Top Pick

Best Engineering Tools

Tech and engineering skills are becoming increasingly important for school, life, and work. Get your kids ready with these fun, intuitive, intros to the basics, platforms for creation, and hubs for inspiration.

Simple Machines by Tinybop Publisher: Tinybop
Excellent elementary NGSS engineering practices embedded in fun games
Grades K-5
Type App
Price 2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
NOVA: Tech & Engineering Visit Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova
Vast video resources explore key STEM concepts
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
MinecraftEdu
This product is no longer available.
Publisher: TeacherGaming LLC
Teacher dashboard and genius tutorial help this sandbox gem sparkle
Grades 1-12
Type Game
Price $41.00
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Inventioneers Full Version Publisher: Filimundus AB
Budding engineers create design solutions with fun physics puzzler
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Curiosity Machine Visit Website: https://www.curiositymachine.org
Kids build, share, receive pro feedback with awesome engineering site
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Contraption Maker Publisher: Spotkin
Solve problems, puzzles, brain teasers while creating wacky machines
Grades 3-8
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Design Squad Nation Visit Website: http://pbskids.org/designsquad
Classmates can compete to solve fun engineering problems
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Minecraft - Pocket Edition Publisher: Mojang
World-building, resource-gathering game almost as good as PC version
Grades 3-8
Type App
Price $6.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
DIY Visit Website: http://www.diy.org
Design, build, and share new things offline and online
Grades 3-10
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Minecraft Publisher: Mojang
Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep
Grades 3-12
Type Game
Price 26.95 for desktop, $19.99 for consoles (except Wii U at $29.99)
Platforms Linux, Mac, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Algodoo Publisher: Algoryx
Sandbox tool enables engaged, conceptual physics inquiry
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Autodesk Design Academy Visit Website: http://academy.autodesk.com
Outstanding project-based tutorials for popular engineering software
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
SketchUp Visit Website: http://www.sketchup.com/
Make learning meaningful through 3-D design
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
TinkerBox Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
Fantastic physics puzzler puts a virtual maker faire in kids' hands
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Tinkercad Visit Website: http://www.tinkercad.com
Amazingly simple yet powerful and flexible online CAD tool
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Make: Online Visit Website: http://makezine.com/
Fuel creative makers with project ideas, reviews, and community
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
HowStuffWorks Publisher: HowStuffWorks.com
Explore the world's nuts and bolts in this fab interactive info hub
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Kerbal Space Program Publisher: Squad
Design and launch a rocket into space in realistic astrophysics sim
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated