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STEM Shopping List: Basic Supplies You Need for Your School

Change the STEM game with smart, creative choices for your classrooms.

Outfitting your school with STEM supplies and programming can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the process or have budget constraints. Whether you’re looking to outfit elementary classrooms with basic STEM or STEAM (STEM plus the arts) project supplies or thinking bigger picture with toys, activities, and technology, check out our list of STEM supplies and products to get your school going.

Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Thank you for your support!

STEM Supplies/Loose Parts

If you don’t have much of a STEM supply budget, just think outside the box to fill your STEM boxes! One of the easiest areas to save money on STEM supplies is on construction materials. We love these STEM bin ideas . Parents can be great resources for sending in recyclables or extras they may have on hand. Ask for items like plastic bottles, rubber bands, cardboard boxes, and cardboard tubes. Then you can supplement with items below:

STEM Kits

It’s a no-brainer: There’s nothing quite like the magic of toys to bring a classroom to life. STEM-themed activity sets, cards, and toys are no exception; nor is a stacked STEM-focused library! Here are a few ideas that will get your STEM party started and enhance science, tech, engineering, and math skills at the same time. The kids won’t even know how much they’re learning!

STEM Books

Books are a great way for students to start finding creative uses for all the supplies you’ve gathered. 

STEM Programs

Part of any STEM curriculum is getting on a computer and programming! Whether you’re learning to code or programming your robot to maneuver through a maze, these are a definite must for any school.

  • ST Math, from the Mind Research Institute, is an online visual instruction K–6 program for math concepts, puzzles, and problem-solving. School administrators are offered a 60-day free trial.
  • Project Lead the Way offers computer science, engineering, and biomedical science curriculum, materials, and online resources aligned to specific K–12 grades. It’s a hit with principals in our group for its “teacher-friendly” qualities and abundant “training and resources.” 
  • Engineering is Elementary, from the Museum of Science, Boston, focuses on both in-school and after-school STEM curriculum products. Hands-on, project-based activities are modeled for different grade groupings, from kindergarten through 5th grade, with after-school curriculum product through 8th grade.
  • Level Up Village (LUV) connects the world through the love of STEAM! LUV offers courses for students in K–9. Schools connect with students doing the same curriculum in other countries through video letters, so they can collaborate on projects. Talk about a global classroom!

What would you add to your STEM supply list for your school? Follow School Leaders Now on Facebook and join our group Principal Life for more conversations about and insights into the challenges of school leadership. 

STEM Shopping List: Basic Supplies You Need for Your School

Posted by Jenn Horton

Jenn is an editor for WeAreTeachers and SchoolLeadersNow. She used to work for Oprah for over a decade, teaching folks to "Live Their Best Lives" online and in real life...and she continues to try that herself too (mostly). Her work has appeared on WebMD, CNN, Amazon and various online publications. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two kiddos.

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