As scientists and engineers, we believe that children can learn and engage in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) through play and that certain toys have the quality of helping develop STEM skills. We believe that a kid should have the opportunity to be exposed to these type of toys, as they probably have an impact in how confident a child may feel in STEM related topics.
Our aim is not to sell toys but to bring to the attention of children, parents and teachers the great influence our environment plays in our motivation, interests and career choices. A scientist or an engineer is a result of a context where certain interests are encouraged and fed.
Knowing about STEM is important regardless of the career choice, as it helps with decision making, critical thinking and understanding of the world. Science is not just for scientists.
Toy Manufacturers have a great responsibility not only they have to deliver a safe toy to the appropriate age stage but also to find ways to engage children in what they do best: play. The Science Toy Award aims to celebrate and support outstanding toys that help develop STEM skills through play.
The Science Toy Award Entries 2016
The puzzle board game takes kids on the ultimate coding adventure, teaching how to step through code to understand the logic and sequence behind a computer’s actions. Kids will be entertained while developing an understanding of computer programming principles – no computer required.
“Research suggests that one of the key predictors of success in computer science classes is the ability to mentally step through code,” said Mark Engelberg, Code Master inventor, professional puzzle designer, and maths/computer science teacher. “Code Master challenges kids to do exactly that, first on simple, linear sequences of instructions, and then on more sophisticated programs with loops and conditional branches. Playing Code Master gives children a head start in computer science, engaging them early in the subject and laying a foundation for mastering advanced programming skills.”
“If your brain’s feeling fizzy, then your mind’s getting whizzy!” When you play Number Rumbler, you’ll be having fun, practising your times tables, and developing number sense – all at once. Number Rumbler was developed with, by and for families – anyone from age 6 to adult can join in.
“This is a fun game for all the family which can be used in a number of different ways … The cards show quantities as calculations as well as dot arrays and this helps children to see relationships between the different representations and thus improve their number sense. A very simple but effective idea!” Margaret Haseler, Primary Lead Consultant, National Numeracy.
Sweet Factory will help you learn how to make delicious jelly sweets in worm shapes, lollipops, tasty and colourful sweets as well as yogurt based sweets, marshmallow teacakes and homemade soft drinks. From ages 8 and above, it includes a educational book as well as the possibility of doing 40 different experiments.
Water Science will teach you how to create fantastic soap bubbles, how to mae instant snow, how to turn a glass of water upside down without spilling it. Also how to make a tornado and even a water xylophone. From ages 6 and above it includes an educational book and the chance to do up to 34 different experiments.
A memory sensory game appropriate from ages 3 to 6. Twelve different games within the KIBI Texture toy, includes cards, and mobile Apps. It encourages exploration and memory using tactile information. Children develop memory, concentration and speed.
Plui Rain Cloud by Moluk
The Rain Cloud beautifully illustrates the cycle of water and magically turns kids into little rainmakers. The bath toy works like a pipette and makes simple physics tangible and fun. Children can control the flow of water simply by sealing or opening the whole on top with the tip of a finger. Pluï encourages children to experiment and explore while stimulating their imagination and senses. It can be used in the bath tub or any other place with water and even serve as a playful and educational device to water plants.
A hidden mechanism allows parents to open the Cloud for cleaning.
Designed by makers/engineers David Yakos and Parker Thomas, the three Maker Studio Construction Sets are for kids who want to “build, do and explore!” Choose from the Gears, Propellers, or Winches Sets to transform recycled household objects into working, kinetic inventions like race cars, helicopters and cranes. Once models are assembled, kids use problem-solving and creative thinking skills to tinker with their inventions and complete 10 engineering challenges.
Maker Studio™: Winches Set – designed by engineers for budding engineers
Maker Studio inspires imagination and a love for engineering. In this set featuring winches, you’ll be able to build a tow truck, a jeep, a well and a crane. For each build you’re given Engineering Challenges – experiment with friction, torque and propulsion as you engineer your solutions. Once you’ve mastered all four builds, get creative and design something that’s all your own while you learn engineering principles!
Oogi by Moluk
Oogi is an irresistibly tactile and wonderfully expressive new figure toy. With suction cup head, hands and feet, and long stretchy arms, it connects to other Oogis and any smooth surface. Oogi leaves room for imagination and invites children to explore and experiment with the suction cups of 3 different sizes. Learning about the different sounds they make, how the size affects the strength and duration of the connection, or how the figure lands when tossed against a mirror or a window. The long, elastic arms let kids experience stress and tension, or help to learn tying knots. Unlike traditional dolls for girls and action figures for boys, Oogi is gender neutral and fun for all ages. It encompasses both role playing and story telling, as well as very physical play like stretching, bending or throwing.
Challenge the boundaries of your child’s imagination as they discover elements of real engineering with the Meccano Junior Advanced Toolbox! Help them develop early logic and hand motor skills while creating 8 different models, including a Dump Truck, Crane, Excavator and Windmill. They can build one of 8 models or, create their own! With real working mechanics every build in the set moves in it’s own way. All 88 pieces, including wheels, a real hex tool and wrench, can be conveniently stored in the plastic Toolbox so kids can carry the set wherever they go! Construct a model Dump Truck or Excavator to make way for new developments! Rebuild the model as a Windmill, to generate power for your town! Easy to follow step-by-step instructions are provided so little hands can piece together large connecting pieces with snap-on clipping screws and add on wheels. Display and play, rebuild one of the 8 models, or make an original design! Introduce your child to the mechanical wonders of the world as they bring construction models to life with the Meccano Junior Advanced Toolbox set.
‘Kinetic Sand Build is an all-new building formula that really holds its shape! Now you can mould any shape and pick it up while you play. You can also mix the colours of Kinetic Sand Build together to create a whole new colour to build with.
Build, Race and Crash with the Crash’em Cars playset. Customise your cars with moulded Engines, Spoilers, Bumpers and more. The Car Chassis have real working wheels so you can get racing right away. Open up the playset into a double-sided racing stadium! Or you can Create, decorate and display with the Bakery Boutique playset. Create an amazing display of Cakes, Cupcakes and more! Decorate each creation with hearts and flowers and then use the rotating cake tray to display your treats inside of the playset. It easily opens up into a Bakery play space.
When it’s time to clean up, you can easily store the entire playsets right inside the box. Get building with the Kinetic Sand Build Crash ’em Cars and Bakery Boutique! For ages 5 years and over.’