STEM Gift Guide
Contributed by Jaclyn Sarnese, founder of elevatEd Classrooms and co-chair of the Innovation in K-12 working group.
There has never been a year more welcome to holiday spirit than 2020, no matter which holidays you do or don’t celebrate! Since holiday movies help get me in the spirit, I turned to Netflix and stumbled upon their new release Jingle Jangle. Not to mention that I’ve since watched it multiple times it was so good, but I felt inspired by their messages of belief and innovation. Further, the little girl in me who never stopped asking questions, who never stopped trying new things, and who saw things that other people didn’t see, finally felt heard and represented in a holiday film. I loved seeing representation for female inventors, lead casts filled with POC and much more!
Not only did Jingle Jangle help get me in the holiday spirit this year, I felt inspired to share the message to all of the other little girls (& all children!) who feel different for having endless questions about the world around us, to never stop chasing those questions! Never stop believing in yourself, even if others aren’t able to see what you see.
Here are some gifts for our Inventors, Engineers, Scientists of the Future!
- Green Kid Crafts
- Founded by mother and environmental scientist, Green Kid Crafts is empowering the next generation of environmental leaders using creative, nature-based STEAM activities.
- Black Girl MATHgic
- Created by a woman of color with a love for math (degree and all) who saw the need to boost the confidence and decrease math anxiety in girls (3rd - 8th grade). “While the box is curated for black girls because they endure unique struggles as a doubly marginalized group and sit at the intersection of wide racial and gender gaps in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, girls of all racial and ethnic backgrounds benefit from the math confidence the Black Girl MATHgic Box offers. They also learn more about black history, which is American history. Win Win!”
- A Mighty Girl
- A Mighty Girl’s purpose is to empower and inspire girls and those raising girls to raise them to be the confident, smart and courageous! This is the worlds largest collection of books, music, toys and movies dedicated to girl empowerment.
- Magnificent Makers Books
- Do you remember the Magic School Bus Series? An adventurous world of science, invention and much more! Well here is your monderday series - check it out for all your adventure readers.
- Brown Toy Box
- A Brown Toy Box is working hard so that black children can positively see themselves represented as they work toward their mission of: “normalizing Black excellence and creating prosperous career pathways for Black children through STEAM education, cultural representation and educational play.”
- Puzzle Huddle
- Matthew and Marnel Goins were frustrated with the lack of diverse images shown on puzzles so in 2018 they created Puzzle Huddle. They create diversity focused puzzles, wall decorations, t-shirts, pillows, and blankets that focus on themes such as education, family, culture and more!
- KiwiCo is all about celebrating kids creativity! Founded by a mother and engineer KiwiCo has created hands-on projects “ to celebrate kids' natural creativity and curiosity.”
- Meddy Teddy
- Created by 3 brothers with the health and wellness of their community, family, and friends in mind. Meddy Teddy is a soft, bendable, plush teddy bear to encourage yoga and mindfulness.
- Coding Adventures with Python: Code Your Own "A.I."
- Join Hands-on Technology for a most-excellent Coding Adventure and learn the basics of Python programming via puzzles, games, animations, challenges, & engaging STEM activities! "Coding Adventures" classes are perfect for beginner-to-intermediate virtual students.
- Geared to Grades 4-8. Registration closes December 16 at 4:00 p.m.
- Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons by Arlyne B. Simon, Ph.D.
- Author Dr. Arlyne Simon is a biomedical engineer, patented inventor and Founder & CEO of Timouns. Timouns creates storybooks with multicultural characters who invent things kids wish existed – like unbreakable crayons and more.
- Watch San Diego local Jasmine Sadler, the Dancing Rocket Scientist, read this book aloud at this link
- La Mochila Invisible (en Español) by Stefanie Sherbon
- La mochila invisible tiene como objetivo ayudar a los niños a enfrentar los eventos negativos de la vida a través de una historia relatable y no amenazante. Este libro fue creado para ayudar a los niños, padres, cuidadores, consejeros y maestros a comprender mejor los sentimientos y el comportamiento de un niño.
- The Invisible Backpack (in English) by Stefanie Sherbon
- The invisible backpack aims to help children cope with negative life events through a relatable and non-threatening story. This book was created to help children, parents, caregivers, counselors, and teachers better understand a child's feelings and behavior.
As that little girl who asked questions, and saw the things others didn’t, I’m excited to share this list of holiday gifts that spark imagination, invention and belonging in your kiddos. My inventions took me to owning my own business, elevatEd Classrooms. I get to work with the whole educational community, teachers, family members, students, and other community members to empower our education system starting with our teachers and flowing to our students! I love what I get to do everyday and I’m grateful for how that little inventor in me lead me here today. I hope the same joy and success to your kiddos! Let’s encourage your little inventors!