Purdue Online Guide Points Parents Toward Educational Gifts

Dec 2, 2014

Monica Cardella, director of Purdue’s INSPIRE Institute for Pre-College Engineering, watches as children play with a Goldie Blox toy, one of the items included in INSPIRE’s “Engineering Gift Guide.”
Credit Purdue University photo/James Schenke

Parents looking for educational toys for their kids this holiday season can turn to Purdue for advice.

The College of Engineering has developed the “Engineering Gift Guide,” which features toys, games, books, movies and apps for mobile devices for a variety of ages.

Associate professor of engineering education Monica Cardella says it‘s important to recognize that girls can enjoy creating circuits, conducting science experiments, and designing structures as much as boys.

"Right now, engineering is more popular amongst young men," says Cardella. "We want to encourage young women to think about engineering, too, so we were very careful to find ideas that are interesting to girls."

Cardella says the gift guide is available online along with “A Parent’s Guide to Introducing Engineering at Home,” which explains the importance of helping children learn about engineering and gives examples of how engineers help their own children learn the concepts of the engineering design process.