Bill and Giuliana Rancic Team Up with Learning Resources to Bring STEM Toys to Chicago Schools

by Bethany Braun-Silva

Bill and Giuliana Rancic Team Up with Learning Resources to Bring STEM Toys to Chicago Schools
Shop Story

Bill and Giuliana Rancic are proud parents to their son, Duke, 7, and noticed early on that he had a strong interest in STEM learning. He even asked for a 3D printer for his last birthday!  He inspired them to partner with Learning Resources for their Beaker Creatures STEM Spectacular. The Rancics helped announce Learning Resources’ donation of more than $100K worth of STEM toys to Chicago Public Schools. We talked to them via email about why they decided to team up with the educational toy company and which STEM toys are Duke’s favorites.


What inspired you to team up with Learning Resources?

Learning Resources shares our commitment to learning through play and believes in the importance of STEM education. It has been wonderful to work alongside them and truly see how much they also share our passion for giving back, especially to the children of Chicago. This was really brought to life during an event we hosted with them at the Museum of Science and Industry on May 3rd. Over 150 children from local Chicago Public Schools were there along with the CPS CEO, Dr. Janice K. Jackson. We were so proud to be a part of the event and thrilled to announce that Learning Resources made a donation of over $100k in educational toys to CPS.”


Does Duke have a favorite Learning Resources toy?

“Duke loves to build and deconstruct so he has so much fun with the Learning Resources Gears! line. And of course, what kid doesn’t love to make a mess? He has become obsessed with Beaker Creatures and has so much fun dissolving the pods and discovering which planet the creatures are from. He is always asking us to get him more of the creatures and our kitchen has become a mini science lab!”


Has Duke taught you guys anything about STEM that you didn’t know? “Through Duke’s new toys and games, we have also been introduced to how much fun STEM learning can be and have learned things we never knew before. You’re never too old to stop learning!”


Do you have a favorite STEM activity to do as a family?

“STEM activities have provided so much enrichment to Duke and we’ve had so much fun as a family doing the different Beakers Creatures experiments. We love being in the lab aka our kitchen alongside Duke and playing and learning together as a family.”  


How can parents start incorporating STEM at home?

“STEM is very new to a lot of people, and it may seem intimidating at first, even to parents. We think it is important to start early and provide the tools to make it as much of a go-to as hitting the ball outside. Learning Resources has a great blog that we have contributed to that provides parents with a lot of ideas for easily incorporating STEM at home. And you can find STEM activities in your own home with things you already have!”


Check out some of Duke’s favorite toys (and a few others) below!

1 of 5 Image Credits: Amazon

Beaker Creatures™ Whirling Wave Reactor


It's a whirling wave reaction! Drop the Reactor Pod into the chamber, fill it with water and spin the lever to reveal the creatures! It also doubles as a working lab station. Includes one Reactor Pod, one limited-edition Color-Change Frostonian and a science experiment guide.

2 of 5 Image Credits: Amazon

Gears! Gears! Gears!® FlightGears™


Help your kids build critical-thinking skills and other STEM skills as they create their own flying machines with propellers, wheels and more. The pieces work with all existing Gears! sets, encourage open-ended play and offer multiple build possibilities.

3 of 5 Image Credits: Amazon

Puzzle Globe Toy


The Puzzle Globe is designed to help young learners investigate the continents, the oceans, famous landmarks, different kinds of animals and so much more. The big chunky pieces are designed to match up to holes on the globe, so it’s easier for children to put continents in place. It includes a tough and durable base (with oceans labeled), rotatable globe, six continent puzzle pieces, six plastic continent labels and blank label stickers.

4 of 5 Image Credits: Amazon

City Engineering and Design Building Set


Encourage an early love of STEM learning with this one-of-a-kind City Building Set. Your little engineers can create their own skyscrapers, cranes, bridges and more with 89 easy-to-assemble pieces. Use the included activity cards to complete design challenges or create your own city. It’s a unique way to challenge logic, problem solving and engineering skills.

5 of 5 Image Credits: Amazon

Super Sorting Pie


Make learning early number skills, including counting, as easy (and fun) as pie. Sorting cards go on the bottom of the pan to provide visual cues that support success. The top crust becomes a bowl to conveniently hold counters. Jumbo Tweezers reinforce fine motor skills. 68-piece set.