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A Mom Navigating Life

Robotic Arm by Hexbug for STEM Education

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 28, 2016 | Categories: Education, Gadgets, Technology

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

My son has always loved science, tech, and engineering, and even if math isn’t is favorite subject, he happens to be just naturally good at it. He’s also got a love and natural ability for the arts, as well. We encourage his love of both STEM activities and his love of acting.

We want our son to be well-rounded and keep his love of learning fueled, not just during the school year, but during summer break as well.

STEM activity for summer

Inspiring STEM Learning

The Vex Robotics Robotic Arm by HEXBUG is a great STEM-based kit for tweens and teens (recommended for 8 to 15).

The Robotic Arm by HEXBUG gives tweens and teens the hands on experience of how an industrial robot works. You know, the kind of robots that work on assembly lines building other complex pieces of machinery.

STEM learning with Vex Robotics Robotic Arm by Hexbug from Best Buy

STEM learning with Vex Robotics Robotic Arm by Hexbug from Best Buy

STEM learning with Vex Robotics Robotic Arm by Hexbug from Best Buy

About Vex Robotics Robotic Arm

This unique Robotic Arm is hand powered and can pick up and relocate items using four degrees of freedom and an articulated grabber hand. The whole crane can rotate 360 degrees. Allowing this miniature robot to perform the complex actions of its real life counterpart.

The VEX Robotics Robotic Arm (PN 406-4202; MSRP $49.99) is complaint with CPSIA standards. Batteries not required.

My son enjoyed putting the Robotic Arm together one afternoon last week. He thinks it is a great way to spend time and that it would be a good challenge for 8 year old and up. But even younger kids who are into building things and like tech toys could build the Robotic Arm with a little assistance.

STEM learning with Vex Robotics Robotic Arm by Hexbug from Best Buy

My son is thirteen and found it easy and didn’t require any help in building the Robotic Arm. He says the instructions are very easy to follow.

He likes that you can build either a chopper or a scorpion. Before the summer is over he is going to disassemble the Robotic Arm and build the scorpion.

If you want to encourage learning, even in the summer, I highly recommend the Vex Robotics Robotic Arm by Hexbug from Best Buy.

Soccer Has Gone Global Like Never Before

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 27, 2016 | Categories: Sports
SAP_infographic_final_02_600

I received compensation for this post about how SAP is changing the game of soccer (football) but all opinions are 100% my own. I will only endorse companies, products and services that I believe, based on my own experiences, are worthy of endorsement. Something big, I mean really BIG is taking place this year. What […]

5 Fun Things to do With Your Teen Son This Summer

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 22, 2016 | Categories: Family, Parenting
General Mills Tiny Toast cereal from Kroger a great summer snack

Between end of school year activities and summer trips and projects, it’s nice to get a helping hand from brands like today’s sponsor, General Mills. They want to help moms keep their teens fueled with fun snacks this summer. It is officially summer!  Although, judging by the weather, it has felt like summer for the […]

Suffer from Backache and Pains? Try LivRelief

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 21, 2016 | Categories: Health and Fitness
Livrelief helping my backache so I can do yoga

This backache relieving post is sponsored by LivRelief. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from yours. I will only endorse companies, products and services that I believe, based on my own experiences, are worthy of endorsement. I’ve been doing some research on backache and pains recently because I’m convinced that back pain […]

June is Scleroderma Awareness Month

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 20, 2016 | Categories: Health and Fitness
Scleroderma awareness pledge

This post was sponsored by Scleroderma as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I can remember the first time I heard the word “Scleroderma”. I knew “derma” had something to do with the skin and figured it was some kind of skin disease/disorder, but that was all. When my friend told me that […]

How to Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 19, 2016 | Categories: Holidays and Observances, How To, Tips
Ways to celebrate dads on Father's Day

Between working hard to support his family, helping with the kids, and doing things to alleviate stress for Mom, Dad’s do a lot for their families. I know how fortunate I am to have a husband who is a very active participant in co-parenting our son. I am equally blessed with a stepdad that has […]

Samsung Gear VR for Father’s Day from Best Buy

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 16, 2016 | Categories: Gadgets, Holidays and Observances, Technology
Samsung Gear VR from Best Buy for Father's Day

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. With all of the end of school year activities going on, our son’s NYC trip, and the opening weekend (plus all the to and from rehearsals) of our son’s play this […]

Actiontec From Best Buy Replacing HDMI Cables with Wireless

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 8, 2016 | Categories: Entertainment, Gadgets, Technology
Actiontec MyWirelessTV 2 and ScreenBeam Mini2

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. One thing I hate is wires and cables all over the place. It doesn’t matter how neat my office is, if there are wires and cables strung everywhere, it makes my […]

Waste Not Want Not: Smart and Simple Tips for Avoiding Food Waste

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 7, 2016 | Categories: Food, Home and Garden, Tips
Waste Not Want Not: Tips for avoiding food waste

If you are trying to reduce the amount of waste your family produces, then you are part of a nationwide effort to reduce the amount of trash that goes into the nation’s landfills. However, wastefulness might still be happening right in your own kitchen. Food waste is a serious problem for many families, and according […]

Staying Organized Makes Life Easier

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: June 5, 2016 | Categories: Family, Home and Garden
Clipix Bookmark Manager Meal planning

Life can quickly become messy, especially when changes happen. When you start a new job, move to a new home or have another change in your life, it may be difficult to keep track of important information. Staying organized for routine tasks, even meal planning and home repair, can be overwhelming. There are several ways […]