The STEMscope is one of the best pocket microscopes out there that has a good mix of features, perks, and durability for a child's open-ended play. It's a good bang for the buck.
However, the quality does come at a price. If you're unwilling to spend a decent amount on an educational toy, other alternatives might be more applicable for your case.
Nonetheless, overall it's a great introductory microscope and a high-quality purchase.
This is why I put this review together. To help you decide if this STEM toy is a perfect fit for the child you love, and if they can make the most out of this device. Have fun!
I know what you're thinking.
"Why would a company make a review of their own product?"
That is precisely what we've considered before writing this review article. However, we've noticed several parents have already tried out and reviewed the STEMscope, so we might as well share their thoughts on paper so you can get a sneak peek of their personal experiences.
In this STEMscope kids' microscope review, I won't try to sell the product to you.
I will be the conveyor of parents' and kids' collective thoughts regarding the product — how they use it, the benefits their children get from it, and let you decide if the STEMscope is the right tool for your budding young scientist.
How Important is Buying the Right Children's Toy For You?
Before we proceed with the review, the first question you need to answer is how invested you are in selecting a toy that you give your child.
If you believe that toys are simply pastimes to keep a child occupied, that's a valid sentiment. But there is more to toys than just fun and games.
Research from Christine H. Legare, a professor in Psychology, shows that when you introduce thought-provoking tools like STEM toys during play, you…
Evoke your child's curiosity
Motivate their exploration tendencies
Encourage them to understand cause-and-effect
All of which are essential for kids to understand the world around them. Behaviors that children may carry on to adulthood and influence their future.
Essentially, kids will play with any toy you give them. But not every toy will impact your child positively, with the potential of steering their future in the right direction.
It's good to invest in toys. Especially if you're intentional in supporting your child's learning through play. If you're still reading to this point, then it's time we show you parents' honest thoughts and review of the STEMscope and what you can expect when you get one!
The STEMscope Kids Microscope Review
Unboxing Experience (What's inside?)
You are greeted with a standard cardboard box when you receive the STEMscope package. Surrounding the box are some of the basic specifications, including the 20-40x magnifying power of the microscope.
Out-of-the-box you will get the STEMscope in its familiar orange and blue colorway. Pre-installed with free batteries to power up the built-in flashlight so children can view even in the dark.
Along with it, you get a sturdy orange base that attaches to the orifice of the STEMscope, allowing your child to set up the device like a standard tabletop microscope.
Lastly, we include two free microscope slides and a clear instruction manual on using the STEMscope.
How Does It Look and Feel Like?
Kids are natural-born explorers powered by a curiosity-driven hunger for discovery. No wonder they move around and investigate every corner of the room.
This insatiable drive to explore is one of the principal motivations in the STEMscope's design and ergonomics.
The design is relatively straightforward, using gender-neutral colors for boys and girls alike, and it's safe and comfortable to use even for young audiences.
Unlike conventional microscopes that only sit on tables, the STEMscope benefits from portability, thus, aligning with every typical child's tendency to be mobile.
The dimension of the STEMscope is also a perfect fit for a child's small hands and pockets. Weighing only at around 56 grams (0.12 pounds), kids can carry the device around without sweat.
Plus, you don't have to worry about this toy slipping from their hands into oblivion because the non-slip grip provides extra support against accidental drops.
From a usability perspective, even children as young as three can use the STEMscope for their own fun and adventure.
But don't take our word for it!
At the age of 3, Josh from Josh and Jonash Journey efficiently operated the portable microscope independently. Even without his mother's supervision, Josh played with the STEMscope easily, as shown in the video below:
Here is what other parents who bought the STEMscope think:
Are the features worthy of my budget?
If you're buying a microscope only for its ergonomics and design, then you're buying for the wrong reasons.
There are three primary aspects to the STEMscope that we'll scrutinize in this microscope review: magnification, durability, and extra features. So you'll have a clear understanding of where you'll invest your funds.
The magnifying prowess of a microscope is always the banner feature that consumers pay close attention to.
But there's more to magnification than just numbers!
A low magnification compromises the number of details you can see in specimens. But, on the contrary, an extreme magnifying power can cause eye fatigue, headaches and can be disorienting for young children.
On top of that, kids may also find it challenging to operate highly powerful zoom lenses.
With the above considerations in mind, we developed the STEMscope to accommodate kids' ocular capacity while eliminating the possibility of eye strain — a perfect balance between magnification and clarity.
The 20 to 40 times magnification is ideal for kids' curiosity-driven desire to see the world up close and personal, minus the fatigue.
Using the STEMscope, your child will be able to see critters and other creepy crawlers, along with hair, fabric, grass, and all other micro-mysteries this world has to offer, with ease. Here's another example:
Read what parents think about the STEMscope, below:
Durability is a non-negotiable feature that every toy should have.
Since all kids have a proclivity for active movement, if you're a parent who worries that your kid might be clumsy, then you need a toy that won't shatter even if your child drops it.
The STEMscope is enclosed in a shatterproof shell (made from tough ABS plastic) designed to handle multiple drops from any height.
So you can rest assured that your investment is securely built. This means that you won't have to buy another one for a child you love because we made it to withstand indefinitely.
Here's what Nate had to say about the STEMscope:
Kids won't struggle when looking at specimens at night, thanks to the built-in LED that illuminates every sample under the STEMscope.
This feature ensures that there will be a good light source so kids can pursue their microscopic adventure even in dark environments. Plus, the LED helps in preventing the possibility of eye strain.
Unlike other LED-powered microscopes, the STEMscope's LED placement prevents the light from over-illuminating the subject. An ideal detail so children can see a specimen's intricate details without any blinding lens glare.
Here's what parents think of the LED feature of the STEMscope:
What sets the STEMscope apart may not inherently be the device itself, but the overall value kids and parents get with every purchase.
Every first-time buyer of the STEMscope is eligible to receive two free ebooks along with their purchase.
The Kids and Science ebook contains helpful resources to support your child's scientific learning. From simple science experiments to a list of online websites that encourage the pursuit of science and even potential internship opportunities for older kids.
Moreover, you can also get an ebook containing activities to keep your child occupied and entertained using the STEMscope. A 32-way attempt to spice up kids' use of the microscope once they feel like they've discovered everything.
Robert Nichols described the STEMscope's effect on her granddaughter as a "science nerd in the making." Not simply because of the extensive use of the microscope but also the peripheral features that support her learning.
How About Customer Service?
Customer success is one of the core aspects we do our best to excel at. Following Damon Richards definition of customer service:
"Your customers don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
That's why TheSTEMKids ensures its availability to answer every customer query, concern, and complaint with urgency and prudence so everyone can rest assured after each purchase.
Countless parents and grandparents extend their thanks and appreciation for the excellent customer service that TheSTEMKids strives to pursue.
Here are some reviews and conversation proofs for your perusal:
STEMscope Kids Microscope Alternatives
Admittedly, it does come at a bit of a price.
It's not easy to come by with 50 bucks for most parents, and we understand that.
Although we try to compensate through perks and freebies, others may opt for more affordable options; that's why below we've inserted some hand-picked alternatives you can choose from if the STEMscope seems a bit out-of-budget:
It has a similar design architecture with the STEMscope without the vibrant colors and other free peripherals. The magnifying power ranges from 60x to 120x which is significantly higher than the STEMscope. Although the common complaint from users is the focusing difficulty of the lenses, which may be attributed to the magnification. The MicroFlip may still be considered a decent buy.
Celestron Kids offers a fresh fatigue-colored design from the STEMscope. It has a similar magnification with the Carson MicroFlip that can sometimes be too powerful for children's liking. Despite the name, a magnification of 60x to 120x would be more ideal for users who are familiar with knobs to adjust the focus of the lenses.
This digital microscope is a more techno-approach to the conventional pocket microscopes. Ideal for users who have access to their own digital devices like phones, tablets, or laptops. This USB microscope has a built-in 2-megapixel camera that can capture up to 1000x magnification. A solid alternative but a bit of tech-mastery is a requirement to operate this.
It's perfectly normal to feel at a crossroads whether to give the STEMscope a chance or not. If you're looking for more reviews, public perception, or social proof, feel free to visit our social media accounts and dedicated product reviews page which are linked below:
The STEMscope is an excellent option if you're looking for value-packed portable microscopes for your child. Although it does come at a price, with perks and peripherals that accompany the microscope, it's a holistic approach to stimulating your child's scientific learning and cultivating an undying curiosity to understand the world.