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About ScienceToy.org

ScienceToy,org is a resource run by me, Ron Brown (the voice and creator of Professor Gribbly).
Our goal is help both children and adults have fun together, while learning basic Science Technology Engineereing and Math.

Is it true that the U.S. does poorly in science and math education?

Please tell me it's just another myth.

Surely it must be just another myth, right? I mean we're the only Country to put men the Moon, and that was nearly 50 years ago. Now, our phones are smarter than the Saturn V computers that put them there; we must be doing quite well in science.

Sadly, the belief that "we are doing well", IS the MYTH. Actually, we are doing very poorly compared to other developed countries. According to the Pew Research Center, the 2015 PISA results placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Click here to read it and weep.

So, how did we get here?

I believe several things have brought us to this point. Parents have learned to send off their children on the big yellow bus and hope that they return as brainiacs, but often this doesn't happen, why? Many schools are poorly funded. Most good Teachers typically spend Several hundred dollars per year out of their own pockets for classroom supplies, without remibursement; we owe them an immense debt of gratitude. On the other hand are the "FEW" bad Teachers, who make children hate school. I remember Mrs. Cox: two years from retirement, severely burned out and had learned to hate children. Her wretched tactics earned her a place in our Intro video scene, trying to drill a science book into a childs head.

Even if your children go to a wonderful school, with plentiful funding and the best teachers there is a limit to what they can do. Schools are forced to take a large number of students, at different levels of learning ability, and move them all in the same direction. There is little one on one interaction. There is little activity outside the school (mostly because of the cost); think of how much it cost to buss a classroom full of children to the science exibit at the local museum. In science class, most of the time is spent reading a textbook.

Compare looking at Jupiter and it's moons through a telescope versus sitting an a classroom reading about it in a science textbook. Classrooms aren't in session at midnight, but you can be.

What do we do?

Parents who want their children to excel in any form of education must take an active role in that education. Simply allowing any school system to provide 100% of the learning is a bad plan. Homeschooling is one option; though having done this, I believe it is a difficult and time consuming option that should not be taken lightly; though the results can be priceless. Another option is to supplement their conventional schooling. This is where science toys come in and this can be great fun. ScienceToy.org is here to help you find the toys with true learning potential. There are toys to fit every budget. You can fold the World Recording holding paper airplane, and learn quite a bit about flight, spending little or nothing. On the other hand, you can build and program your own Lego® Mindstorm Robot, and much more. These activities hold enourmous learning potential, as well as provide quality time between adults and children.

Who is Ron Brown, and Why does he know all of this Stuff?

I am a Mechanical Designer/Engineer (a serious science geek parent) that wanted the best possible education I could afford for my Daughter. This was important enough to move to a school district that ranked in the top 100 public schools in the country. Of course, we quickly learned the limitations of what even a good school can do for a child. This prompted my Wife to begin researching what would be required to home school. She found that the average homeschooled child scores far above the average conventionally schooled child. This was difficult for me to believe, at first and it may be difficulf for you to believe too, so just click here, or Google the phrase "the average homeschooled child scores" for a plethora of information confirming this fact.

I remembered the time we strolled through the park and found an amateur astronomer with a telescope setup; we saw Jupiter and it's moons very clearly. No science book could ever compare to this. I began to think of Karate class as physical education, a trip to the museum as history class, trips to the: airport, observatory and aquarium as science class. We began homeschooling, and our daughter exceled. Although we did make many field trips, I made the same mistake as the schools; most of our science class was spent reading about science instead of discovering it. Eventually, she too was bored. She's all grown up and graduated now, but how I wish that I had learned to make science more interesting for her. Now I have created Professor Gribbly, and this ScienceToy.org, ans how I wish that could have had the Professor to help me when my little one was still in school.

YouTube Videos

Introduction to ScienceToy.org

Professor Gribbly has cracked the code, and this cartoon tells the story. No child wants to sit in a classroom and read a textbook, then try to remmber those facts for long enough to pass a test. Sadly, this has been the norm in most schools for decades. But, give them a toy that is designed to teach a scientific principal and this bit of learning will last a lifetime. One of Man's greatest achievments was inspired by a toy. That's right, if it weren't for the Wright brother's Father giving them a fying toy, we might not be flying today. Click the video and see their story.

Basic Electricity Episode #1

Tune into episode #1 of Professor Gribbly's Cartoon Curriculum where he covers:

  • What is Electricity?
  • Why does Professor Gribbly prefer Snap Circuits® discovery kits?
  • Staying safe with electricity
  • Preventing damage to your toy

Tune into episode #2 of Professor Gribbly's Cartoon Curriculum where he covers:

  • What is a Circuit?
  • What is an Energy Source?
  • What are Conductors?
  • What are Loads?
  • What are Switches?
  • Why are Drawing Symbols important?

Recommended Toys

snap circuits jr.

Snap Circuits® Jr.

Best First Electrical Circuit Building Toy

This is Professor Gribbly's #1 toy to discover basic electricity.

See Professor Gribblys Cartoon Curriculum, Episode #2 where his helper robots teach children to build a basic electrical circuit.

  • Includes 30 Snap-together parts that require no tools and ensures correct connections
  • Provides Students grades 2 and up (age 7+) with hands-on experience designing and building working electrical circuits
  • Instructions for over 100 projects, including working models of a photo sensor, a flashing light, and an adjustable-volume siren and much more
  • Valuable component to a rounded STEM curriculum
  • Has earned The National Parenting Center-Seal of Approval, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products, Dr Toy Best Educational Products and is featured in Professor Gribbly's Cartoon Curriculum
snap circuits green alternative energy

Snap Circuits® Green, Alternative Energy

Produce Your Own Renewable Energy

  • Learn about "Green Energy" options
  • Build over 125 projects investigating alternative energy strategies
  • Includes full-color manual with over 100 pages and separate educational manual
  • Contains over 40 parts Features: Hand Crank Solar Cell FM Radio Energy Compartment Rechargeable Battery Windmill Clock Analog Meter
  • Compatible with the Snap Circuits family of electronic learning kits
  • Learn about "Green Energy" options
squishy circuits

Squishy Circuits®

Squishy Circuits uses conductive and insulating play dough to teach the basics of electrical circuits, a perfect blend of play and learning! Our play dough kits, projects, and recipes teach problem solving and engineering concepts and inspire creativity and independent thinking.

The standard kit includes everything you need to get started with some more advanced Squishy Circuits projects that use LEDs, buzzers, and insulating dough!

  • 1, Battery Holder
  • 1, Piezoelectric Buzzer
  • 25, LEDs (5 each or Red, Green, White, Yellow, Blue)
  • 1, 3.5oz Container of Insulating Dough
  • 3, 3.5oz Containers of Conductive Dough (in Red, Green, and Blue)
Knex Simple Machines Introduction to Wheels Axles and Inclined Planes

Knex® Simple Machines

Introduction to Wheels Axles and Inclined Planes

  • Includes 221 colorful parts to make seven different replicas of real world simple machines
  • Accommodates 2-3 students working as a team and appropriate for elementary classrooms in grades 3 through 5
  • STEM Concepts: making work easier, mechanical advantage, wedges, screws, energy transfer, mechanical systems and more
  • Packaged in a reusable plastic storage tray with a snap-on lid for quick clean-up and easy storage
  • Building with K'NEX puts children on a path towards a fundamental understanding of STEAM/STEM subjects.
  • K'NEX Education sets come with lesson plans and experiment guides written by educators that feature hands-on, inquiry-based projects.
  • All teacher guides and experiment guides are aligned to national standards, including ITEEA, NSES, NCTM, NGSS and Common Core.
  • K'NEX Education sets let students build replicas of real-world machines to gain an understanding of the principles that make them work.
Knex Simple Machines Intro to Gears

Knex® Simple Machines

Introduction to Gears

  • Includes 198 colorful parts to make seven different replicas of real world simple machines
  • Accommodates 2-3 students working as a team and appropriate for elementary classrooms in grades 3 through 5
  • STEM Concepts: making work easier, mechanical advantage, gear ratios, spur gears, crown gears, mechanical systems and more
  • Packaged in a reusable plastic storage tray with a snap-on lid for quick clean-up and easy storage
  • Building with K'NEX puts children on a path towards a fundamental understanding of STEAM/STEM subjects.
  • K'NEX Education sets come with lesson plans and experiment guides written by educators that feature hands-on, inquiry-based projects.
  • All teacher guides and experiment guides are aligned to national standards, including ITEEA, NSES, NCTM, NGSS and Common Core.
  • K'NEX Education sets let students build replicas of real-world machines to gain an understanding of the principles that make them work.