Best 2020 STEM gifts for kids and adults
Richard Howard • December 23, 2020
We’re proud to report that many of us at Ting Mobile are unapologetic nerds, and as such, love all things science and technology-related. Techies, gamers and other gadget-mind folk love Ting Mobile because our smarter phone plans fit their lifestyle perfectly. So for our own amusement and the edification of our valued customers, we’ve put together a list of the best 2020 STEM gifts.
Initially used to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries, Raspberry Pi single-board mini-computers have become wildly popular as a low-cost solution in many tech situations. For under $40, you can tell your mom you bought her a computer for Christmas and that you guys are totally square for all that raising you and keeping you alive as a kid stuff.
Speaking of Rasperry Pi, SunFounder’s STEM kits are a great way to highlight the tiny-but-mighty computers’ potential. They’ve got a wide variety of kits that combine with single-board computers for impressive functionality including robotic cars, displays/touchscreens and cameras. They carry other STEM-related products as well and are definitely worth a look.
Don’t mind the cheeky name, the products this site offers are anything but a mess. The impossibly cool kits offered here allow the giftee to build and code anything from a retro handheld gaming console to your own smartwatch. These aren’t just STEM kits for kids, they’re STEM gifts that will be enjoyed by kids and adults equally.
LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor
We swear this isn’t another repackaged “best STEM toys” article (we already made a great list of those). The fact of the matter is that LEGO MINDSTORMS sets allow adults to create highly complex robotic builds. It’s a great gift for an entire family, including your own (read: from you to you).
Robolink CoDrone Lite
Sure, that top-of-the-line drone is pretty impressive. But do you program its flights using code like a movie genius? Didn’t think so. You can program this lightweight drone using block code or actual text code in Python if you’re a bit more advanced. It’s got limited flight time and won’t help you film your next music video, but it’s one of the most fun ways to improve coding skills. The Pro version even includes a buildable remote.
Orion GoScope III
This is a great telescope for the beginning stargazer. Highly portable, the full telescope kit fits into the included backpack making it an easy addition to any trip, even an impromptu one on foot. It’s not a replacement for a large professional model, but it’s a whole lot of scope for under $100.
ThisWear STEM Clothing and Accessories
Admit it—as a professional in the STEM field, you love a good inside joke that 95 percent of the populace won’t get. While they carry the usual clichèd dreck (“Best Pop Pop Ever”), you can also get your yucks on with the rest of the brainy five percent thanks to ThisWear’s line of humorous STEM apparel and accessories. Sometimes STEM gifts are more about the bragging than the coding.
When it comes to coding, easily visible results from basic code can really stoke the desire to delve deeper. That’s why simple circuits like Code Rocket remain so popular. With its eight programmable onboard LED lights, speaker, buttons and retractable USB cable, Code Rocket can be programmed through basic C++ to fade the rocket booster LEDs, begin a countdown to liftoff sequence and other lessons. If you’re looking for STEM toys that can instill a joy for coding, this is a great option.
Why techies love Ting Mobile
At Ting Mobile, we’re fascinated by technology and are big supporters of people of any age working on coding, robotics and other tech-y pursuits. Our sister company Ting Internet has even gone as far as to sponsor Holly Springs High School’s robotics program. Turns out the love goes both ways. The numerous techies that use Ting Mobile love us because they save big on their phone bill thanks to our variety of affordable plans. When you’re at home or in Wi-Fi-equipped offices and labs for most of the day, being able to choose a plan with just the amount of mobile data you need can save you a ton. Sound interesting? See how Ting Mobile can help you save on your monthly bill!