Tuesday, July 12, 2016

STEM on a Shoestring, Part I

When I began incorporating STEM into my classroom a couple years ago I had a major concern - how will I get supplies that are needed for the different activities? I taught two classrooms, a total of 36 students. That meant I needed to supply as many as nine groups each time.

I soon learned that I could use a lot of recyclable materials. I asked students to save shoe boxes and paper towel rolls. I also found that my local Dollar Tree is a great source of supplies. I was in the store a couple weeks ago and decided to take a few photos of things I have used in the past or think I may use this year in my STEM lab.



These foam sheets are a great time saver when we build boats that float and carry weight. They are one of the materials that groups may choose, and I don't have to cut up the big sheets!


 I go through these like crazy! While I usually can reuse, every now and then we construct something that uses them up. We have used these in building towers and other structures.


This is another item that gets used a lot. Bridge and building construction, catapults, and bows for Robin Hood are just a few. I use both the regular and jumbo sizes. This year our school supply list has a section for the STEM lab - woo hoo! I have asked one grade level to bring these in - boys and girls each bring a size.


Gravity drops, item that gets catapulted -- these pom poms are great when you want to make sure the projectile doesn't hurt! 


Last year it seemed like I was always "losing my marbles!" It was great to be able to just stop off at my Dollar Tree and grab another bag. We used them for marble mazes and roller coasters.

I have more -- I'll share them in the next STEM post.

If your STEM activities are not funded how do you keep your classroom supplied?


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