Aliens, hot dogs, and STEM. These are three things I never would have put together… Until now, that is.
STEM Lab Little Engineer is an app and game from Putao Technology Inc. that is the perfect accessory for any eager engineers-to-be. The adorable alien Q must be lead along the right path—coated in hot dogs, as well as other fun treats—in order to get to the last puzzle piece on each level. That’s where the kids come in. Players must use their physical game-piece modules, which come in a convenient travel case, to successfully program Q and complete the level, all while they learn basic programming and logic skills.
The augmented reality game combines physical play with virtual play. The game modules, which contain a forward, backward, jump, left turn, right turn, and other tiles, all come in the game case, along with the stand for a smart device and purple reflector, which together make up Explorer X. Before kids begin, they must set the smart device on the stand and position the reflector over the camera. The Explorer X pieces allow only the space under the reflector to be in the range and works as the playing field. This where kids will place the modules in order for the app to register them and respond.
When kids first begin to play, they start at Level 1. Here they will learn how to place Q in order to start the movement. The next few levels help kids to learn how to program Q to make right and left turns. For a right turn, kids take the right turn module and place it in the game space under the reflector. Once it registers it, they must drag the different arrows on the bottom of the screen in the right order to get Q to work his way around the maze and make right turns where he needs to. As the levels progress, they get a bit more complicated and require different patterns in order to fulfill a certain movement. A more advanced level, such as Level 16, requires a lot of different arrows and commands that must be placed in sequential order in order for Q to advance to the next level.
STEM Lab Little Engineer is recommended for kids ages 4 to 10, but kids that are closer to the 4-year-old mark will probably need a little help from mom or dad to navigate through the harder levels. Kids a bit older will find the different levels fun and will be able to strengthen their knowledge of programming as they move form level to level.
For kids who love to stay on their toes and are always up for a little problem-solving fun, STEM LAB Little Engineer is the game for them. While the app is available for download, the game pieces are promised to hit shelves soon. Until then, parents can join the waitlist here, and countdown to the day they can get their hands on the Little Engineer game bundle.