and math. They reinforce learning in a fun way.
Are Legos stem toys?
LEGO’s promote the skill of building which does fall under engineering, so I would consider LEGO’s STEM toys. They would be more on the early side of STEM education, as the STEM toys which are labeled STEM are often more advanced.
What is a stem kit?
A STEM kit is a a toy or a project, usually geared towards children so they can learn science, technology, engineering and math through play.
How can I raise a STEM child without STEM toys?
You can build your children’s brain without STEM toys by interacting with them daily, encouraging free play, setting screen time limits, and teaching assertiveness so they can stand up for themselves.
How do I get my child into STEM?
If you want your child to be interested in STEM toys, the best thing to do is play with these toys together. It can be very fun to hang out with your kid and build drones together or put together some snap circuits.
Where Can I Get STEM Toys?
STEM toys can be found in your local Walmart, Target, Canadian Tire or online at Amaazon.com (or Amazon.ca).
I’m a huge Amazon shopper because I love the convenience of it all, and my PRIME membership covers all the shipping costs, so I have all sorts of household items, and toys brought right to my door a day after I order them online.
You can also check out smaller local shops of the mom and pop variety, as many of them do stock STEM games for kids.
STEM Toys For Middle Schoolers and Teens
Middle schoolers are pretty much already teens, and teens don’t seem to enjoy much other than their friends and their cell phone.
Encourage your child to learn and explore by sitting down with them and building a drone together. It can be really fun, and it can also strengthen the bond between you guys.
Create memories, have fun. This time doesn’t last forever, and before you know it your teen will be out of the house and looking to start a family of their very own.
In conclusion, STEM gifts are a great way to encourage your child’s curious nature and help them develop useful skills for the future. Whether your child wants to be an engineer, astronaut or scientist, STEM gifts can help them achieve their dreams. There are so many great STEM gifts for tweens, it may be hard to decide which one to get!