When teens have specific interests, it’s good to know there are toys they can use to explore those interests, especially if they are interested in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics—or STEM. The teen years are when kids’ basic foundation for college develops, and great STEM gifts and activities allow them to learn and have fun at the same time. If you have teens on your gift list and you’re looking for great STEM toys or the perfect gift for a young scientist, you’ve come to a great place because below are 25 of them that foot the bill. Here are 25 engineering gifts for a teenager seeking educational, STEM-focused fun!
Not unlike the pens used by some engineers, this pen is nothing short of amazing. It extrudes heated plastic that hardens almost immediately and helps users create 3D works of art easily and quickly. They can make all sorts of things with this pen, and it even comes with plastics of different colors. It’s perfect for older kids who are very creative, but even adults will get a kick out of it.
Priced at under $30, this marble run game is perfect for developing critical thinking, spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, problem solving, and planning skills. There are numerous challenges, both simple and difficult, so whether you’re eight years old or 60 years old, you’ll be able to learn something and have a lot of fun in the meantime. It is a perfect building and engineering toy that includes marbles, towers, and so much more that can inspire the learning process in a fun, great way.
This clock is unlike any other you’ve ever seen. With this toy, you can create a clock with life-like pieces, and when you’re done, it’ll look just like a real clock, including the parts on the inside! It’s a fully functional mechanical clock that future engineers can put together themselves, then observe so they can see how it works. Even better, once you wind it, it will continue to operate for 6–7 hours. This is easily one of the most enjoyable and rewarding building sets for younger kids and future mechanical engineers.
If you want to make your own robots, this is the toy for you (or for the little engineer in your life). It’s super-inexpensive at under $25 and consists of more than 450 separate pieces, allowing you to get as creative as you wish. With this kit, you can build either a robot or items such as police cars, motorcycles, helicopters, and more. It is also good for improving hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills, and it’s fun for the entire family.
This is a fascinating kit because you can use the pieces to build your own roller coaster, and when you’re done with it, you can watch it in action. It’s a bit pricey at around $50, but it helps kids understand concepts such as motion, physics, energy, velocity, and more. It also comes with both easy-to-understand instructions and scientific explanations that help kids learn more about engineering.
If realistic programmable robots are more your thing, they aren’t that difficult to find and make great STEM activities. While they can cost around $180, you’ll consider them worth it once you discover everything they can do. With this particular robot, you get Bluetooth capability, special software, and the ability to build eight different models. It even comes with a few motors for building a fan, a house, and more (along with building instructions, so kids are guided through the building process).
This circuit board attached to an electric piano is perfect for both girls and boys and allows you to create nearly 40 different piano lab experiments for both fun and learning purposes. There are more than 325 different circuit parts, and it teaches you about electricity voltage, magnetism, and resistance, among other things. You can also develop your own tricks and experiments so that you never get bored. For music interested students seeking new ways to enhance their STEM knowledge while also having a great time, this is one educational kit that offers great value for the price.
This is not just for lovers of circuit boards but also for those who want something easier to manipulate. These snap circuits are simple to use and colorful, and their 75 parts allow you to create more than 500 different projects. For any young person specifically interested in electrical engineering, this is a great toy to help get them started. The toy has won numerous awards throughout the years, and if you purchase it, you’ll quickly understand why.
Priced at under $20, this is one of the many educational toys that encourages thinking, building, and cognitive skills. It contains 566 different pieces and lets you build 12 different models of rocket launchers. It comes with a satellite, rocket, radar detection vehicle, and of course, the rocket launch mount. And even though teens can put it together themselves, it is safe to use and will never harm their hands.
If you love remote-control toys, this is the perfect kit to choose. Priced at under $35, it is very affordable yet provides the perfect opportunity for teens and even adults to build their own dump truck that they can then operate via the remote control. It is a great STEM toy that teaches engineering skills as well as mechanical ability. It also promises to keep kids, teens, and young adults (or older ones, too!) busy for hours.
When it comes to cool gifts, what is better than a kit you can build tons of things with and which is bright and colorful to boot? It consists of 600 thin straw tubes made out of plastic that are sturdy and perfect for building items such as rockets, planes, boats, furniture, and so much more. It also enhances math, structure, engineering, and reasoning skills, making it the perfect STEM toy for kids of all ages, from young children to high school teens.
This is an inexpensive toy at around $16, but it is both educational and a lot of fun. With this kit, you can make a hover airboat that also makes the perfect entry to any science fair. It combines both science and technology to create a great boat that slides along the floor smoothly, thanks to the air that is underneath it. All engineers will have to build things, and this kit gives teens a great start in this field.
With this building kit, young engineers can design and build a total of 10 moving machines that are nothing short of amazing. With the 33 LEGO pieces included, you get paper ramps, six plastic balls, string, and everything else you need so that the machines come out perfectly every time. Even better, the instructions are very clear and easy to understand, so even inexperienced builders will be creating works of art in no time. For parents seeking to instill confidence and competence in their STEM-interested kids and teens, this is one of the best science kits because teens feel rewarded with the tangible, functional outcomes they create!
These are hands-on kits that help teens create an actual workable FM radio. The kits include the components necessary to create a monophonic FM receiver (88-108mHz) and electronic auto-scan. If you’re interested in learning all about the intricacies of circuit boards, this is a great kit to own. It is reasonably priced at around $22 and comes in a bright-red design. It is also the perfect tool for learning soldering skills.
This toy allows teens to build their own wearable electronic hand that they can both learn from and have fun with, regardless of their current ability. This is a very detailed toy that requires no batteries or motors to operate properly. It relies on hydraulic pistons to make it work, and you get three configurations: a right hand, a left hand, and a claw. They can even adjust the angle of every finger to get precise movement every time.
This is one of the best STEM toys to purchase if your teen is interested in learning more about compression, force, load, tension, and anything else related to engineering principles. It is reasonably priced at around $40 and allows you to build a total of 20 different models with its 285 different building pieces. But don’t worry because it also comes with a 36-page instruction manual of detailed information that makes the task very easy for those willing to spend the time pouring through the step-by-step instructions.
This $20 helicopter-building set is easy to do yet challenging enough to prevent boredom while working with it. It comes with a total of 149 pieces and encourages both cognitive and problem-solving skills. Even better, its propeller is moveable, and therefore, it is a lot of fun to make and play with, even if you’re an adult. Its high-quality parts also mean that the helicopter can take a lot of abuse and keep on going, which makes it a great gift idea for kids who may play rough with their toys.
This one toy gives you enough components and pieces to create and build a total of 16 items, including a seesaw, parking gate, double-deck bridge, and so much more. Teens learn how levers are used to change motion direction or increase applied force, and at under $30, it is a very affordable toy as well. It even comes with descriptions of different scientific principles and fun experiments.
This kit is a great option for older kids and teens who are interested in engineering and building things. It comes with 100 pieces and allows you to build cranes, skyscrapers, bridges, and so much more. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own city, this is the perfect way to do it. It allows you to express your creativity and come up with tons of ideas to build your own amazing city.
With this kit, you can create the perfect bicycle and learn valuable skills at the same time. It is a wooden bicycle that can be operated with a remote-control device, and with easy-to-follow instructions, even beginners can create works of art with no problems. The pieces are real wood and untreated, and at a price of around $23, it is so affordable that you can buy two of them if you like.
Made by Thames and Kosmos, a maker of high-quality STEM toys, this circuitry set is designed for both older kids and teens alike, even though adults can also enjoy it. It’s priced at around $32 and consists of components that allow you to conduct a total of 15 different experiments. You can use it to learn about voltage, motors, current, batteries, and so much more.
The minimum age for this kit is 14, so it isn’t for beginners or super young children, and at a price of around $120, it isn’t affordable for everyone anyway. Nevertheless, it is intricately designed and has both 4WD omnidirectional wheels and a real DC motor. You can control the car via an Android or iOS app, and it comes complete with everything you need to have fun for hours at a time, including a USB cable and a Wi-Fi shield. That said, among the more advanced robotic kits (and STEM kits in general), this can make the holiday season (or a birthday) 10x more enjoyable and educational, and STEM-interested teens will be absolutely engrossed, learning while having so much fun!
The best gifts to buy for teens interested in engineering are gifts that they can build themselves, and this hydraulic lift is one of those building toys. From pistons to scissor mechanisms, this lift teaches young people about the mechanics of building as an engineer, as well as teaches them about physics and how it relates to the world around them. It comes with educational booklets as well that teach kids even more about STEM and is a great choice for parents looking to engender in their child a love of learning, creating, questioning, problem-solving, and bringing inventions to life.
This kit is an excellent introduction to the world of solar power, and it allows both teens and adults to build a total of 12 different items, including items that can operate on both land and water. The kit is broken down into two different difficulty levels, so whether you’re a beginner or you’ve built things before, you can build numerous items and have fun at the same time.
Regardless of your skill level, you’ll thoroughly enjoy building this wooden 3D puzzle that runs on solar power. The instructions are all you need to create a great puzzle that is a replica of a planetary rover. It also costs under $17 and is therefore affordable for everyone. It is available in many different rovers that are each a different shape and size, so it should be easy to find one you love.
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