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AZ Tech Beat | September 17, 2019

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Startup Xplore BoX delivers edu toys and kits to your doorstep

Startup Xplore BoX delivers edu toys and kits to your doorstep
Ashley Garcia

Imagine receiving a box full of toys and goodies every month for your kids, with each box containing key learning and development components. Xplore BoX, a subscription-based educational toy company, does just that-through their STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) toys delivered to your doorstep in a box aims to educate and inspire our younger generations. I spoke to Rebeca Rodriguez, Founder of Xplore BoX to learn more about their products.

xplore box

This is such an interesting concept! What inspired you to incorporate STEM into this idea?

The idea for Xplore BoX began when I was holding events after work to engage kids in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities and share more information about aerospace engineering as a career. That is when I noticed kids were most engaged when we asked them to do hands-on activities like building towers and bridges. Those were activities in which kids had to design, build, and test their hypotheses. A few weeks later, I heard about a makeup monthly subscription from my sister and that sparked my imagination. Growing up, it would have been amazing to receive mail addressed to me, especially a package including hands-on science projects and experiments to do at home. Since I was in elementary school, hands-on building activities including model rocketry and pine wood derby cars fascinated me. Those hands-on experiences kept me going and exposed me to the real life applications of STEM and kept me on track to graduate with a degree in aerospace engineering, and then working in the space sector.

Is there a specific age range?

Yes, the contents of Xplore BoX are targeted to children ages 7 through 12.

What is included in a box? Are there a lot of different categories/options?

Each Xplore BoX contains a hands-on STEM kit, toys, and other goodies. The STEM kits allow kids to build a project and see the results. The toys and other goodies reinforce the science theme. Each package contains an experiment of the month, which subscribers can do with simple household items. New subscribers receive an Xplore BoX notebook and pencil to right down their ideas, experiments, data, and results. Each month is a completely different theme. Our past themes include kitchen science, solar energy, space exploration, flight, and astronomy.

Is everything ready for the kids to play with or does it take a lot of setting up? Any additional materials (i.e. iPad, Wi-Fi access) needed?

The Xplore boxes contain the majority of the items. Some of the activities require household items like extra tape, glue, and scissors.

What type of feedback have you received from parents who have purchased Xplore BoX?

We have received excellent feedback from parents and kids alike. One parent in a rural area described their situation of not having many STEM programs to choose from and when she enrolled her daughter in a summer camp she was the only girl. The parent was thankful for Xplore BoX as it allows her daughter to be more involved in the STEM fields and work on the projects without feeling she is the only girl in the group. Kids have enjoyed the activities and look forward to the package every month.  Some kids have stated they would like to receive it more than once a month!

Is this something schools can subscribe to for their classrooms? 

Yes, currently we are gathering more information from interested schools regarding their needs.  Xplore BoX was designed to be integrated into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  We are in the process of working out bulk rate pricing for groups and associations that would like to purchase in large quantities.

How can our readers get started?

Readers can subscribe by going to our website. There you can choose from a monthly, three month, six month, or annual plan. You can also order a one-time gift by letting us know in the order notes.

Xplore BoX is a SeedSpot Venture and most recently pitched at the Demo Day. Read more about Xplore BoX here.