Although science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning is often associated with younger demographics, STEM applies to adults too. Whether you're a seasoned maker or new to the do-it-yourself (DIY) space, it's important to have the right tools for the job. Check out the best STEM kits for adults!
Despite being marketed as a beginner kit for Arduino, the Seeed Studio Grove Beginner Kit is a fantastic choice for older makers just as much as children. The Grove Beginner Kit includes an Arduino-compatible board along with 10 sensors such as an LED, buzzer, OLED display, button, rotary potentiometer, light, temperature/humidity sensor, and 3-axis accelerator.
Because the Grove Beginner Kit utilizes Seed Studio's Grove connector system there's no tricky wiring or soldering. As such, this is a fantastic Arduino starter bundle for prototyping. You can complete the included starter projects, and then purchase any number of Grove accessories to continue learning and making.
The Raspberry Pi 4 makes a great foundation for tons of maker projects. From a basic desktop, a retro gaming console, or a home theatre PC to something more complex like a whole-home ad-blocker or robotics project, there's limitless potential with what you can create using a Raspberry Pi. Picking up a Raspberry Pi 4 starter kit that includes a Pi board, microSD card, power supply, HDMI cable, and case gives you virtually everything you need to get started. Simply snag whatever other components you need and you're ready to go. If you value portability over power, a Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W starter kit could be the way to go.
Arduino microcontrollers may not be the only MCUs (microcontroller units) available, but Arduinos are certainly among the most popular options for DIYing. An Arduino starter bundle lets you start tinkering immediately. You'll get an Arduino microcontroller alongside a selection of different accessories ranging from LEDs to servos, depending on the kit. From simple servo projects and Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets to complex robotics, you can create tons of different items with an Arduino MCU.
Want to build your own television? Now you can! With the TinyCircuits TinyTV DIY Kit, you can cobble together your own functional TV in under 5 minutes. There's no soldering or tricky wiring. Once you're finished, you can load a microSD card up with up to 5 hours of videos for hours of entertainment. "X-Files" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," re-runs, anyone?
Retro gaming enthusiasts will love the Pimoroni Picade. Resembling an arcade cabinet, the Picade comes in 10-inch and 8-inch form factors. Additionally, the Pimoroni Picade Console comes with all of the buttons, joysticks, and speakers but sans a screen. Using a Pimoroni Picade or Picade Console, you can cobble together a Raspberry Pi retro gaming arcade for revisiting your favorite old-school video games. In our review, we liked the tabletop arcade cabinet aesthetic of the Picade, as well as the plug-and-play portability of the Picade Console.
Best STEM Learning Kits for Adults - Final Thoughts
Ultimately, there are plenty of STEM learning kits on the market for older makers and younger DIYers alike. A basic Raspberry Pi or Arduino starter kit proves versatile, while more tailored bundles such as the TinyCircuits DIY TV kit is a blast. With retro gaming packages such as the Picade and Picade console, you can scratch your retro gaming itch. And the Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino is an excellent bundle for prototyping.
Your turn: What are your favorite STEM kits for adults?