Why is it that the kids get cooler toys than the adults nowadays? Because they’re EDUCATIONAL. MySTEMkits.com just launched on Kickstarter today, offering you and your offspring the chance to learn a few more things about nearly everything that’s cool. Boasting dozens of kits covering topics from biology to design to applied math, mySTEMkits is another fun, affordable and engaging way to geek out with the family. Or, if you’re childless (like me), exploit the desire for a second childhood.
Made of a team of ‘educators, artists, technology specialists, and businessmen’ teamed with Florida State University’s CPALMS, an open education resource, the goal of each mySTEMkit is to make learning a hyper-involved exercise. These aren’t just baking-soda volcanoes, these are the science experiments you wish you had in High School, or even Middle School–Heck, I don’t think most undergrads do these sorts of experiments! A lot of this has to do with MySTEMKits partnership with HipScience, a company that sells user-friendly sensor kits to add extra functionality to many of the kits. Check out these personal favorites.
Rocket Launch Kit
“This exciting kit includes a variety of ready-to-fly rocket components, an adjustable-angle launcher (Kit plus only), and a pressure gauge (Kit plus only).” For anyone with a 3D Printer, this is a great kit to play with. I’d hack a whistle on there so it’d make a hell of a racket going up, forcing the air through the whistle, just to demonstrate… the force of air through a whistle – an important lesson all children should know. Hacking, more specifically.
New York Balance
“This hands-on kit allows for an exploratory look at the effectiveness of lever arms and creates an interactive environment for students to casually learn and understand complex interactions within simple machines.” This is one of the kits that I think you’d have to play with and learn more about first before letting the kids have a play. I bet they will ask questions – best be prepared, lest your kid begins to suspect you really don’t know everything, as you’ve been telling them their whole lives.
“This free-spinning kit allows for interactive investigation of a mathematical model that can be used to understand the underlying phenomenon that generates the Coriolis Effect.” Also provides a great primer before launching larger rockets to hit your house from the local park ten blocks away, just to demonstrate how one has to compensate for Earth’s rotation.
“Leveraging the unique capabilities of 3D printing, two out of three included dice have been cleverly weighted to roll non-randomly, but look nearly identical from the outside.” This is also a great way to let your kid in on a little secret – how you’ve been beating the in-laws at Backgammon all of these years.
The kits are a bit pricey, and no, you can’t print them yourself, but well-thought out and definitely intriguing for those looking to STEMify fun with the family. The Kickstarter launched today and will end on Sat, Feb 28 2015 11:59 PM EST. Get in on it!