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What is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is a curriculum that integrates these four subjects into a cohesive learning format for children of all ages. With real-world problem based learning, STEM education teaches students how to apply these , subjects to everyday life while also making learning fun and interesting.
Why is STEM important?
Children with a strong foundation in STEM will play an integral role in the growth and stability of U.S. economic development. Research has shown that the earlier we introduce the foundation of STEM learning, the more successful children will be in this area in the future. Therefore, it is important to foster these skills in our young children today.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations are projected to grow to over 9 million between 2012-2022. STEM occupations are projected to grow faster than average for all occupations (around 13 percent). According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics the STEM group that is projected to show the most occupation growth between 2014 and 2024 is mathematics and science occupations at 28.2 percent.
How can you get your child involved?
To spark your child’s interest and get them excited about STEM, expose them to a variety of STEM activities and experiments. There are tons of resources online where you can find DIY STEM projects or ready-made experiments with everything you need included.
Some ready-made experiments can be ordered through monthly subscription services which have activities and experiments. Continue reading to learn more about some of these subscription services.
Amazon STEM Club
The Amazon STEM Club is a subscription where you are sent an age appropriate STEM toy or game for your child each month. The toys included in the program encourage learning through play and are designed to help kids discover, explore, and advance learning in STEM topics.
Subscriptions are available for three different age groups: 3-4, 5-7, and 8-13. You can subscribe to the Amazon STEM Club for $19.99 a month, plus applicable taxes. Stem Club items ship for free. You can cancel your stem Club toy subscription anytime.
Your subscription begins when you sign up and will renew automatically each month on the same day of the month that you signed up. For each month of your subscription you will be billed on the date your stem Club toy ships.
To receive more than one toy for the same age group, you will need to begin another subscription from a different Amazon account. Subscriptions for different age groups can be managed under the same Amazon account.
Subscription options include:
• STEM Club Toy Subscription (ages 3-4)
• STEM Club Toy Subscription (ages 5-7)
• STEM Club Toy Subscription (ages 8-13)
What you get
Amazon STEM Club toys vary each month to include a range of topics and concepts from chemistry kits to robots and math learning tools.
STEM Club toys include, but are not limited to:
1. Science: Nature, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Astronomy topics.
2. Technology: Robotics, Computer Science, Programming, or Electronics/Circuitry.
3. Engineering: Structural design or Mathematics.
4. Math: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, foundations (counting, fractions and percentages).
Groovy Lab in a Box
With Groovy Lab in a Box children learn at an early age to be problem solvers, by enticing their innate curiosity and determination through the engineering design process.
You will receive boxes full of everything your child needs to learn about and do hands on STEM experiments.
Subscriptions are available for ages 8+. Select your preferred subscription plan. Choose from “Join Now” or “Gift It” plan options. The “Join Now” plan automatically renews based on the subscription package while “Gift It” plan is non-recurring.
All subscription plans have free shipping within the United States. Subscriptions mail at the end of each month. You can cancel anytime.
Subscription options include:
• Monthly or Bimonthly – $29.95/month
• Every 3 Months – Averages $28.95/month
• Every 6 Months – Averages $27.95/month
• For the year – Averages $24.95/month
What you get
Subscriptions include a monthly delivery of Groovy Lab in a Box science inquiries, engineering design challenges, and access to “Beyond…in a Box”; the member’s only web-based learning section on the website.
Each month your child will receive fun, hands-on projects and an Engineering Design Challenge – all focused on that month’s STEM topic. All children will receive a 20+ page Lab Notebook, where they can read about that month’s topic, perform investigation activities and document their findings. They will investigate, brainstorm, plan, build, test and redesign their own creations.
The investigation activities have step-by-step directions, however your child won’t have detailed directions to complete the Engineering Design Challenge. Children must rely on their critical thinking skills, and what they’ve learned through the investigation process from the Lab Notebook and online activities.
Children also receive access to the “Beyond…in a Box” online learning portal. This gives your child a deeper understanding of that month’s topic. “Beyond…in a Box” has videos and more interactive activities to supplement what they are learning from the box projects, which also helps your child more when completing the design challenge. The monthly box also contains bonus supplies exclusively for the activities available through “Beyond…in a Box.”
Green Kids Crafts
Green Kids Crafts provides award winning crafts for children with themed boxes that explore a variety of topics with hands-on learning and fun.
Green Kids Crafts is a green company that is committed to ensuring that all of their activities have as little impact on the environment as possible. Eco-awareness is integrated into their box themes. Activities engage kids with nature in positive and creative ways. Boxes are 100% recyclable. Materials are bundled using plant-based compostable clear bags. 1% of sales is donated to environmental organizations.
Subscriptions are available for children ages 2-10+. Choose between Junior Discovery boxes for ages 2-4 or Discovery boxes for ages 5-10+. “Get it” or “Gift it” subscription options are available as well as sibling and book add-on options.
Subscription Options Include:
• Monthly $19.95/mo – billed monthly.
• Every 3 months $19.95/mo – pay upfront renews automatically, cancel renewal anytime.
• Six month subscription $18.95/mo – pay upfront renews automatically, cancel renewal anytime.
• 12 month subscription $17.95/mo – pay upfront renews automatically, cancel renewal anytime.
Upgrade for an additional $10/mo and receive an educator approved book to complement each theme box.
Group subscriptions are available, receive a discount for bulk subscriptions. Fundraising options are also available.
What you get
Each box contains 4-8 Creativity and STEM Kits, extension activities, and a 20+ page themed Green Kid Activity Guide.
Products celebrate creativity with craft projects and activate thinking, questioning, inquiring, and original creation as well as guide children through fun science experiments.
Projects allow kids to be creative, build confidence and enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they produce crafts and conduct experiments they love, that are unique and special to them.
Activities develop fine and/or gross motor skills and encourage active play. They also expand kids’ sequencing, reasoning, and/or problem solving skills.
Discovery box themes teach children to be considerate and respectful towards people and nature. They give a wider view of their worlds, from either a nature-based, scientific, or cultural perspective.
Steve Spangler Science Club
With Steve Spangler’s STEM kit of the month club, children learn the real science behind fun experiments.
Subscriptions are available for ages 7 to 14.
Subscription options include:
• STEMsnack –$9.99/mo + $5 shipping. Receive 1 STEM experience a month. Ships around the 5th of each month. Payments are monthly.
• STEMlab – $19.99/mo +free shipping. Receive up to 5 STEM experiences each month. Ships around the 20th of each month. You can choose to pay monthly, every 3 months or for 12 months.
• STEMdeluxe – $29.99/mo + Free shipping. Receive up to 10 STEM experiences each month. Ships around the 5th of each month. You can choose to pay monthly, every 3 months or for 12 months.
Plans automatically renew and you can cancel anytime.
What you get
STEMsnack – Introduction to STEM with easy to follow instructions, minimal adult assistance required. A science “appetizer” to get kids excited about the elements of STEM. Children receive a new hands-on science experiment with easy to follow directions each month.
STEMlab – Includes 3-5 activities, experiments and design challenges each month. Get experiment cards with step-by-step instructions and easy to understand science explanations, minimal adult assistance required. Membership induces a 20% discount at SteveSpanglerScience.com.
Each STEM Lab box is filled with the science tools and the resources needed to explore real-world STEM activities. The easy to follow instruction cards guide your child through every experiment to make the learning process exciting and fun.
STEMdeluxe – Each month you’ll receive a box filled with the science tools and resources needed to conduct 12+ activities, experiments and design challenges that combine the perfect mix of critical thinking, tinkering, and fun.
Dive deep with STEM experiences designed for children and parents to explore together, compressive experiments guides for both the young scientist and the adult science helper. Membership includes a 20% discount at SteveSpanglerScience.com.
STEMdelux comes with 2 experiment guides: one for the child and one top secret document for the adult helper. Experiment guides provide an opportunity for your child to record observations and build learning connections. Each experiment includes take-it-further activities, science fair project ideas and a certificate of completion.
The easy to follow step-by-step instructions guide your child through the scientific method while providing open-ended activities to promote further learning. The adult helper’s top secret document contains the science explanation behind all of the experiments and answers to all of the science questions. It includes helpful tips and suggests for ways to work with your child to create an unforgettable learning experience.
STEM activities are an excellent way to open your child’s mind to new and fun ways to learn about these subjects. Share in the comments ways you get your child excited about STEM. Have you given any of these subscriptions a try?