I get a good number of calls and emails from people wondering what cognitive design can do to help meet the challenge of improving engagement in high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The concern is, at least in the US, that enrollment is down just when we need more STEM educated citizens to innovate and compete in the global economy.
Teaching is a hard cognitive design challenge, especially teaching STEM so I generally have a lot of advice to share. Indeed, I have been teaching a physics class to learn more first-hand and experiment with specific cognitive design ideas. One suggestion I often make is create/buy and give cool science toys.
Technical play, often early in life, appears to be a common theme among STEM professionals that are making notable contributions to our economic prosperity.
For a sample across age ranges check out – science is creative and good toys reflect that. The idea is simple. Play by adults or children reveals the magic and power of science and will inspire us to learn more.
Interested to hear from readers that have experience with science toys.