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June 19, 2017
Sophie Miller

The History of Roller Coasters

STEM

When asked about the origin of roller coasters, most people’s minds immediately gravitate (see what I did there?) to Coney Island in the late 19th century. And it’s true – the roller coaster as we know it saw its start at the iconic New York amusement park around that time. The Gravity Switchback Railway, a simple wooden ride with none of the precipitous drops that we’re used to today, was not the first operating roller coaster in America, but it was the one that first achieved large-scale financial success. People stood in line for hours to ride the coaster, and although it only cost 5 cents per ride, the profits were around $600 a day! While the Gravity Switchback Railway set the scene for the coasters that we know and love today, the history of roller coasters began long before 1884.

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June 13, 2017
Kacey Templin

The Science of Roller Coasters

STEM Education / Play, STEM

School is out and summertime is upon us, which means that amusement park season is in full swing. Children and adults alike look forward to playing carnival games, eating popcorn and funnel cakes, and of course, riding roller coasters. Coasters have been an anchor for American amusement parks for decades, drawing in thrill seekers from around the globe. Guests willingly wait hours in line for a few minutes of thrill, a chance to experience that adrenaline high that makes us giddy. Not everyone enjoys roller coasters, but most find them fascinating. They’re thrilling, chilling, and an excellent study in the power of physics.

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May 29, 2017
Kacey Templin

5 Offline Games That Teach Kids Coding Skills

STEM Education / Play, Kids & Coding, Girls & STEM, STEM

You’ve probably seen an article or two about how coding is the “it” skill for children these days. Organizations like Girls Who Code and Hour of Code are developing coding programs designed to prepare children for career success later in life. Schools around the country are recognizing the need for computer science classes, and nearly 40% of schools around the U.S. now teach programming. While technology continues to evolve, computer science job openings continue to grow.

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April 15, 2017
Rachael Rufino

Fostering Life Skills Without Home Ec: Money Management

Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

This post is the first installment in a series covering life skills that are disappearing as our world technologically advances.  As young adults find themselves struggling to learn self-care, social, and financial skills later in life, there is now a demand for such workshops and classes at the college-level.  In some instances, technology has also created a need for new life skills that weren’t essential before.  In this series, we will explore our top life skills and how your child can master them through fun activities.  To follow this series, please subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media.

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April 10, 2017
Alana Hackes

Top 6 Math Games to Celebrate Mathematics Month!

Learning Through Play, STEM

April is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month! The goal is to increase public understanding of and appreciation for mathematics and what better way to do both than by strengthening your child’s math skills through play? In celebration of mathematics, here are the top six math games that will make math fun for you and your child!

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April 08, 2017
Sophie Miller

A Brief History of Math

STEM

It’s Mathematics Awareness Month, and here at ThinkFun we’re always thinking about math and the importance of learning. While sometimes math can seem boring or abstract, it plays a key role in so many of the things that we do every day. And it took a long time to get to where we are in the mathematical world! Here are a few of the key milestones in math history.

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March 04, 2017
Rachael Rufino

The 411 on Engineering

Girls & STEM, STEM, STEAM

Did you know that hover crafts, prosthetics and NASA’s spacesuits were created by engineers?  With National Engineers Week behind us and National Engineering Month happening now, it’s the perfect time for a blog post that celebrates the profession.

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