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STEM-tacular Gifts: Igniting Academic Drive During the Holidays

A science educator with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is recommending that parents and other family members should steer gift-giving towards presents that not only spark joy but also fuel a child’s enthusiasm for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

“Engaging in STEM activities during the holidays introduces children to a fascinating world, igniting curiosity,” said Mary Catherine Dillon, the district’s senior science coordinator for K-12. “It lays the foundation for a lifelong interest in these critical fields.”

Dillion’s five STEM-focused gift ideas that can transform holiday celebrations into learning adventures:

  • Robotics kits: Introduce the exciting world of robotics with kits that allow children to build and program their robots. This hands-on experience not only enhances technical skills but also nurtures logical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Coding games: Make coding fun and accessible through interactive coding games. Choose games that cater to different age groups, fostering computational thinking and creativity through engaging challenges and puzzles.
  • Science experiment kits: Elevate a child’s curiosity with science experiment kits. These hands-on kits provide the materials and instructions for various experiments, turning any home into a mini-laboratory and encouraging a deeper understanding of scientific principles.
  • Math puzzles and games: Transform math from a chore into a delightful challenge with math-focused puzzles and games. From board games to digital apps, these gifts not only reinforce mathematical concepts but also make learning an enjoyable experience.
  • STEM books and magazines: Immerse children in the world of STEM literature with books and magazines that explore science, technology, engineering, and math in a captivating way. These resources provide a continuous stream of knowledge, fostering a love for STEM subjects.

“Gifts can be a gateway to a world of exploration and learning,” Dillon said. “By embracing STEM-focused presents, you’re not only providing entertainment but also laying the foundation for valuable skills that will benefit your child academically and beyond. Wishing you a STEM-tacular holiday season filled with discovery and excitement.”