As Tech Will Save Us says on their fully-funded Kickstarter page, "65% of children in school now will have jobs that haven't been invented yet. The best way to prepare them is to spark their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) principles early." This innovative toy company has launched a suite of three play dough and electronics-based kits, and a new app called "Dough Universe" for children as young as age four.
The kits blend together "electro dough" (a salty form of play dough that you can also make at home), a controller and an app. Its goal is to get kids building, designing and mastering the world around them. Unlike many STEM kits that focus on coding, these kits are back-to-the basics, showing how electricity works. As CEO Bethany Koby explained to Fast Company, "There's this stealth learning on the journey, learning programming, circuits, resistance -- all fundamental to technology in so many ways. If kids play with these materials, there's a much better chance they'll explore and understand these technologies in the future."
Each kit is a self-contained adventure where the child is the main character. The directions explain how to use the kit and provide inspiration for exploring the technology. For example, the Light Kit teaches about circuitry, the Sound Kit lets kids make musical instruments out of dough (and discover resistance), and the Mover Kit lets them build race cars and other moving creations by building and coding with this toy that reacts to movement with light -- and can be coded in infinite ways!.
Inspirational ideas include fire-breathing dragons, home-made guitars and robots -- but once a child masters the basics, the sky is quite literally the limit.
For fun ways to bring STEM principals into play this summer at home, these kits, and many of their other products, are a great idea waiting to be explored. You can find their full line at Tech Will Save Us.