Scientific innovation is not new to Black folks. Black genius is behind the Automatic Gear Shift, the Three-Traffic Light, Blood Banks, Gas Masks, Refrigerated Trucks, GPS, Home Security, 3D movies, COVID vaccinations and so much more. We’ve always had what it takes, but sometimes we need friendly reminders, and perhaps more importantly, opportunity and exposure, to excel.
Last Sunday was National STEM Day (science, technology, engineering, math), which somehow just reminded me that Silicon Valley is still quite male and quite white. Sure, we could benefit from more inclusion, but we could also be the center of our own technological universes, if more of us had these skillsets. When it comes to STEM, that “knowledge is power” cliché couldn’t be more true today. Technology has catapulted our lives into places we couldn’t imagine, even 5 years ago. It’s going nowhere. The question is what role will we be playing in the years to come? We need a solid stake in that future and our kids are the future.
Obviously, everyone doesn’t have to be a scientist or engineer, but we won’t know who our future STEM geniuses are if we don’t expose our kids to these fields, early on. One of the easiest ways to do this is through discovery, through play. Below are a few gift ideas for the kiddos. Our children can change the world in a million ways, let’s give them some STEM tools to unlock their scientific genius.
Zivco The Robot
This bestselling STEM Robot is ideal for kids 10 and up. With just a screwdriver and side cutters, Zivco can be constructed from the 107-piece kit, four AAA batteries are required for power. Zivco The Robot
Mega Cyborg Hand
Using hydrolics, pneumatics and robotics, you can build a mechanical hand that simulates the movement of a human hand. The hand can be configured in three ways, left hand, right hand and claw-like, with the thumb in the center. A full-color, 40 page manual will guide you through the model-building and provide engaging scientific information about how pneumatic and hydrolic systems are used in today’s industrial robots. Thames & Kosmos Mega Cyborg Hand
Mondrian Blocks: Red Editon
Mondrian blocks remind us that science and creativity can work hand in hand. This award-winning puzzle challenges your flexible thinking and problem solving skills. We love the age appropriate range for this one, it’s 8-125! Smart Egg Production Mondrian Blocks Red Edition
Mini Robot Ball
Creation Crate Courses
Creation Crate is a tech subscription box that provides course work and equiptment to make many of your STEM learning dreams come true. Although it’s designed for kids 12 and up, the brand says they’re customers range from 8 year olds (with help from parents) to college kids to retirees. No experience is necessary, there are as many options for begginers as there are for advanced learners. Subjects include: electronics, robotics, engineering and chemistry. The courses are noticably discounted at the moment, their Black Friday deals are available now. Creation Crate Courses
In The Drivers Seat STEM Coding Kit
Aerospace engineer Aisha Bowe brings her black girl magic to the table with her brainchild, Lingo. Her “tech maade easy” coursework and materials provide at-home, hands-on experience that allows kids 13 and up to learn the fundamentals of hardware and software design. The “In The Driver’s Seat” module teaches you how to build a back up sensor for cars. Lingo In The Driver’s Seat
Artie 3000 Coding Robot
You design the codes and Artie draws the lines. Start coding with Artie’s simple set up and pre-programmed designs (you can download even more codes via Artie’s website to further expand your skills). You need a tablet or computer (not included) to operate Artie, who also needs 4 AA batteries (also not included). Artie 3000 Coding Robot
Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
Recommended for those 10 and up, this is a winner for kids with geological interests. This kit contains everything you need to perform 7 different crystal growth experiments. 4M Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
Foundation Chemistry Kit: Beakers & Bubbles
Perfect for 8-12 year olds, this award-winning kit has nineteeen experiments that teach key scientific concepts of chemical reactions, molecular motion and the effect of temperature. The kit contains real lab equiptment, including 3 beakers, a high-temperature thermometer, a digital timer, colored saftey goggles, a chalkboard lab mat and loads of chemical reagents. Yellow Scope Foundation Chemistry Kit Beakes & Bubbles
Botley The Coding Robot
Introduce coding to your young ones in an easy, freindly way with this ready-to-use coding robot (5 AAA batteries needed but not included). Kids as young as 5 can use this, but the advanced features allows your child to continue to learn and grow with this robot for many years to come. Botley The Coding Robot