Parents increasingly recognize the importance of teaching children STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – to prepare them for the future. Because children learn from play, toys are their first and best introduction to STEM concepts.
But what really qualifies a toy as STEM?
Child’s Play Communications has partnered with STEM.org™ to launch Seriously STEM, a new awards program designed exclusively to review and evaluate STEM toys for kids. Winners will be chosen by an outstanding panel of independent judges — educators, industry play experts and toy reviewers — with real expertise specifically in children and STEM:
- Jo Boaler, a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, the faculty director of youcubed, and an expert on mathematics learning and visual, creative, playful maths.
- Diana Wehrell-Grabowski, PhD travels the globe sharing her passion for STEM with educators and children, promoting a lifelong love of learning
- Liz Gumbinner, Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Cool Mom Picks network which includes Cool Mom Tech, the premier online resource dedicated to technology from a parenting perspective
- Jason Lindsey, a STEM Certified Educator, Science Multimedia Journalist, and Meteorologist who has appeared on television stations across America, including the NBC Today Show
- Patrick McQuillan, Vice President of STEM Education, Liberty Science Center and manager of the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere
- Andrew B. Raupp, Founder of org™ and developer of the world’s original digital, STEM education framework for people, programs and products
- Reyne Rice, Global Trend Hunter/ CEO/ Media Influencer for ToyTrends, is a 30-year veteran of the toys, games and kids’ technology industries
- Wendy Smolen, toy industry writer and ideator and co-founder of Sandbox Summit, an annual idea forum at MIT exploring the intersection of play, learning, and technology
- Scott Steinberg, an award-winning trends expert, author of 14 bestselling books including Parenting High-Tech Kids and the creator of The Modern Parent’s Guide series, How to Speak Kid, and Family Tech
“Not every toy genuinely teaches STEM skills,” said Child’s Play Communications president Stephanie Azzarone. “Our goal is to offer valuable information to all those parents who understand the benefits of learning STEM but who need help making the right choices for their child.”
“We are proud to serve as a partner with Child’s Play Communications and assist with the Seriously STEM Awards process,” said Andrew B. Raupp, STEM.org founder. “Stephanie and her team have put together an experienced panel of judges that will recognize the tremendous efforts made by edupreneurs and toy manufacturers at various levels of play.”
Manufacturers may submit products for review within the four subject categories, and within specific age groups, ranging from toddler to teen. Criteria for selection will be established by the panel of judges.
Products from any country and company are eligible for submission. The submission period runs through September 14, 2018. The official entry form is available here.
A percentage of all Seriously STEM proceeds will be donated to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Winners will be announced November 1 at the third annual Kids’ & Family Tech Expo in New York City and heavily marketed throughout the holiday shopping season.
Child’s Play Communications specializes in publicizing kids’ products, especially toys, and has worked with many brands within the STEM space. For additional information, contact [email protected].