Know a curious teenager who’s thinking about a career in STEM? You’re probably looking for something that makes learning fun and inspires them on their journey. When I was in high school, I remember two distinct gifts that set me on my path in STEM. That’s all it takes!
But with so many cool gadgets and gizmos out there, choosing the right STEM gift for your teen can be tricky. Below are our favorite STEM presents for teens, regardless of whether they are just starting to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or are now experts. One of these might be the perfect catalyst to inspire them to pursue a STEM career!
1. The Pocket Scientist - High School Edition
How about a little card-sized science ruler and equations reference to help them with daily homework and hands-on experiments? Designed for ages 14-19, The Pocket Scientist High School Edition is a tool that reinforces STEM fundamentals every time they use it, preparing them for a brilliant career.
The backside is laser-engraved with basic science equations and physical constants to save them time and help them memorize critical information. See the product page for a full list of features we've packed in!
You can also add a custom logo to this for outreach events or STEM kits! Custom orders start at 100 pieces - just email us for more info.
2. NASA Apollo Saturn V 92176 Outer Space Model Rocket
The NASA Apollo Saturn V 92176 outer space model can help them grow their passion for space exploration. Featuring a 1 meter-tall (1:110 scale) miniature rocket that recreates mankind's lunar journey, it simulates the thrilling moments of the Apollo Moon missions with 3 removable rocket stages, a launch escape system, a command and service module, and 2 mini figures.
With the three supplied platforms, you can display the Saturn V rocket horizontally and watch as the Lunar Orbiter launches it into space while the Lunar Lander docks with the command and service modules. Be sure to read the brochure included to learn more about the manned Apollo Moon mission. This NASA toy is a must-have for space enthusiasts!
3D printing will be everywhere soon, and any teenager who masters it will have a big advantage in their early career. For those just starting out with 3D printing, this printer comes with a Safety Protected Power Supply and several assembled parts. With its Resume Printing Function, you won't miss a beat if there's a power outage. Let your teen's imagination run wild and see what amazing things they can make!
Explore the cosmos with the Orion SpaceProbe Equatorial Reflector Telescope! Its 5.1" aperture mirror lets you see planets, moons, galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters. With the tripod's adjustable legs, you can manually track celestial objects across the night sky.
In addition to everything you'll need to get started, this kit comes with two Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), a smartphone camera adapter, DeepMap 600, MoonMap 260, and a collimation cap. So, whether you're a seasoned astronomer or just starting out, this telescope will provide endless hours of stargazing fun!
5. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
New York Times Best-Selling author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky has created a beautiful collection of 50 illustrated portraits of women who have made significant contributions to STEM fields throughout history.
The book not only highlights these inspiring women's achievements, but also has infographics on lab supplies, the percentage of women working in STEM disciplines today, and a scientific glossary. From primatologist Jane Goodall to mathematician Katherine Johnson, who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon, "Women in Science" is a must-have for any teen interested in science and history.
Anyone interested in astronomy, ecology, or biology will love the Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Binocular. With 70 mm objective lenses and 15x magnification, these binoculars are excellent for viewing night skies and distant land targets. But that's not all!
The built-in tripod adapter allows you to mount your binoculars on any traditional tripod. The rubber-armored housing protects your binoculars from damage while providing a secure grip. Whether you're exploring the night sky or observing wildlife in the field, these binoculars are the perfect gift for any science enthusiast.
The National Geographic Rock Tumbler Kit is an exciting way to explore geology and polishing rocks. With this kit, teens can make stunning gemstones out of ordinary rocks. Everything they need is in the kit, from a tumbler to polishing grits to a sifter and nine types of gems.
Plus, the full-color learning guide makes rock tumbling easy. Set the timer and leave it on until the gems are perfectly polished with its one-touch timer and automatic shutoff feature. Whether they're interested in geology or simply enjoy hands-on projects, this kit will keep them engaged and off of their phone.
The kit includes everything they need to build an old-school working radio, including a 56-page training course, a detailed manual, and all the components! Featuring two separate audio systems (IC and transistor), this radio kit makes a great introduction to electronics, reminiscent of many engineers getting their hands dirty repairing radios in the 1950’s.
The PCB design makes it easy to place the parts over the corresponding symbols on the printed circuit board. Plus, they can practice their soldering skills with this kit! This is a fun and educational STEM gift that will keep high school students entertained for hours while they learn radio technology basics.
Simple 2D sketches can be turned into stunning 3D art with this innovative pen. For artists, engineers, and kids who like exploring their imaginations, the 3D Printing Pen is a must-have. It features a temperature adjustment screw for switching between ABS and PLA.
You get three colors of PLA plastic filament, an AC adapter, and a slim, ergonomic touch pen. With the stepless speed slider, you can match the extrusion speed to what you're doing. This makes it easy to create intricate details or larger fills. The possibilities are endless with this pen!
10. Engineering for Teens: A Beginner's Book for Aspiring Engineers
Engineers shape the future, whether they're designing cutting-edge technology or solving complex problems. In Engineering for Teens: A Beginner's Book for Aspiring Engineers, they'll get a peek inside the fascinating world of engineering and the many disciplines within it. Discover famous engineers throughout history, the four main engineering branches, and their specialties.
This book will give them a better understanding of how engineers use math and science. Whether they're interested in creating sustainable energy solutions, designing new technology, or solving complex problems, this book is a great place to start!
For an engineer who wants to spend more time with theirkids and get them engaged in STEM, a great approach isworking on small engineering projects together. KiwiCo came up with a line of project boxes for different age groups and subjects. You get a new project box every month and can pause or cancel any time. They are often made of laser-cut wood which you assemble with included electronics to make things like a trebuchet, an adjustable desk lamp, or an automatic pencil sharpener!
TheEureka Crateis targeted at ages 12+ (shown below), so it's perfect for high school students and can also be a ton of fun for a passionate engineer who loves hobby projects. If these are too advanced, try theTinker Crateinstead!
This is really the ultimate in DIY STEM kits for early teens. It's expensive, but will build confidence with your teenager that they are capable of doing programming and robotics. Step-by-step, it helps de-mystify these challenging subjects and might spark some serious DIY projects over the coming years.
The problem with most "science kits" is that once you build them, you play for a few minutes and get bored. My favorite thing about the mBot Ultimate is that is interfaces with Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Combining the two, with some help from some forums, gives you endless opportunities for new and interesting configurations, tasks, and fun with one kit!
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