Inspiring examples of innovation in technology and science


 Inspiring examples of innovation in technology and science

If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in STEM, look no further than these 37 examples of innovation in technology and science. They offer a glimpse into what society's future might look like; if we're lucky, they'll inspire the next generation to pursue their passions in these fields.

This post is dedicated to those who are too often told that "there aren't enough women working in STEM," or who can't find inspiration because "the opportunities are drying up." We hope it inspires you to take action and explore all of the possibilities.

1. 3D Printed Prosthetics

A young boy in South Africa named Jackson has had his life changed by a Florida inventor. After he lost his right hand to meningitis at the age of two, Jackson's mother saw a video online of a five-year-old who had been born without fingers on his left hand. The child had received a 3D printed mechanical hand from an American hobbyist, Richard Van As, which allowed him to grip and manipulate objects like any other child with five fingers.

The boy and his prosthetic hand were featured on World News Daily Report (a fake news site) in 2011, but the story soon gained a lot of traction around the world. With the help of Van As and other generous donors, Jackson was able to grow into a happy, healthy child with a mechanical hand.

Van As has since moved on to 3D printed wheels for children who have lost their limbs – and a new prosthetic hand is already in production for another little boy. Read more about Jackson's story on this inspiring blog post from his mother.

2. The Sunflower Lamp

Do your kids have an anxiety about the dark? You might want to get them a Sunflower Lamp. The lamp is a simple, kid-friendly device that uses alternating LED lights to mimic the sunrise and sunset. When it's on, it looks like light is seeping in through the sunflowers. A quick flip of a switch turns it off, and your child will have instant darkness until the next sunrise or sunset. They can even program the lamp to go on in their room every night at bedtime – great for helping them wind down for sleep!

3. The Lazy Susan Turntable

You really have to see this one to believe it. When you set up the Lazy Susan, virtually anything can be balanced on it and spun around – not just pancakes! Try eggs, bottles of soda, fruit, books... The possibilities are endless. If your child (or your inner child) is creatively motivated, a turntable could provide endless entertainment (and a great way to learn about physics).

4. Reading Rainbow App

All children deserve the opportunity to fall in love with reading. In fact, literacy skills are critical for future success in school and in life – even if you don't plan on going into a STEM field. The Reading Rainbow app makes it easy for kids to discover books they love, with interactive features and even a story-reading robot! The comprehensive "bookpack" subscription makes this app a great value, and a fantastic way to get your child excited about reading.

5. Book Seat

Facilitating learning is all about getting your child comfortable in their environment – a seat that turns into a book holder is the perfect example of this idea. This chair holds up to 50 pounds, so two children can sit together and read at the same time (if they're within the age range). The cover offers privacy for kids who want to escape from the noise of siblings, or who just want some quiet time.

6. Baby Bot

The great thing about baby robots is that they can be programmed with an infinite number of responses to babies' actions – while still giving the child a sense of successful interaction. This particular bot is designed to help babies learn about cause and effect as they try to influence it; for example, it might smile when you make a certain sound or move your hand in front of its face. You can program the device with multiple sounds and make it react in different ways each time, encouraging creativity and stimulating your baby's developing brain.

7. My Friend Cayla Doll

This adorable doll has been criticized as potentially dangerous by some authorities due to its sensors and bluetooth capabilities... but it's also been lauded by parents and children alike for its help with speech and language development. Baby may need to practice sounding out letters, or simply have someone else read to him/her – a doll like this can help.

8. HarnTech Seatcover

Do your kids complain about having to sit in car seats too long? The HarnTech seat cover might be just what you've been looking for! It's a breathable fabric seat cushion that provides both comfort and safety by cushioning baby's legs against the car seat as needed. The cushion is machine-washable, so you can keep it clean while also getting rid of the smell of your baby's behind with every wash. Get yours on Amazon.

9. Crocodile Science

If you're not familiar with crocodiles, they're one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. Because of their lack of limbs, these animals are able to use all four feet to catch their food – and they'll go after almost anything! This unique program helps kids learn about the world from a reptilian perspective. It's a great way to educate your child about biology and ecology, while also stimulating their imagination about an animal that doesn't actually exist!

10. Doodling Boxes

Doodling boxes – yes, really – have been used by generations of children as a means for creative expression. The boxes come with a variety of different doodle materials, including a pen, crayons, modeling clay and more. Working with materials like these is a great way to stimulate innovative thinking in young children. Doodling Boxes are also easily portable, so they can be worked on at any time and in any location. You can find these simple, effective toys online or at most arts-and-crafts stores.

11. ABC Mouse

If you haven't heard of ABC Mouse before, it's time to get on board! This comprehensive educational resource for kids online has been called the "Netflix of Education," because it offers unlimited access for free (ads are available for $2/month). There are thousands of games, books and educational videos for kids of all ages.

For more STEM-related items, check out our Amazing Science for Kids & Teachers series on Amazon:

And if your kid is a Minecraft fan (possibly even with their own Minecraft server!) check out this article with the Top 10 Minecraft Mods.

Or go here to find the best STEM toys in 2017 and 2018!

And let us know what you're buying from here, or whether you see an awesome toy that we should feature by commenting below! Thanks for reading.


Do you have a STEM toy that you're so proud of that you've become the kid at your child's school with the coolest toy they've ever seen? Well, then we want to hear about it! Be sure to leave us a comment (below) to tell us about it. We'd love to feature your STEM toy on the site and meet other parents who are just as excited about it as you are.

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