Purdue engineers develop gift guide for parents

Faculty and staff in Purdue University’s College of Engineering have come up with a holiday gift guide that can help engage children in engineering concepts.

The “Engineering Gift Guide” was developed through the INSPIRE Institute for Pre-College Engineering, a part of the School of Engineering Education.

It features toys, games, books, movies and apps for mobile devices for a variety of ages. In addition to the selected items, the guide includes suggestions on finding other engineering-themed gifts.

“It’s important to introduce engineering to children at a very young age – even before they reach kindergarten,” says Monica Cardella, associate professor of engineering education and INSPIRE director. “One way to achieve this is simply putting a puzzle together or playing with building blocks and talking with the child about what they want to design, what ways they can accomplish that, and who or what could use their creation.

“It’s also important to recognize that girls can enjoy creating circuits, conducting science experiments and designing structures as much as boys. However, studies show us that these kinds of toys are purchased more than twice as frequently for boys as they are for girls.”

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