Northern Heritage Mills builds, donates STEM toys

Wooden toys designed by creative director Robert Stocker with Tesla Rocker Racer designed by Gerry DeMuro
Wooden toys designed by creative director Robert Stocker with Tesla Rocker Racer designed by Gerry DeMuro. Photo provided

ACWORTH, N.H. – During the last 12 years, Northern Heritage Mills, a nonprofit educational organization, has provided science and engineering workshops to schools and manufactured inspirational wooden toys, which have positively impacted many thousands of residents in Vermont and New Hampshire. Each year Heritage Mills would build wooden toys to inspire STEM imagination and donate the toys to social service organizations to distribute to their constituents.

The Covid-19 pandemic has postponed the educational programs and has developed an overwhelming increase in demand from the social welfare organizations for our meaningful toys to relieve the stressors and isolation children are now experiencing in low income and critically challenged families living in crowded conditions. National reports also show a 73% increase and risk of child abuse, which may affect the child’s future learning potential. Social service organizations have reported that family tensions are rising an alarming 60% with newly imposed extended and critically tight living conditions creating verbal discourse, which children are a recipient and are potentially living in an increasingly negative learning environment.

Wooden grasshopper toys created to inspire STEM imagination
Wooden grasshopper toys created to inspire STEM imagination. Photo provided

The special wooded toys offset this negative gap for the lost access to playgrounds and playgroups, which can considerably reduce tensions that are built up in households especially without peer interactions or school time structure. At this time there is a loss of family connections compounding the stressors now that grandparents, who are the usual caregivers, are missing thus creating a demand for even small diversions that the special toys deliver to children in need.

The toys, especially the Tesla Rocket Racer and the walking Tiger Grasshopper, are designed to reduce tensions, inspire, and create a stronger technical science and engineering imagination and to develop the youth’s interest in STEM pathways. More than 150 toys were donated to social welfare organizations and have been delivered to their deserving families.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Greater Sullivan County, the Gilbert Verney Foundation, Chroma Technology, C&S Grocers, Walpole Bank, Mascoma Bank, Crown Point Cabinets Inc., Home Depot, LaValley Building Supply, Hamshaw Lumber, and concerned individuals have donated to this Heritage Mill’s inspired program.

Currently Heritage Mills’ workshop is in need of a dust control system and paint booth, and we are seeking community donations to assist with the overall cost of $550. Heritage Mills,, will gladly provide tax-exempt details for donations.

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