If you haven't heard of STEM, you've come to the right place. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in science, technology, engineering and math. The approach is to teach all four concepts as an integrated paradigm based on real-world experience rather than teaching the topics completely separate from each other.
The goal is to get kids interested in STEM so they eventually pursue careers in one or more of the fields. Former President Barack Obama understood the importance of STEM.
"[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world...," Obama said about the program back in 2015.
And we couldn't agree more. One way to make sure your kids are up to speed with STEM is by introducing them to a handful of the hundreds and hundreds of STEM apps in existence.
Tech savvy kids are usually pros at finding websites and apps they're interested in, but it never hurts to add a few more to their list of go-to apps. So here are some cool and super fun STEM apps we found that we think your kids love.
Swift Playgrounds by Apple
If your kids are into coding, they'll absolutely love this app. Apple's Swift Playgrounds app allows kids to guide characters through an immersive world of graphics while solving puzzles and mastering challenges. It's all done by working with Swift, the programming language from Apple which is used by app developers around the world.
The app is perfect for kids who are just starting out in coding, but also challenges kids who already excel at it. Pretty cool, right? Available for free on iTunes for iPad.
Crazy Gears is a digital puzzle game, designed to help kids develop their critical thinking skills. It's a digital playground based on the theories of mathematician and computer scientist Seymour Paper. The game centers around a real mechanical engine that allows young learners to manipulate chains, pulleys and gears to pull themselves into the next level.
You can purchase the app on iTunes for $3.99, and it can be used on both iPhone and iPad. (Ages 6-8)
Attributes by Math Doodles
Kids can explore math concepts by using patterns. Attributes by Math Doodles "is a set of seven problem-solving puzzles designed to encourage learners to actively explore, discover, engage and play with the mathematical concepts of attributes and patterns from 7 different scaffolded perspectives," according to iTunes.
Challenges include grouping things according to similar characteristics, completing pattern sequences, and comparing and contrasting using a Venn diagram. Available for $3.99 on iTunes and compatible with iPad. (Ages 9-11)
Thinkrolls 2: Logic and Physics Puzzles for Kids
A fun game that combines physics and logic. Kids can navigate their Thinkrolls through 270 levels of science-filled mazes. Each maze has more than one solution, encouraging kids to learn through trial and error.
The Everything Machine
By using The Everything Machine by Tinybop, kids can build anything they can imagine. They'll learn about programming and circuitry while creating their own incredible inventions using the hardware that already exists inside your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. They'll be able to make a light, a stop-motion camera, a kaleidoscope, a voice disguiser, a cookie thief catcher or pretty much anything else they can think of.
Sound confusing? Let your kids have a go at it. They'll get it. Buy the app on iTunes for $3.99 and use on iPhone and iPad. (Ages 9-11)