Expert Tips for Making STEAM-Learning Fun for Kids (and Grownups)

Oct 20, 2021 / By Cailyn

Have you ever been intimidated by your kid’s math homework? Well, you’re not alone. For a lot of grownups, STEAM subjects aren’t exactly front of mind, and that’s okay! You don’t have to remember how to do long division to help your kid get excited about STEAM. The KiwiCo team is made up of all kinds of experts—from engineers to artists—and it’s their job to make STEAM-learning fun and accessible for you and your kids. They design hands-on projects that inspire exploration and discovery for kids of all ages. We asked a few of our stellar product designers to share their STEAM superpowers and secrets to help set you up for success!

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What's your STEAM background?

Mechanical engineering, specifically satellite design and manufacturing!

What's your STEAM superpower?

I can spot STEAM-learning opportunities in tons of everyday situations.

What’s your favorite KiwiCo product? 

Kiwi Crate Mechanical Whale Sweeper and Science of Trees are two projects I love. Both were inspired by my kids and are surprisingly delightful on their own. The STEAM aspect of them is totally a bonus!

How do you get your own kids excited about STEAM?

There is STEAM involved in so many things we do everyday that it’s really easy to incorporate it into the things that my kids enjoy. For example, if we have 3 overripe bananas but a recipe only calls for two, let’s scale the recipe up and make more! How much flour do we need now?

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What's your STEAM background?

Fine Arts and Human Computer Interaction. In grad school, I got to combine my art and technology interests by making interactive drawing robots!

What's your STEAM superpower?

I’m pretty good at taking seemingly huge, complicated problems or tasks and dividing them up into smaller, more achievable steps. Small victories are so important to keep things rolling, and they all add up in the end!

Who’s your STEAM hero? 

My biggest STEAM hero will always be my grandfather. He was a civil engineer in New York City. When I was a kid, my grandmother would point out huge buildings and skyscrapers that he had worked on in Manhattan. My grandfather always encouraged me to ask questions and question answers. He made me believe that with knowledge and determination any problem could be solved.

Did you ever struggle with STEAM subjects as a kid? What was your eureka moment?

I was never that interested in math as a kid, and always preferred to draw or make things. One day in high school art class, we were studying three point perspective drawing, and I suddenly realized that I was seeing geometry in action! It was so cool seeing something that once seemed so complex and incomprehensible suddenly make sense when used in a real world application.



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What's your STEAM background?

Human Biology and Early Childhood Development.

What’s your favorite KiwiCo product? 

Baking and Fractions might be my child’s favorite toy at the moment! I brought it to a gathering with three other families, where the kids ‘baked’ the cakes and sang happy birthday seven times—once for every adult. It was very inclusive of them and never got old!

Did you ever struggle with STEAM subjects as a kid? What was your eureka moment?

Math anxiety was real for me. I almost failed physics in high school. My family is very STEM-oriented, but I was more interested in drawing and artsy stuff growing up and didn’t see how they could be related. Luckily, I found human biology classes really interesting and got into them!

What advice would you give to grownups who want to get their child excited about STEAM?

Imagine, design, build, create. As much as you can, make it special family time. My toddler is currently fascinated by airplanes, and we live near an airport. Whenever he hears a plane flying overhead, we make it a point to go outside or look out the window to watch it pass by.



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What's your STEAM background?

Mechanical Engineering!

What's your STEAM superpower?

I’m always making and improvising with found materials! I really enjoy hacking something together quickly with a bunch of things that seem like they wouldn’t go together. This actually makes for a fun and easy STEAM activity that you can do at home! Challenge your kids to collect a couple household items or craft materials. Then invite them to tinker with what they found to see what they can create. At KiwiCo, we call this the ‘3 Material Challenge’!

What’s your favorite KiwiCo product? 

Tinker Crate Spin Art really screams STEAM to me. I love that you get to mess with motors, resistors, and paint in ONE crate! It’s a great example of what KiwiCo does best—combining STEAM subjects together into a fun, interactive learning experience.

What are some ways grownups make STEAM subjects more accessible for kids?

Good screen time! I grew up on Bill Nye the Science Guy, and loved how easy it was to learn by watching. In addition to designing products at KiwiCo, I also help make videos for our Youtube Channel that incorporate STEAM subjects in a really fun way!



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