Lego We Do

KIPP STEM’s Design, Computer Science, and Engineering (DCE) Gift Guide

Each year, the KIPP STEM team publishes a list of our favorite items that allow us to design, code, build, and create! As you shop, check out our list this year for learners of all ages.

Each year, the KIPP STEM team publishes a list of our favorite items that allow us to design, code, build, and create! As you shop, check out our list this year for learners of all ages. We encourage you to shop local, support BIPOC-owned businesses, and find great deals online! You can also go the route of re-creating a lot of similar experiences simply using items around your home. 

Educators: Leverage sites like Donorschoose or local nonprofits and businesses to help you purchase classroom-packages. 

Early Elementary: 


  •  Beebots: The current crowd favorite. Navigate the Beebot all over the house and check out the cool mats you can get… or build mazes with tapeWe use these in our K-1st Grade Computational Thinking Units. 
  • Ozobots: Have fun making new tracks for your robot to follow using markers! We use these in our 2nd Grade Computational Thinking Unit. 
  • Maze-O: Build mazes and race stuff through them. Fun and simple. You can always build your own with hot glue and cardboard, though! 
  • Magna-Tiles: Magnetic building tiles. They snap together and rock. 
  • Snap Circuits J.: Cheap and fun.  Figure  out how to power different items with different circuits. 
  • Scratch Jr.: Online coding platform that is super fun and free! 
  • Lego Kits:LEGO is all about creative play. Check out the STEAM Park kit! 

Upper Elementary: 

Lego We Do

  • Chibitronics: Create paper circuits and light up cards. Kids learn how to code and how to create circuits. We use these in our 4thGrade Computational Thinking Unit. 
  • Snap Circuits: Cheap(er) and fun. Figure out how to power different items with different circuits. We use these in our 3rdh Grade Computational Thinking Unit. 
  • LittleBits: Snap together circuits to make different creations. Best at home because they can get messy in classrooms. 
  • Makey-Makey: Combine them with Scratch and you can play for endless hours. 
  • Lego WeDo: This is the staple elementary LEGO set. We use it for all FIRST Lego League Jr. Teams. You can reuse this year after year with different building and challenges. 
  • Circuit Scribe: Electronics inventor kits! Draw circuits and learn how materials conduct electricity as you build different creations. 
  • Buy a sewing kit! For middle/high schoolers too of all genders. No better way to warm up this holiday season than to make your own sweater or hat! 

Middle School/High School: 


  • Hummingbird Robotics: Program LED lights, motors, and build crazy creatures. Use the Scratch add-on. 
  • Sphero Robots: Make the ball travel around, follow a line, etc. 
  • Build Your Own Drone Kits: There are so many options online… you can buy one and build your own drone! 
  • Lego Mindstorms EV3: This is the staple middle school robot that we use year after year with FIRST Lego League competitive teams. Building options are ENDLESS and there are a ton of videos on YouTube to teach you all you need to know. 
  • Lego Pike Prime: This *New* Lego robot is a colorful and versatile! It can be coded on block coding platforms, like Scratch or  using script coding, like Python! It is also used in FIRST Lego League competitive teams and there are many existing resources for how to use it! 
  • Buy a sewing kit! For middle/high schoolers too of all genders. No better way to warm up this holiday season than to make your own sweater or hat!  

(Disclaimer: These are the recommendations from our STEM team – not a product placement.)

Author: Phil Kim, Senior Director of STEM Achievement – KIPP Foundation.