It's been nearly twenty years since Esther Novis, a mother of five and a former Harvard-trained biologist, started The Young Scientists Club as a summer science camp for her then 5-year-old son. And, for more than a decade The Young Scientists Club has been developing science kits and games featuring The Magic School Bus under license from Scholastic, based on the bestselling book series written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen. With the world of STEM-infused learning and play becoming more and more popular in recent years, The Magic School Bus has also become a big hit on Netflix - reimagined as The Magic School Bus Rides Again with Fiona Frizzle taking over at the wheel to inspire a new generation of kids. Now, just in-time for the holiday season, The Young Scientists Club has unleashed a collection of a dozen new and updated Magic School Bus Science Kits that are Holiday Wish Guide™ Picks - perfect for gifting to scientists ages 5-12.
Nintendo Labo is the innovation that just keeps on giving. After a surprise debut this spring was followed by new ways to play some old favorites, Nintendo Labo is coming to schools through a new partnership between Nintendo and the Institute of Play. The two have teamed-up to put Nintendo Labo kits in select elementary classrooms nationwide, "combining the innovative play of Nintendo Labo with the basic principles of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) to inspire kids and help make learning fun." Announced this week, Nintendo will provide Nintendo Labo: Variety Kits and Nintendo Switch systems to participating classrooms to reinforce skills such as communication, creativity and critical thinking. The program aims to reach approximately 2,000 students ages 8 to 11 during the 2018-2019 school year.
Insect Lore makes some fantastic kits for kids to learn about and grow their favorite insects, and now they're teaming up with the World of Eric Carle! For the first time ever, Insect Lore is combining their revolutionary habitat kits with the iconic art of World of Eric Carle for a kaleidoscope of unforgettable experiences through live lifecycle projects. We've done several Insect Lore kits here at Rock Father HQ, so I can tell you that we have some first-hand experience with these and I highly recommend them.
If you've ever seen Back to the Future, played a game of Mouse Trap or watched a recent OK Go video (particularly "This Too Shall Pass"), then you've seen a Rube Goldberg Machine. These creations are elaborate, generally ridiculous machines that are crafted for the purpose of accomplishing a mundane task... like brewing a cup of coffee or feeding your dog. Rube Goldberg has been called "the grandfather of S.T.E.M." due to the enduring legacy of his iconic illustrations. Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning engineer and cartoonist, and his "invention cartoons" were the blueprint for countless contraptions that now bear his name. In 1988, things became official with the start of the RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST®, originally as a college competition. Three decades later, the annual contest encourages student inventors from across the country to create the best machines that they can, and for the 30th Anniversary, the 2018 contest came to a conclusion in Chicago.
At the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta, GA, a surprise announcement was made about a new initiative that will bring something that truly rocks into schools. OK Go has partnered with The Playful Learning Lab to launch the OK Go Sandbox, a program that will provide classrooms around the world with an incredible assortment of content to use alongside the band's music videos for an artistic, STEAM-based experience.
On February 13, 2018, PBS Distribution will release two all-new themed DVD collections featuring episodes of their hit PBS KIDS series. PBS KIDS: Outer Space Adventures and PBS KIDS: Ocean Adventures each feature 10 stories at a value price. No word on the exact episode listings for these just yet, but you can see the cover art and included series listed below...