July 25, 2017

Purdue gift guide will be ready for the holiday shopping rush

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It’s five months until Christmas and Purdue’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering is trying to make shopping a little easier for parents.

For the fourth consecutive year, INSPIRE will issue its Engineering Gift Guide prior to the holiday shopping season.

The guide provides reviews and information about gifts that promote engineering thinking and design. This year’s guide will be available in October. For holiday or other shopping trips before then, the 2016 Engineering Gift Guide is available at https://engineering.purdue.edu/INSPIRE/EngineeringGiftGuide.    

Elizabeth Gajdzik, assistant director of INPSIRE, said what makes the guide stand out is their focus on gifts that engage children in engineering learning. 

“We seek out gifts that are appealing to children from diverse ages, backgrounds and experiences. We also try to be conscious of having gifts from many different price ranges,” she said.

Monica Cardella, director of INSPIRE, said the gift guide also helps educators identify games, toys and books that can promote STEM learning in classrooms, afterschool programs and museum settings.

Gajdzik inspire A young boy begins to create as he plays Engineering Ants, a cooperative building game featured in this year's INSPIRE Engineering Gift Guide. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

“Helping children learn science, engineering and mathematics in both school and out-of-school settings is critical for ensuring that children workforce readiness and global competiveness.”

Last year’s guide from Purdue University was the biggest so far, filled with almost 100 fun toys, games and applications to engage girls and boys ages 3-18 in engineering thinking and design. Thirteen books offering stories and facts about engineering also were in the guide.

Finding the gift guide’s toys isn’t difficult for parents. A seal is issued by Purdue University and INSPIRE to toys, games and books to let consumers know that a gift promotes engineering thinking and design and was selected to be in the guide. Companies either include it on the gift itself or on their website.

A YouTube video about the most recent guide is available at https://youtu.be/PWn_vzlEkPQ

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Source: Elizabeth Gajdzik, 765-494-9599, egajdzik@purdue.edu

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