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Build Robots, Launch Rockets, and Unleash Monsters With 7 Cool STEM Apps for Kids

With these apps, kids can tap into the amazing worlds of science, engineering, and math — and blow up stuff, too!

Maria Bailey and Sarah Burns

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Is your kiddo a computer scientist, aerospace engineer, or healthcare hero in the making? These professions are all part of the fascinating field of STEM, which (as you probably already know) stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. 

STEM is a field that’s made up of an exciting group of innovators, problem solvers, and critical thinkers. Check out these fun and inspiring apps for an interactive experience that will have your child hooked on STEM — and making amazing stuff.

1. The Robot Factory

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For little techies — or big ones for that matter — it doesn’t get much cooler than building your own robot. The Robot Factory app by Tinybop Inc. gives kids the tools to not only build a virtual robot, but test and collect their own robots in a fantastical world full of fun obstacles. Download the award-winning app ($2.99) and open the door to endless possibilities.

2. Lightbot: Code Hour

Lightbot Code Hour

Lightbot: Code Hour taps into the magical side of coding, with exciting puzzles to solve and fun games that use programming logic. Recommended for players of all ages, the app introduces the basic concepts of coding in a seriously entertaining way. Zero prior experience is required — the app teaches kids everything they need to know to get started, and take their coding game to the next level! Get your code on by downloading the free app

3. Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds

Created by Apple, Swift Playgrounds introduces kids — and adults — to the coding language that developers use across the world. Kids will learn the basics of coding, but they'll be having way too much fun to even realize it. Designed for players 9 and up, this app is part game, part tutorial, and part builder’s world, letting kids create beautiful environments to explore and solve transfixing puzzles that will keep them entertained for hours. Download the free app and let the fun begin.

4. Quick Math Jr.

Quick Math Jr.

Your child has never seen math like this before ... unless their math teacher is literally a monster. Numbers come to life — and so do little bug-eyed monsters — in 12 interactive problem-solving games that teach fundamental math skills and concepts. Kids can create their own monster characters and earn new ones as their seriously level up their math (and monster-herding) skills. Quick Math Jr. is free to download, and perfect for kids aged 3 to 7.

5. DNA Play

DNA Play

Want to create MORE monsters? With DNA Play, kids can design more than 200 billion (yes, billion) creatures of their own by building and tweaking their DNA. Complete a variety of simple DNA puzzles and experiment with different mutations to see wild new creations materialize in real time. Perfect for ages 4 to 9, download this app ($2.99) for hours of fun.

6. SimpleRockets

SimpleRockets

Now kids can create their own rockets and blast them off into space while exploring the wonders of the solar system! This app all about rocket science and astrodynamics will have space lovers over the moon — and the realistic orbital physics lessons along the way are way funner than an old-fashioned game of Galaga. Download the app ($2.99), and get ready for takeoff. 

7. Crazy Gears

Crazy Gears

Get the wheels turning in your child's head with an app designed by a real-life mechanical engineer! Players must use chains, pulleys, and gears to pull themselves to the next level. Recommended for ages 6 to 8, Crazy Gears ($2.99) will put your kiddo's critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the test.