Hello World! 🤖 I’m Dr. Mark Coster, a PhD-trained organic chemist with over 20 years experience in chemistry research and teaching. Perhaps more importantly, I have about 40 years experience and interest in STEM toys! I spent most of my childhood playing with chemistry sets, physics sets, microscopes, telescopes, ant farms, early home computers (anyone remember the Commodore 64?), electronics kits, magnets, magnifying glasses, LEGO, Meccano, and more chemistry sets!
STEM Toy Expert is not only dedicated to providing you with high quality, expert opinions on the latest educational toys for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, it’s also a way for me to re-live my childhood! Although, I must say, the toys available these days are even cooler than what I had as a child.
Why You Can Trust Us
We have committed ourselves to being the world’s best source of STEM toy reviews and comparison information. Not only do I have over 20 years experience in research and teaching in STEM, I am also a proud father to three kids, aged 11, 10 and 7. They are my very willing test subjects and I always have them in mind, alongside an educational outcomes checklist, while reviewing STEM toys.
At STEM Toy Expert, we believe toys can play an incredibly important role in emotional, social and cognitive development in both kids and adults. We think they should not just be fun, but educational too. Therefore, our goal is to act as a resource for those looking for interactive toys to encourage healthy growth and development. However, that is only half the story!
The STEM Shortage
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills are essential building blocks for success in the modern world. Not only because jobs in this field earn way more on average, but also because it is estimated that 47% of U.S. jobs are at risk of being replaced by computerization and automation in the future. In contrast, demand for jobs in STEM fields like computer science and engineering is on an upward trend. Furthermore, the shortage of women and minority groups in STEM is of growing concern, leading to both reduced equality and economic growth.
Why are we telling you all this? Because we think STEM toys are part of the solution, with toys and kits available to develop a huge variety of skills. From robotics and engineering, to biology and chemistry, to coding and computing! Through play, kids and adults alike can develop essential STEM skills that can be transferred to the work place. Furthermore, research shows that gender stereotypes about STEM subjects can set in as early as second grade, so encouraging girls to play with STEM toys from an early age can also help to break these stereotypes.
STEM Toy Expert writes detailed recommendations & reviews on the best Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) toys on the market. From babies to adults, from robotics to biology, we give advice on educational toys for a wide range of purposes and audiences. The STEMtistics resource also provides a series of infographics for educators and policy makers in need of adding evidence to the debate! Our mission is to encourage more people to enter STEM fields through providing a comprehensive guide for STEM education.
Thanks and if you have any comments or suggestions, please drop us a line via the contact form at the bottom of this page!
Mark Coster, BSc(Hons I) PhD MRACI CChem
CEO and Editor-in-Chief
STEM Toy Expert
P.S. If you’d like to see more of what I do, feel free to visit my organic chemistry educational site, Organic Chemistry Explained, or MumsDelivery, which provides solutions for busy Australian parents.