Facebook PixelMEL STEM Subscription “Aircraft” Review | My Subscription Addiction
My Subscription Addiction
My Subscription Addiction
Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.

MEL STEM Subscription “Aircraft” Review

Brandi D.
ByBrandi D.Dec 3, 2021 | 0 comments

5 overall rating
1 Ratings | 0 Reviews

MEL STEM (formerly MEL Kids) is a subscription box for children ages 5-9+ that delivers educational activities and everything you need to safely perform hands-on STEM projects at home. There is also an augmented reality portion you can access via their app for more learning fun!

This is a review of MEL Science's MEL STEM box (ages 5-9+), which costs $34.90 per month.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

First Impressions

At the top of our box was a little paper plane challenge card, so right away I knew my daughter would get excited when she saw this box! What kid doesn't enjoy aircraft and paper airplanes?

They provided a little card that we can scan with the app to directly access the lesson.


Here is a look at the AR (augmented reality) section accessible from the MEL STEM app. This portion of the project is so unique and always very educational! They show you exactly how your project works and what happens, making sure to explain it in scientific terms. It is interactive and provides a great visual for kids to engage with. Now let's get into this month's project!


This thick, colorful booklet contains all of the information needed for this month's project. The beginning shows the contents of our box followed by a comic story introducing us to the project. This is such a creative way to get kids engaged in their learning! The rest of the book is filled with directions and some extra activities to complete. The directions feature large colorful illustrations and numbered steps making it easy for kids to follow along. This month we are working on making our own aircraft and learning about what gives them lift.


Everything came packaged neatly for us with some smaller wooden and foam components tucked inside these two boxes.


We also received some paper pieces, rubber bands, and a few more items for assembly.


Since the directions are all visual and larger than your average instructions, my daughter is easily able to follow them and complete the steps on her own.

This step is where things began to go wrong for us. This little crinkled hard rubber piece was supposed to fit into the notches on the wooden piece, but it was SO challenging to get them together. There was no way my daughter could have done this on her own, and I spent a good 10 minutes or more getting frustrated as I tried to make it work. Seriously, it was very difficult and something I wasn't sure I would actually accomplish, but eventually, I did get it in place. For this reason alone though, I began to have some doubts about this box.


After that, things were much easier and we were able to get our launcher finished.

Her first attempt didn't go very high, but she got it on the next try which you can see here! This was simple and fun - she was excited to play with it!


Next, we were supposed to make a launcher for our foam pieces. I was a little concerned when our wooden piece was more curved than the one in the booklet, but my daughter was able to build something that looked similar, so I was hopeful it would work out.


Unfortunately, it did not. The foam piece was supposed to slide off the end, but it kept getting stuck in the rubberband instead. I tried multiple times to fix it, swapping out rubber bands, trying different positions, etc, but no matter what, it still wouldn't launch.


The same goes for the little boomerang shape she made. It too got stuck in the rubber band and did nothing close to launching.


Here you can see what our finished product looked like in comparison to the pictures on the box and in our booklet. I'm not sure what is wrong exactly, but I know that my daughter followed the assembly instructions.


While the second launcher was a complete failure, my daughter did enjoy the first one she made and she also enjoyed these little activity cards they included. There were also plenty of activities in her booklet to keep her busy as well, so I guess it wasn't a total loss!

Value - Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $34.90

This month I really cannot say that we received a great value with this MEL STEM box. We almost had to give up on the first launcher because we could not get the pieces together which I think must be due to some mistake on our wooden piece, and our second launcher didn't work at all. The extra activities this month were great and in general, this could have been a fun box, but unfortunately, the execution didn't work out too well for us this time.

Key Takeaways

In general, MEL STEM provides boxes with fun topics made more engaging by the stories that go along with them. They send you all of the materials you need and the directions are large and easy to read and follow along with. It's a great age-appropriate STEM learning experience, but sadly, this particular box kind of missed the mark for us.

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add MEL STEM to your subscription list or wishlist!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, this box is still available. From MEL STEM:

"Your first package will arrive within 2 weeks of registration. Subsequent monthly packages will be delivered within 2 weeks of each monthly charge."

What do you think of MEL STEM? Click below to write a review!

Starting at $29.90
Subscribe Now

MEL STEM is a monthly science subscription box for kids ages 5-9+ from MEL Science. Each of the MEL Science kits feature hands-on experiments that are enhanced by an interactive, AR (augmented reality)-powered lesson brought to life through the MEL STEM app.

Brandi D.
Brandi D.

I am a homeschooling mother of four; 3 boys and 1 girl. My youngest was just born in January 2022 and my oldest is 7. I am a former educator and have taught both elementary art and Special Education.

I have been reviewing boxes for MSA since January 2018 and have reviewed everything from activity and clothing boxes for kids to clothing, beauty, and pampering boxes for women. I have also reviewed boxes focused on home goods and even some men's boxes with the help of my husband! 

I love to discover new brands and try new things!

Join the Conversation

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.