Best Stem Toys for Teens

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As your teen grows and can begin higher learning, the types of STEM toys that are suited to them start to become seriously exciting. 

From toys that can help them to learn new engineering concepts, develop coding skills, and even help them further their school curriculum, there’s a vast range of STEM toys available out there. 

Plus, as your teen is likely beginning to think about where they want to head in life, these toys will help them gain some insight into what kind of college major or career they’re interested in pursuing.

Below, you’ll find some of the best STEM toys suited to your clever teen.

Towards the end of this article, you’ll find a helpful F.A.Q and buying guide that will answer any ques

In a hurry? Your budding scientist will love our top pick:

If you’re pinched for time and need a STEM toy recommendation fast, look no further than the Lego Mindstorm EV3 Core Set.

A popular choice for both children and adults, with Mindstorms, your teen will be able to create their very own robot that can walk, talk, and even think!

Besides that, this kit also comes with 48 tutorials that will help them to master basic and advanced programming, as well as hardware and logging functions.

It’ll be a hit!

OUR TOP PICK

Lego Mindstorm Ev3 Core Set 45544 - New

The Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Set is a hands-on STEM solution game that is able to engage users by providing the resources to design, program, and build their own creations, all while developing essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and communication. 

The Education EV3 Core Set comes with a curriculum pack that includes 48 tutorials that will help them learn the basics of Lego Mindstorm Education EV3.

The 48 step-by-step tutorials have been specifically designed to help students, adults, and teenagers master basic and advanced programming, as well as hardware and data logging.

Both easy to learn and use, the EV3 Software and the EV3 Programming app have both been optimized for use in a curricular setting, so this set can even help further studies.

The software itself is based on LabVIEW, which is an industry-leading graphical coding language that has been optimized for use by older children. In other words, it will allow your brainy teen to create and program robots, all the while developing STEM-focused skills.

The set comes with the EV3 Intelligent Brick, which is a compact and powerful programmable computer that will make it possible to control motors and collect sensor feedback. This is achieved through using the intuitive icon-based programming and data logging software that comes with the set.

The programming is used by carefully dragging and dropping different icons into a line to form commands, and then allowing the user to build programs and develop complex algorithms. This will help to develop critical thinking skills, as well as help to develop problem-solving skills.

Not only that, but there is also a data logging feature inside of the EV3 Software that will serve as a handy science tool while carrying out experiments. Thanks to this, it will be easier than ever to predict, view, interpret, and manipulate data from sensors and then view this data in interactive graphs.

Plus, to make sure that there’s never any missing pieces or parts, this Lego set comes in a sturdy, durable storage bin that features a sorting tray so that it can stay organized.

It also comes with three Servo Motors, five Sensors, an EV3 Rechargeable DC Battery and charging cable, as well as connecting cables.

Pros

  • Can be used to create robots that can walk, talk and think.
  • Utilizes industry-standard software that will give your teen a taste of professional life.
  • Designed for use alongside curricular studies.

Cons

  • Expensive price point.

EDITORS CHOICE

4M 4605 Water Rocket Kit - DIY Science Space Stem Toys Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & Girls

The 4M Water Rocket Kit is the perfect present for the budding rocket scientist or mechanic enthusiast.

It comes with everything they’ll to construct their very own water rocket, all while learning about water pressure technology.

A leader in innovative and educational products, 4M is a well-respected brand that is known for creating STEM toys that are both engaging and challenging.

The 4M Water Rocket Kit incorporates STEM concepts in order to provide integrated learning development, all the while being fun and exciting.  

Ideal for engaging young minds, the 4M Water Rocket Kit will let them build their very own rocket by using a bottle, water, and a pump.

After the makeshift rocket has been constructed and is ready for launch, your clever teen will be able to watch the rocket soar as high as 90 feet into the air.

The 4M Water Rocket Kit will do this by harnessing the power of water pressure, making this kit an ideal gift for young science enthusiasts, especially those interested in a career within rocketry and space flight. 

Plus, offering great value for money, the 4M Water Rocket Kit contains one plastic bottle, four fins (an extra one is included as a spare), one fin support, one bung, and bung connector, one pump connector, one extension plastic pipe and a detailed instructions pamphlet.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Ideal for a budding mechanical engineer.
  • Teaches teens about rocketry and space flight.

Cons

  • Does not come with a pump.

BEST VALUE

Robot arm 6DOF Full Metal Programmable xArm Robotic Arm with Feedback of Servo Parameter, Wireless/Wired Mouse Control, Mobile Phone Programming

If you’re buying for a young engineer, then the LewanSoul Robotic Arm is an ideal way to help them develop their engineering skills, and will allow them to build their very own robot arm!

The xArm is a programmable robotic arm that has feedback functions and consists of five serial bus servos and one digital servo.

Each ‘servo’ is able to display temperature, voltage, and position via the RGB indicator which will allow the user to see the working status of the servo.

Armed with this kit, your engineer in the making will be able to learn a wide variety of engineering concepts.

From mechanical to electrical and even to software engineering, this interactive robotic arm is an ideal way to develop skills specific to this area of work. 

Plus, in order to offer a more effective programming experience, the Robotic controller uses an ARM core CPU, comes with built-in Bluetooth, and even has 16M storage memory capacity. It can even be used in conjunction with the compatible app, which is available on both IOS and Android stores.

Although it can be said that there are some more affordable robotic arm kits on the market, this one from LewanSoul is great because it has high-quality parts and features 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF).

This means that, unlike other arms on the market, this one is significantly more flexible, complex, and adaptable than many other products simply 

designed for hobbyists.

Pros

  • Ideal for STEM teenagers with an interest in engineering.
  • Doesn’t chip easily.
  • Flexible and adaptable.

Cons

  • Does not come with instructions.

RUNNER UP

Engino Discovering STEM Structures Constructions & Bridges | 9 Working Models | Illustrated Instruction Manual | Theory & Facts | Experimental Activities | STEM Construction Kit, Blue

If you’re on a budget, a great STEM toy worth considering is the Engino Discovering STEM Buildings and Bridges Kit! 

The Engino Buildings and Bridges kit was created by Costas Sesames, a former teacher and engineer so that older children could build technological models and learn about science and technology in a fun and engaging way. 

One of the major advantages of the Engino System is that it's design flexibility allows children to build both simple and complex models quickly only by using a small number of components, and this can certainly be seen within the Buildings and Bridges Kit.  

With the Engino Structures Buildings and Bridges Set, your teen will be able to learn all about buildings and how to go about building them.

Boasting a multi-build design, this set can be used to construct different types of bridges, as well as giving the user to learn a thing or two about how architecture design is able to offer huge weight support.

Ideal for a teen interested in architecture design, this set will allow them to learn about the different types of forces applied to mass structures, as well as how engineers manage to reduce their effects.

There are 9 working models available to build, including a house, a pyramid, and a variety of bridges: beam, arch, truss, cable-stayed, and a suspension bridge. 

For ease of use, this set comes with easy-to-follow building instructions for all of the different models, although some instructions can only be accessed online.

The booklet also provides detailed explanations of scientific principles and incorporates engaging experimental activities for hands-on learning. 

There is even a quiz section in the booklet!

This quiz area will allow the user to try out experiments, test their knowledge, and discover new information like how triangulation strengthens a building, the main types of forces that impact structures, how trusses work, as well as the main types of cable bridges.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Multi-build design.

Cons

  • Some instructions can only be found online.

RUNNER UP

ELEGOO Penguin Bot Biped Robot Kit for Arduino Project with Assembling Tutorial,STEM Kit for Hobbyists, STEM Toys for Kids and Adults, Red Version

Last but not least we have selected the adorable ELEGOO Penguin Bot Rob Kit, a buildable robot in the shape of a penguin.  

ELEGOO Penguin Bot is an Arduino-Based Robotic Kit that can be used by teenagers and even adults. Once it has been correctly constructed, your growing scientist will be able to program it to walk, play music, and even to avoid obstacles. 

In order for this to be possible, ELEGOO has created a uniquely-designed controller board that has been based on the Arduino Nano. As for the music, it comes with a TF card that will be able to store music.

To add a touch of fun (and cuteness) this penguin robot comes with 6 delicate-designed head covers which will make Penguin Bot which will allow the owner to customize the covers by drawing their very own pictures.

Made to last, this robot is powered with a lithium battery and has multiple circuit protection. When it needs to be recharged, the status indicator will flash blue when there is low power. For convenience, this penguin robot’s battery can be charged via a USB cable. 

For convenience, the ELEGOO Penguin Bot Kit comes delivered inside a very well-designed and durable box that has been filled with all the tools and parts required to build the bot, including a magnetic screwdriver, all of the servo motors as well as spare screws, which are stored in zip-lock bags and compartment boxes.

Plus, by downloading the latest version of the "Elegoo Tool" app, your teen will also be able to control the penguin robot and make it:

  • Sing.
  • Dance.
  • Programed to follow set routes.
  • Avoid obstacles.

To help them get the hang of it quickly, It comes with a detailed user manual which will guide them on how to build this cute robot with a step by step guide. It will also be able to provide information on how to program the penguin, so it’s a great way for teens and parents to have a fun, engaging experience together, all the while learning about robotic technology at the same time!

Pros

  • Can be programmed to walk, avoid obstacles and play music.
  • Comes with 6 headcovers to choose from.
  • It comes with all the tools necessary to construct the penguin.

Cons

  • Not overly durable.

Best Stem Toys for Teens Buying Guide

Design Quality

Without a doubt, one of the most important factors you should consider when choosing STEM toys is its quality.

There’s nothing more frustrating than purchasing a toy and then discovering that it needs to be replaced after a few uses because it has been poorly manufactured. 

Educational Level

When selecting a STEM toy, you’ll want to focus on toys that are going to be able to encourage learning through play.

The best STEM toys will create more questions than solutions, in order to provoke both the user’s creative and logistical thinking skills. They should also offer a progression in difficulty so that your teen will be able to gradually improve over time.

An example of this can be seen from STEM coding games. They often start off as easy for children to use (such as by using block-based programs) and then slowly become more challenging to use by utilizing text-based programs like Javascript. 

Multi-Builds

Toys that have multiple building projects will be able to keep any teen entertained for hours on end. This is because they will be able to envision builds, put them together, and dismantle it and recreate a new design.

This is a particularly good choice if you’re buying for a teen that travels regularly, as multi-build toys are a great way to keep older children occupied.

The Fun Factor!

Though STEM toys generally focus on learning, they should also be fun and engaging for your teenager.

What counts as ‘fun’ will vary from person to person, but you can be sure that a colorful, vibrant computer kit will be a whole lot more engaging than a huge tiny-font, five hundred page book on stem and leaf plot theory

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is STEM?

STEM is a type of development and learning approach that integrates four disciplines:

  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Technology

Through STEM, children, teenagers, and young adults are able to develop key skills in the areas of critical analysis, problem-solving, creativity, and independent thinking.

STEM education plays an important role in the sustained growth of the American economy and prides itself on creating critical thinkers and the next generation of scientific innovators. 

What is a STEM toy?

As you’ll have likely already noticed from our list above, STEM toys are educational learning toys that focus on the key areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

They intend to help users learn and develop their critical thinking and creative skills.

In general, STEM toys focus on core disciplines in coding, engineering, mechanical games, chemistry, and many more.

Can Lego be classified as a STEM toy?

Lego is widely considered to be a STEM toy.

So much so, in fact, that Lego has actually created their very own line of Lego STEM toys, which combine the curiosity and fun of lego bricks with the excitement of science. 

In particular, lego bricks are especially best at enhancing STEM skills, especially when children/teens follow blueprints or models. 

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