Holiday STEM Robotics  

Buyers Guide

our goal:

Inspire Your Kids To The World Of Robotics

This Buyers Guide highlights robotics-based educational games, kits and products sets that will keep your kids inspired for hours while they learn real skills.

STEM Skills 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a broad set of skills. By engaging your child in STEM-related activities, you are nurtuting their natural creativity. By time your child enters the workforce  1-18 years from now, robotics will be more prevalent and the critical-thinking skills that are required to design, program, maintain and use robots will be a necessary skill for a majority of the workforce.

Our goal is to provide you with ideas that will inspire the next generation.

Science

Science skills can include anything that fits within the classic sciences. However, since robotics is our focus, we look for the sciences that support robotics design, including: mechanics, electricity and computers.

Technology

Technology is a broad category. Technology skills can include understanding how things work together, using computers and the internet, using tools properly (and safely), and being able to comprehend complex instructions.

Engineering

The discipline of engineering is learning how to see things in your mind and then design a system that acheives the desired outcome. Lego kits and erector sets are perfect examples of an educational experience that encourage both free play and reinforce following instructions (in building sets).

Math

Math skill can be reinforced in many ways. Learning to program requires the ability to apply math and logic skills in increasing difficult challenges. Robotics is a great way for kids to bridge the gap between math mathmatical concepts and real-world applications. 

Recommended Products*

*NOTE: All links to the AMAZON store are affiliate links for The Mobile Robot Guide. By purchasing with these links, you are helping to support The Mobile Robot Guide and the mission that we have to educate kids (and adults) about robotics. Thank you for your support!!

NOTE: This page is a work in progress. We update as new info comes in

Last Update: November 30, 2020

How to Use the Guide:

A Legend of STEM Skills: Programming, mechanical, electrical, math, art, science, flight

Options For Ages 10+

LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor [10+]

The LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor kit is the ultimate build-and-program robots set from LEGO. This kit is designed for older kids ages 10+ (mostly because of the small parts). This kit is the heart of FIRST Robotics LEGO League competition, and it's a great product all around. LEGO Mindstorms encourages kids to learn both mechanical principles as well as programming. It also works well for groups of kids who might have different passions (e.g. mechanical vs programming). The LEGO software runs on tablets and PC's including Android systems. The programming software is intuitive and simple to learn. Once kids learn the basic programming language, it's possible to use third party solutions to learn how to program MINDSTORMS robots using JAVA or Python programming languages.

Your kids will spend hours and hours building and programming MINDSTORMS robots. It is a solution that can grow with them over several years. The kit includes motors, sensors and enough building parts to configure just about anything your child can dream up. The online community includes training videos and brick-by-brick building instructions.

Order Link:

Makeblock mBot Ranger Transformable STEM Educational Robot Kit [10+]

  • The mbot Ranger robot packs a lot of fun into a small package. The mbot Ranger robot is a mechanical Wonder that challenges young programmers with innovative ways to explore the science of robotics.
  • Build in as little as 45 minutes and is compatible with major building blocks. This product is not affiliated with or endorsed by LEGO. Lego is a trademark of the LEGO group of companies.
  • Follow the easy to read guide provided or design your own unique robot. Your child's imagination is the limit. Create, enhance and explore designer options to create new variations of the mbot Ranger. Pa and personalize mbot Ranger with special add-on packs. With a few basic skills, your child can rapidly bring their creativity to life. It's easy to code the mbot Ranger from your smartphone with the Make block blocks app (iOS/Android). advanced coding software is also available (windows/macOS/Linux/chrome OS) and is one of make block's most popular entry-level coding programs.

Makeblock DIY Ultimate Robot Kit - Premium Quality - 10-in-1 Robot [10+]

  • Ten building forms will meet all your need for different application scenes - Robotic Arm Tank, Robotic Bartender, etc.
  • Great for learning robotics, electronics, graphical programming, Arduino programming and Python programming;
  • Anodized 6061 aluminum mechanical parts with threaded-slot design brings an easy way of building the robot;
  • Three powerful encoder motors enable you to feel every step of the robot;
  • Wirelessly control your robot with smart devices through Bluetooth connection.

ActivityBot 360 [Ages 10+]

The ActivityBot 360° is a capable small robot, with its Propeller 1 Multicore brain. Programmed in BlocklyProp or C, this kit has an extended set of project tutorials and accessories provide a robot suitable for middle schoolers and university students.

The robot requires complete assembly, including handling the circuit board and assembling wire and connectors. No soldering is required. There are a variety of additional sensors that can be purchased and added to the base robot.

PRICE: $249

ActivityBot 360



Options For Ages 7+

BOOST Creative Toolbox [Ages 7+]

For kids too young for the LEGO Mindstorms product, but still interested in building with motors and sensors and then controlling motion, the BOOST Creative Toolbox may be the answer. The kit has almost 800+ pieces. BOOST uses normal LEGO bricks, so your child can also use any existing bricks or pieces from other kits in their "BOOSTed" creations.

With LEGO BOOST, children learn about loops and variables, improve STEM and creative-problem solving skills and develop their imagination as they toggle between guided and open-ended play. The more activities you complete, the more coding blocks you unlock! The LEGO BOOST app is available for selected iOS, Android and Kindle smart devices.

Star Wars Droid Commander [Ages 8+]

For kids too young for the LEGO Mindstorms product, but still interested in building with motors and sensors and them controlling, The Star Wars Droid Commander kit may be the answer. The kit has almost 1200 pieces. Using the free LEGO BOOST Star Wars app, your young commander builds the droids, inserts the Bluetooth-controlled Move Hub into the one that will solve each mission, and brings it to life using the intuitive drag-and-drop coding environment

Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball

  • MORE THAN JUST A ROBOT: Sphero SPRK+ is a programmable robot ball designed to inspire creativity and curiosity through coding and play. Easily learn programming, complete hands-on activities, and share your creations with the community.
  • PROGRAMMABLE SENSORS & LED LIGHTS: SPRK+'s programmable sensors include a gyroscope, accelerometer, motor encoders, and colorful LED lights to create countless play experiences and coding conditions for all levels.
  • EASY TO CODE & CREATE: Powered by the Sphero Edu app, you can program SPRK+ across several platforms using JavaScript. Looking for more fun? Use the Sphero Play app to drive and play games with your coding bot.
  • BUILT TO LEARN & PLAY: With an hour of play, this educational robot is scratch-resistant, waterproof, charges inductively and connects via Bluetooth SMART so you can see your commands and creations come to life.
  • Sphero BOLT: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors

    • MORE THAN JUST A ROBOT: Sphero BOLT is a programmable robot ball that you can drive and code, providing endless opportunities to be creative and have fun while learning. Advanced yet approachable, you can learn programming, complete hands-on activities, and share your creations with the community.
    • ADVANCED SENSORS & LED MATRIX: BOLT's programmable sensors include a compass, light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, motor encoders, and infrared communications, along with an eye-catching 8x8 LED matrix that can animate and display real-time data.
    • CREATE IRIDESCENT EXPERIENCES: Powered by the Sphero Edu app, you can create and customize games and code BOLT by drawing on your screen, using Scratch blocks, or writing JavaScript or Apple's Swift programming language.
    • BUILT TO LEARN & PLAY: This educational robot features a durable scratch-proof clear plastic shell, inductive charging for 2+ hours of play, and connects via Bluetooth SMART so you can see your commands and creations come to life.Do not clean the charger with a solvent, denatured alcohol or other inflammable solvents

    Sphero RVR: All-Terrain Programmable Coding Robot with Customizable Hardware Platform

    • GO-ANYWHERE, DO-ANYTHING PROGRAMMABLE ROBOT: Meet the Sphero RVR, our most versatile coding robot yet, packed with a diverse suite of sensors and built for customization. Drive RVR precisely and accurately right out of the box – no assembly or complicated setup required.
    • DRIVE IT: RVR’s powerful motor, all-terrain treads and high torque give you the freedom to drive just about anywhere. This advanced tank-style robot is packed with on-board sensors including a color sensor, light sensor, IR, accelerometer, and gyroscope.
    • PROGRAM IT: Use the Sphero Edu app to code RVR with Draw & Drive, Scratch blocks, or JavaScript. RVR is highly hackable with SDK and API libraries for more advanced hackers and makers, making it the ultimate programming robot for coders of all levels.
    • BUILD ON IT: RVR’s customizable expansion plate is designed to work with most third-party hardware including Raspberry Pi, Arduino, micro:bit, and Sphero’s own littleBits. A removable, rechargeable, high-capacity battery delivers enough juice to power RVR and anything you add to it.

    Makeblock mBot Robot Kit [8+]

    • Don’t judge it by size, he is a real robot that has many modes to play with, like obstacle avoidance, line-follow and etc. It is easy to build within 15 mins and can be controlled by remote or smartphones through Makeblock App (iOS/Android).
    • It’s up to you to decide if you wants to follow the guide or DIY it with your own imagination to make your mBot completely differ from everyone else, You can also upgrade it by purchasing the add-on package of mBot to DIY more forms of mBot.
    • Code it from all platform, the mBlock Blockly App (iOS/Android) is a great place to train the logical thinking for new coders. The advanced mBlock software (Windows/MacOS/Linux/Chrome) is one of the most popular entry-level coding platform with more than 450,000+ users that helps you to bring your creativity into reality.

    Scribbler 3 [Ages 8+]

    Simple enough to set up in minutes, the S3 is powerful enough to teach engaging activities throughout the school year. 

    Lights, sounds, a pen port,  motors, and sensors support creative, interactive robotics projects, while integrating other subjects such as math, science, and art are all possible. 

    PRICE: $219

    ActivityBot 360


    Flite Test - Project EZ Space Flite  [Ages 8+]

    Flite Test has created Project EZ Space Flite to be a five-star STEM experience that can be used in learning environments at school, home, camps or any corner of the galaxy.  The STEM Lesson Guide will lead your discovery about how Bernoulli’s principle applies to wings, even those with very unusual shapes.  

    The lesson guide and on-line videos will show you how to build and fly three unique space-themed foam board planes.  The FT EZ3 Space Flyers can be flown as gliders or combined with the EZ Power Pack for remote controlled flight.  Enjoy space flights as long as 10 minutes with ranges of over 400ft.  Once you have experienced the wonder of space travel, you can follow the lesson guide and use the included materials to design and build your own flyer.   

    PRICE: $64.99

    ActivityBot 360


    Flite Test - EZ BasiX Bundle [Ages 8+]

    The EZ BasiX Bundle contains everything that you need for amazing flight experiences that you can share with others.  The downloadable STEM material and on-line videos will guide you from the moment that you open the box through building, flying and even designing your own aircraft.  The planes in this bundle are designed to give you a successful first flight and to allow you to explore three unique designs both on the workbench and in the sky.  You will learn the basic principles of flight and observe how they affect the flight characteristics of each plane.  Take what you learned and build an aircraft of your own design using the included materials.  

    PRICE: $99.99

    ActivityBot 360


    Flite Test - EZ BasiX Bundle [Ages 8+]

    The EZ BasiX Bundle contains everything that you need for amazing flight experiences that you can share with others.  The downloadable STEM material and on-line videos will guide you from the moment that you open the box through building, flying and even designing your own aircraft.  The planes in this bundle are designed to give you a successful first flight and to allow you to explore three unique designs both on the workbench and in the sky.  You will learn the basic principles of flight and observe how they affect the flight characteristics of each plane.  Take what you learned and build an aircraft of your own design using the included materials.  

    PRICE: $99.99

    ActivityBot 360


    Star Wars Droid Commander [Ages 8+]

    For kids too young for the LEGO Mindstorms product, but still interested in building with motors and sensors and them controlling, The Star Wars Droid Commander kit may be the answer. The kit has almost 1200 pieces. Using the free LEGO BOOST Star Wars app, your young commander builds the droids, inserts the Bluetooth-controlled Move Hub into the one that will solve each mission, and brings it to life using the intuitive drag-and-drop coding environment


    Links To Other STEM Resources

    Looking for other STEM Resources? This section includes a variety of links that we've collected to other valuable STEM information for parents:

    19 STEM Projects for Virtual Learning and 21st Century Skills [SPHERO]


    >