Purdue’s Gift Guide for Young Engineers
Shawn Wasserman posted on November 26, 2014 |
Purdue highlights a collection of toys to get kids interested in STEM.

Monica Cardella, director of Purdue’s INSPIRE Institute plays Goldie Blox with children. (Purdue University photo/James Schenke)

Find yourself pressed to get that perfect engineering gift for the holidays? Purdue University might be able to help you satisfy your young engineer’s curiosity. Purdue recently came out with a gift guide specifically designed to engage kids with STEM concepts.

The engineering gift guide was created by Purdue’s INSPIRE Institute for Pre-College Engineering. The list covers books, toys, games, apps, movies and devices intended to pique STEM interest in kids of all ages. For any gift ideas you don’t see on the list, the guide also includes a checklist of suggestions for how to pick an engineering gift.

Monica Cardella, Associate Professor and INSPIRE Director said, “It’s important to introduce engineering to children at a very young age – even before they reach kindergarten … One way to achieve this is simply putting a puzzle together or playing with building blocks and talking with the child about what they want to design, what ways they can accomplish that, and who or what could use their creation.”

She added, “It’s also important to recognize that girls can enjoy creating circuits, conducting science experiments and designing structures as much as boys. However, studies show us that these kinds of toys are purchased more than twice as frequently for boys as they are for girls.”

In addition to the guide, INSPIRE has released a Parental guide to introduce engineering to kids at home. The guide explains the importance of familiarizing children with engineering. The guide also offers specific examples to help parents who are interesting in teaching their children STEM.

Cardella said, “You don’t have to be an engineer or a whiz at science and math to expose your child to engineering … I think many parents and grandparents don’t realize that. Part of our goal is to help parents of all gender, race, ethnicity, class and educational backgrounds provide access to engineering for their kids. We don’t think that all kids need to end up loving engineering, but we do think all kids deserve a chance to consider if engineering is something they are interested in.”

I couldn’t agree more with Cardella. In the spirit of engineering gift giving, here are some more engineering gift ideas from ENGINEERING.com President, John Hayes.

Source Purdue.

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