Any media that turn screentime into STEM time are always welcome, especially when the kids are faced with a lot of downtime. Several STEM-themed kids’ games and apps have been released recently to encourage girls’ interests in those fields in particular, as women only make up approximately 26 percent of the current workforce in science, technology, engineering and math careers. These apps a great way to offer opportunities for calculating, building and coding to your young kids.
With bright colors, cool characters, and topics such as baking and mystery-solving, most of these apps are aimed at catching the attention of elementary-aged girls, but they’re so much fun that boys will enjoy getting their hands on them as well. These six apps help elementary-aged kids (and even some middle schoolers!) have fun while learning the basics of science, technology, engineering and math. Load them onto your kid's device to help spark an interest or fuel discovery in the fields of math and science!
1. GoldieBlox: The Rocket Cupcake Co.
GoldieBlox is the star of her own amazing line of STEM toys for girls, and now she’s starring in her own app with her best friend Ruby Rails. Goldie is making cupcakes for her friends all over Bloxtown, and it’s up to her and Ruby to get them delivered.
Kids enter a list of basic movement programming commands to get Goldie where she needs to go. Along the way they’ll earn stickers, play mini-games to get ingredients, design their own levels and more.
2. Motion Math: Cupcake!
Older elementary and middle-school students won’t believe how much fun math can be with Motion Math: Cupcake! Fractions, word problems and proportions are just a few of the math concepts kids will practice as they begin running their own cupcake business.
Set prices based on cupcake ingredients to make the biggest profit. Design cupcakes based on customers’ demands. And, of course, bake yummy cupcakes. Kids will love being the boss of their own cupcake empire, and you’ll love seeing their STEM skills grow and be applied in a way that’s both fun and practical.
3. Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues
This charming game combines dress-up, hidden objects, coding puzzles and a mystery all in one fun app. Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues introduces the venerable teen sleuth to the iPad generation, updating Nancy and her friends Bess and George in an all-new mystery and adventure.
As kids play through the story, they’ll take control of a robot puppy to navigate obstacles and find clues. A basic programming sequence is used to move the puppy up and over objects in its path. Become a de-TECH-tive alongside Nancy Drew and find the clues.
4. Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System
Professor Astro Cat leads kids through a detailed but adorable look at our solar system. With no voiceover narration, kids will need strong reading skills to pore through the planetary factoids and figures. Once they learn about an object in the solar system, they’ll think fast to complete Astro Cat’s challenge in a jet-powered quiz.
This is a highly interactive app where the swipe of a finger can form a star or build a rocket. Thanks to the level of detail and a spotlight on current space missions, parents who need a refresher on astronomy might find themselves just as engrossed as the kids.
5. SMART Adventures Mission Math 1: Sabotage at the Space Station
Aimed at boosting confidence in math for girls age 9 and up, Sabotage at the Space Station begins with character creation that will make kids feel like they’re right in the middle of a space adventure themselves.
Exploring the station reveals puzzles and more pieces to the mystery. As they find clues scattered across the futuristic space station, kids will put their math skills to use, from fractions to volume and mass.
6. The Counting Kingdom
Turn math into magic by defending against attacking monsters in The Counting Kingdom. Cast spells by adding up the number on the spell scrolls to match the sums of monsters approaching the castle walls. Add up scrolls to take out more monsters at once, or use a potion to add or subtract to make the numbers match. Rounds aren’t timed, so even kids who are still getting the hang of addition won’t get frustrated if they need some time to calculate sums.
If your kids love defending the yard in Plants vs. Zombies, they’ll enjoy knocking out the monsters in The Counting Kingdom.