Science Gifts for 11 Year Olds through Teens
Middle school and high school are great times to encourage kids to learn science by providing them with interesting science gifts. Like many of the science experiments on the sciencewithkids.com website, scientific kits should show kids something that is unexpected, but yet teach them something about science in the process. Kids that are 11 and older are harder to impress because they have seen more in their life than elementary school age kids. Sometimes science kits provide better materials than what is typically available around the house for science experiments and teaching science.
Microscope with Digital Camera
Technology advancements have also improved science. This compound microscope features bright LED lighting and a camera at a low cost to help kids explore the microscopic world around them using today's technology. The digital eyepiece allows viewing of microscope images on a computer along with capturing the digital images.
Snap Circuits Extreme - Advanced Set
This set uses snap-together, LEGO-like pieces to make creating electronic circuits easy. This is the advanced set from Snap Circuit which won various kids product awards. It has 80 parts with over 750 experiments using electronics including a connection to a computer.
The Arduino Uno is an open-source programmable electronics board. The software to program the board is free and it is easily programmed from a computer using a USB cord. The Arduino Uno has a huge online community of developers and there are plenty of programming examples available. The Uno offers a very low-cost way to get kids introduced to programming and electronics. There are many middle school, high school and college clubs and classes offered that focus around the Arduino platform.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotics Kit
This is the brand-new LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set. LEGO Mindstorms is a little pricey, but allows the ultimate in customization of a robotic toy. The included Mindstorms software is used to program the motors and standard LEGOS can be used to build almost anything imaginable. Thousands of robotic creations are possible with this kit. Many middle school and high school robotics programs use LEGO Mindstorms as their platform.
SmartLab Squishy Human Body
This very cool set, which teaches kids about the human body, is also one of the top selling science sets on Amazon. Sometimes it takes tools that wow kids to get them interested in exploring more about science. Teaching about the human body can be a bit boring, but this set certainly adds entertainment. Squishy science comes with the squishy model and a set of cards with lots of good activities.
Mini Stirling Engine
Engines are a link to our past technology and hold promise for future advancements. The Stirling Engine was an internal combustion engine with very simple mechanics. This mini Stirling engine is a great example to learn from. It shows the principles of the Stirling in a mini-size form.
K'NEX Education - Intro to Structures: Bridges
Teach kids about structure design theory then let them experiment with this K'Nex Education set. There are computer modeling programs to teach brige theory, but a hands-on set like this has some advantages. Includes all the parts needed to build many different bridge designs.
Sphero SPRK+ Robot
Ultra Stomp Rocket
Stomp Rockets are excellent for kids in middle school and high school. Using a foot pad, kids create an air force that launches a rocket up to 200 feet into the sky. Some rocket kits use a thruster that must be ignited. Stomp rockets are much safer and are generally re-usable. Stomp Rockets frequently top the online sales list in the science toy category, but surprisingly, most retailers do not stock Stomp Rockets on their shelves.
Elenco Learn to Solder Kit
Learning to solder is the first step to designing and creating your own circuits. This kit offers instructions and tools needed to start to learn to solder. The kit also includes a practice circuit board and enough electronic components to make a circuit. It is a good starter set, particularly for the price.
Thames and Cosmos: Remote Control Machines
Hands-on learning is one of the best practices for kids interested in science and engineering. Engineering colleges teach the skill of problem solving. A set like this Remote Control Machines from Thames and Cosmos provides that much needed individual problem solving skills that kids need.
Duo Scope Microscope
My First Duo Microscope is a cheaper option than the microscope with camera. It features 10x magnification of solid objects and up to 400x magnification of slides. Magnification is made using good quality glass optics, so this toy is closer to a real laboratory instrument than the low cost indicates. Great for future biologists and doctors.