Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics— the STEM subjects. A national educational priority. I understand the importance of each letter. I can even discuss them intelligently with friends. But when it comes to making sure my 9-year-old has the resources to become the next Steve Jobs, I’m lost. I remember being a 9-year-old, or at least have a general idea of what I was learning. Division, multiplication— Certainly not engineering challenges. So the question remains, what resources will prepare my son for the real demands of the 21st century?

Enter the ZOOB S.T.E.M. Challenge. On the surface, it’s a system of over 200 parts, including interlocking plastic Zoobs, wheels, tires and rubber bands. The system comes alive with 35 challenges and 5 instruction guides, with clear instructions showing kids how to assemble robots, catapults, cars, and more!

The Zoobs are great. There are five basic pieces, and the Challenge set includes 175 altogether. Each Zoob piece is color-coded. Some have Some have hooks on each end, some have balls on each end-- It's quite basic, but the result is fantastic, and the included guide shows kids how to make 20 cleverly-named joints between them. If Legos inspire architects, ZOOB should certainly inspire some future engineers. 

The S.T.E.M. challenges push children's ingenuity, presenting them with age-appropriate objectives and stretch goals to turn construction into a fully immersive play-time activity. Build a car, then make it move. Or build a catapult, then build a trampoline and a basket. Imagination is truly the limit.

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At the time of writing, the ZOOB S.T.E.M. challenge is available on Amazon for slightly more than $20. It's also available through Amazon as a reward from the Learn & Earn App for Math. Learn & Earn lets kids pick their motivation, choosing a reward and working daily towards their goals.. Learn & Earn for Math features over 500,000 questions, comprehensively structured to target American grade level standards for math. Set your expectations, sit back, and watch your child drive her own success!

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