Feb 13, 2018 / By Katherine Rea

Is your head spinning with all the different acronyms spinning around our culture these days? Find yourself wondering what do they all mean? Well, we can help with that: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The added “A” is for art, and the “R” is for reading. But, do you need to be worried if there is one that is right – or best – for your child? Our short answer is, “Nope.” Here at KiwiCo, we’re big fans of STEM, of course – but we also focus on STEAM because we think the value of art and design is critical in promoting creative confidence. And all our crates include a crucial element of literacy in the form of our magazines and blueprints!


There is no acronym that is “right” or “best.” Frankly, it can get a little overwhelming to focus on the letters of these different acronyms, and how they map to their respective subjects. That’s why we like to focus on how these terms (or approaches) translate to hands-on learning and discovery, rather than specific subjects.

After all, real life isn’t divided up into subjects. What did Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Da Vinci all have in common? Their interests, learning, and discoveries were not confined to one subject area. The human body can inspire beautiful artwork (think of the Vitruvian Man), and beautiful design can lead to inspired engineering (Apple, anyone?)


STEM (or STEAM) education is about “how to think” not “what you know”. Young adults trained in STEM fields enter the world ready to be fearless & creative problem solvers, regardless of the job where they may land. What STEM represents is not just different subjects. It’s a radical re-imagining of how kids – and all of us! – should be approaching the world around us: with a passion for curiosity, hands-on learning and creative – & multidisciplinary – problem-solving. That’s why we’re so excited to be sending crates that do just that, to kids all over the world, every day 🙂

More from STEM

  1. 3 Quick Science Tricks With Gravity

    Did you know that we’ve only started to understand how gravity works in the last 300 years or so? That’s not such a long time for a force that gave us the moon and tides, created our orbit around the Sun, and holds galaxies together. Fortunately, even though gravity’s effects are cosmic, it’s also easy to explore right here on Earth. We’ve gathered three of our favorite quick science tricks for exploring gravity with kids of all ages — and for curious grownups, too!

  2. Bring the Solar Eclipse Home

    People have been fascinated by eclipses for at least 5,000 years — and they haven't gotten old yet! Eclipses occur when the Moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth. This blocks the Sun's light, casting a moon shadow on the surface of Earth below. Very rarely, the Sun and the Moon line up perfectly, creating an amazing astronomical show for anyone standing in the path of the Moon's shadow: a total solar eclipse.

  3. 5 Hands-On STEM Activities for Thanksgiving Break

    This time of year, we’re grateful for the leaves changing, delicious food, and time spent with the people we love. With the kids home for Thanksgiving Break, what better way to celebrate their natural curiosity and creativity than by adding some awesome hands-on STEM activities into the mix? Read on to discover 5 of our favorite Thanksgiving-themed projects that explore big ideas like chemistry, engineering, innovation, and problem-solving that kids (and grownups) of all ages are sure to gobble up.

See all from STEM ➜

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