STEM Gadgets

Tonight, at dinner I asked my daughter Leah (now age 18 and a computer science major) to tell me why she thought buying her 8-year-old cousin a tech gadget for her birthday was a good idea. I desperately wanted to buy her another book…

However, after a spirited debate where I became acutely aware of my archaic thinking, and I am now happy to purchase a tech gadget for my niece for her birthday!

Leah’s points to me were as follows:

  1. Giving girls gadgets at an early age to engage them in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is a “must” and there is no inherent reason not to.
    Why wouldn’t I provide the girls easy access to tech gadgets and encourage them to explore, learn and get comfortable with technology? In fact, she argued that by purchasing these gadgets I am helping to break down barriers and stereotypes that may discourage them from pursuing careers in STEM fields. Who knew?

  2. Well, the research knows (according to Leah) … Research has shown that girls and women are often underrepresented in STEM fields and face numerous barriers to entry and advancement. Providing young girls with access to technology and encouraging them to explore and learn about STEM subjects can help to break down these barriers and promote greater gender diversity in these fields.

  3. Furthermore, technology and gadgets can be powerful tools for learning and can be used to facilitate hands-on, interactive, and engaging STEM education. By providing girls with access to these tools, parents (i.e., me!) and other educators and can help to spark their curiosity and interest in STEM and encourage them to pursue careers in these fields.

    So, what does Leah think I should buy.?
    Well, the choice is all mine, but it must be one of the following items…

    • Kids' Smartwatch - And preferably I should buy this one:
      BREAKING NEWS MOM!!!!! Smartwatches are NOT just for adults anymore. There are a wide variety of options available now for kids too. In fact, many smartwatches are now designed specifically for children, and come with features such as GPS tracking, fitness tracking, call and message alerts. Not only do they provide a safe way to use technology, but they also have fun games and activities built-in, making them one of the greatest ways for kids to stay entertained and connected (which is extremely important 😊).
    • Kids’ Tablet:
      Tablets are a great way for your kids to stay connected, learn, and have fun. There are several options available for kids, the most well-known one (according to Leah) is the Amazon Fire Kids' Tablet. Do not fear for your child’s safety when using this device as this tablet comes with parental controls, making it perfect for younger children to stay safe on and offline. It is also portable, which is great for on-the-go entertainment.
      Every child can find something on a kids' tablet, whether they enjoy instructive games, movies, or music.
    • Kids’ Robotic Kit:
      Robotics kits are a great way to let your kids immerse themselves into the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts in a fun and interactive way. There are several options available, such as the Makeblock mBot Neo Programming Robot or the Miko 3: AI-Powered Smart Robot for Kids. However, Leah particularly liked this LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander. Disclaimer: Leah is extremely partial to all things Star Wars. After all her name is Leah and her brother is Luke! These kits come with all the parts and instructions needed to build and program the robots, thus providing a hands-on learning experience.
      Whether your child is into building, coding, or both, a kids' robotics kit has something for everyone.
    • Kids’ Coding Kit: A kids' coding kit is the perfect way for your child to learn about computer programming and develop valuable skills in a fun and interactive way. Whether your child is a beginner or an advanced coder, this coding kit offers something to all skill levels. These kits provide a hands-on learning opportunity by offering all the components and instructions necessary to build and program their own projects. Coding is a skill that is in high demand and can open many career opportunities in the future, so it is never too early to start learning.
    • Kids’ Circuit Kit
      This fun and interactive circuit kit is the perfect way for your child to learn about basic circuit principles and investigate electricity and magnetism by doing experiments. The clearly illustrated manual encourages critical thinking by asking questions before and after doing the experiments and therefore provides an enjoyable hands-on learning experience. Whether your child is a beginner or an advanced tinkerer, a kids' circuit kit has something for everyone. Understanding circuits and electricity is a valuable skill that can open many career opportunities in the future, so it is never too early to start learning.