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Product & Book Reviews

Product & Book Reviews

2016 Mega Holiday Wish List: Bonus Stocking Stuffer Edition

For many kids, the highlight of Christmas morning is waking up, running to the living room, and seeing their stockings so overloaded that Santa had to lay those cornucopias of goodies on the ground for everyone’s safety.

But when it comes to selecting the best stocking stuffers for creative Nerds, aside from finding things they’ll cherish, one of the biggest hassles for you, Santa, and his helpers is finding useful stuff that will actually fit into a stocking.

To that, we at Raising Nerd simply say, “No problem. Get a bigger stocking!”

Once you see all the fantastic, smaller-scale STEM- … READ MORE

Product & Book Reviews

2016 Raising Nerd Mega Holiday Wish List: the Book Edition

Two decades ago, I lived in Dallas, Texas. Not far from my old North Dallas apartment stood the flagship of one of the biggest new-used book and music stores on the planet, Half Price Books. Founded in an old laundromat in 1972, HPB claims to “buy and sell everything ever printed or recorded (except yesterday’s newspaper).”

That’s no exaggeration.

For four years, to escape the stress of work, the extreme heat, or just to surround myself with the wall-to-wall promise of finding a good story or three, I browsed that mammoth book exchange once a week for at least … READ MORE

Product & Book Reviews

2016 Raising Nerd Mega Holiday Wish List

If you’re like us, you’ve got two holiday wish lists: 1) your kids’; and 2) “the list of acceptable items.” It’s a value filter most parents try to run their kids’ lists through before they shop and/or disseminate gift requests to grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

At Raising Nerd, we, of course, have an additional filter to help us determine the most Nerd-worthy, STEM/STEAM-enhanced toys, games, and maker materials for kids.

To help you in your search for the perfect Nerd gifts (and stocking stuffers!), the RN team poured over foot-high stacks of catalogs from our snail mailboxes, browsed dozens of READ MORE

Engineering Product & Book Reviews Science & Tech

Got Creative Kids? Find Great Hands-On STEAM Activity at Maker Events and Odyssey of the Mind

Like the fledgling universe after the Big Bang, Maker events can be a bit chaotic. But that’s only because of all the energy created by the swarms of curious and excited kids (and their satellite parents) clustering around robots, 3D printers, and a diversity of other experimental crafts and STEM mini-projects.

The enormous power and thrills generated by these moments of creative, hands-on learning are fuel for a lifetime’s worth of discovery and success.

With all our soccer games washed out this past weekend by three days of rain, my wife, Stylin’ IT Momma (not her real name), and I READ MORE

Product & Book Reviews

Raising Nerd Approved: Top 5 Best Nerding Blogs for Inspiring You and Your Nerd

Top 5 Best Nerding Blogs for Inspiring You and Your Nerd

There are millions of blogs out there (it’s a statistical fact!) hoping to do everything from teaching napkin origami to sharing bizarre stock photos to fulfilling your daily fake science quota. It doesn’t take a parent long to realize that finding Nerd-worthy material on the Internet can be as easy as landing a spacecraft on an asteroid.

We’ve all been there. What starts with a simple search on home science experiments or the Mars Juno Mission, somehow sucks you into an exposé on how your favorite 80’s TV icons have aged over the years (spoiler: not well).


Engineering Product & Book Reviews Science & Tech

Nerd-Inspiring Book Review: What If? and Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe

As a Nerd and a Nerd-builder, myself, my beach read this summer was Randall Munroe’s New York Times best-selling What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. What can I say? When I have quiet time on an airplane (or “sky boat,” in Thing Explainer parlance) or the beach, I like to stretch my brain. It relaxes me.

On the recommendation of another Nerd parent, I also bought Munroe’s follow-up book Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words.

If you don’t already know Munroe’s science question-and-answer blog What If and webcomic xkcd, I encourage you to READ MORE