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.
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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:
- String: String can be used for a multitude of projects including suspension bridges, musical instruments, archery, and winches. Pick up a variety of thickness to assist in projects.
- Popsicle Sticks
- Pipe cleaners
- Aluminum foil and bottle caps
- Masking tape or painter’s tape: Mark testing areas on desks and the floor
- Marbles and ping-pong balls : Teach elasticity (or have students create their own bouncy balls!
- Old CDs
- Battery-operated tea lights or glow sticks
- Composition notebooks for scientific journaling
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!
- Basic coding games for beginners are a great introduction to coding and problem-solving.
Books are a great way for students to start finding creative uses for all the supplies you’ve gathered.
- STEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for Kids: A year’s worth of captivating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) activities that will wow the boredom right out of kids!
- Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM / STEAM Projects and Why They Work: We love these science experiments and STEM projects for grades K-5!
- Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit: This fun kit works with existing LEGO bricks to build amazing engineering structures.
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!
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