Best Coding and STEM Toys for kids 2022

Best Coding and STEM Toys for kids 2022

Learning how to code is only a part of the story. Learning to program requires different skills. Programming is creating the logic, while coding is translating that logic into code.

Writing code is only a portion of what makes up the duties of a programmer. A programmer needs to actively think about abstract solutions to problems before even touching any code.

One of our favorite programming toys is the SAM Labs Science Museum Inventor Kit, just one of a number of wireless electronic kits from this exciting British startup.

The SAM Labs Science Museum Inventor Kit is the starter package, and works as a great standalone toy that can also be added to with extras available from the SAM Labs store.

It promises to teach engineering powers to everyone, using simple active blocks and an intuitive desktop app for Windows and Mac. It’s a wonderful STEM tool because it integrates more than just one subject – linking, for example, coding with engineering through designing and building things.

The SAM Inventor Kit includes four wireless blocks: a Light Sensor, Tilt Sensor, Buzzer and a DC Motor. You can also buy other blocks (for example, a simple Button, Pressure Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Slider, Fan and Dimmer).

While a little simplistic an explanation some have called the SAM Labs building-block approach “Mekkano for the Internet Generation”.

Through step-by-step instructions, the child or adult quickly learns five STEM activities, including mastering Morse code, making your own electronic songs, creating ingenious alarm systems (a lot of fun for kids), adding sounds to your drawings, and building and a mini drum machine. After these there are more activities online.

While the visual building of circuits in the app is similar to the Scratch coding language enjoyed by many kids, the coding element of SAM Labs is based on JavaScript, which is a little more complex and it would help to have some JS knowledge beforehand.

That said, the SAM Inventor Kit is a lot of fun as a programming tool/toy without you having to even touch the coding side.

SAM Labs wireless building blocks and the intuitive desktop app are supported by STEM tutorials, and also by community projects. You can add extra blocks and even customize using standard modeling motor accessories.

Part hardware, part software, the SAM Labs Science Museum Inventor Kit is an innovative and really fun way for kids to explore programming, and the scope is limited only by the user’s imagination or creativity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.