The pair behind educational toy Click-A-Brick is pleased to see a fellow toy brand taking strides to teach children science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through play with one of its top brands.
Click-A-Brick Co-Founders Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say it’s a welcome sight to see Mattel using its Hot Wheels brand to encourage kids to learn about STEM subjects. The company has gone as far as developing class lessons and activities that use the toy cars and accessories to help teach kids about kinetic energy, how to set up and execute an experiment, and how to convey information in research reports. The lessons, dubbed Speedometry, are available free for teachers to use in their classrooms. There are also activities that parents can do with their children at home that carry on the lessons they learned from the classroom activities.
Seeing such a large brand embrace the concept of teaching STEM to children is an encouraging sign, the co-founders say.
“We always like to see when a toy can be re-purposed, so to speak, into a learning tool,” Smith said. “It’s one thing to develop a toy from scratch that is meant to be used as a teaching device, but to see a classic toy that we’re all familiar with being used to teach kids about things like kinetic energy is amazing. When I was a kid, I used to play with Hot Wheels like pretty much every other boy I knew and I just wanted to have the coolest cars and build crazy tracks that I could send them down, but I never really thought about why one car went further than another or faster than another. I like that my kids, when they play with Hot Wheels, might be asking those questions in a classroom setting and even when they’re playing here at home.”
Smith and de Gorostiza say the Hot Wheels Speedometry lessons are a good way to continue to foster a love of learning STEM skills in children. The fact that toy cars are a classic toy makes it a natural progression from other classic toys that teach STEM skills like building blocks.
“There is a lot of focus on new toys that are more and more complicated to teach kids STEM skills,” de Gorostiza said. “Obviously, toys like that have their place, but we like that these classic toys have so much to offer in regard to teaching STEM skills. You don’t always need crazy new fangled gadgets, you just need to know how to use the toys that children already probably have to teach them these valuable skills. Someday, we’d like to explore the possibility of doing something similar with younger kids, coming up with lessons that can teach them some very basic STEM skills. But, we’re a long way from having the brand recognition that Hot Wheels enjoys. Until then, we’re just happy to offer an educational toy that parents can use to plant the seeds of fascination with the STEM subjects in their kids.”
For more information about us, please visit http://www.clickabricktoys.net