Friday, April 14, 2017

5 Inexpensive Resources for STEM materials


Welcome to my Getting Started with STEAM series!  If this is your first visit be sure to check out my other posts:
What is STEAM?
5 Components of a STEAM Lesson
Essential Engineering Process
Starting a STEAM program in your classroom or at your school can be overwhelming especially the cost.  However there are resources available for little to no cost that can have a BIG impact. STEAM doesn't have to be expensive Robots and 3-D printers to be effective. Popsicle sticks and straws are just as useful!  Many of these items can be gotten for free by asking parents nicely for donations. 
 
But if you don't get what you need from parent donations here are 5 free or inexpensive ways to build your STEAM material supply!
For around $10 you can load up on several products at Dollar Tree or the Dollar Store
Items such as straws, paper plates, coffee filters, pipe cleaners, brads, balloons, marbles, plastic spoons, plastic baggies, cotton balls and more!
Recyclable materials that people want to get rid of are FREE! Take up a collection at your school!
Card stock scraps, bottle lids, paper towel rolls, fabric, ribbon and yarn scraps, as well as cardboard boxes, cereal and other food containers provide lots of materials for no money at all!
Also check out thrift stores and yard sales for inexpensive or less expensive toy items such as KNEX, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Gears sets, Marble Run sets, blocks and more!
Using your 40% off coupon at craft stores can help you build up a supply of cardstock, popsicle sticks, clay or playdough and pipe cleaners.
Even the hardware store has supplies! Think nuts and bolts and washers! All of those are fairly inexpensive!
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If you do have some more money to spend here are some products I have used in my classroom or that my own children have and LOVE for STEAM! I have added Amazon affiliate links so they are easy to add to your cart. Simply click the pictures!
Zoob Builders with STEM challenges
 
Both my students and own personal children LOVE these! This set in particular comes with 5 instruction books with different things to build, 26 STEM challenge cards, 175 Zoob building pieces and more!  These were a great deal when I bought them so hurry and click and see if they still are! (I'm talking like half off!) 
Snap Circuits
My son received the arcade set for Christmas and absolutely loves them but this is a great school set with excellent science connections for STEAM!  It has 100 projects!  We have several of these on loan from the local university and the students love them as well! I wish I would have had them when I taught 4th grade electricity!!!!!!
Magnaformers
this is the most expensive on the list but they are AMAZING! I got lucky and got a really good deal on some for my daughter for Christmas and she LOVES them (so much that I ended up buying more at a much higher price). The Math connections with these are worth the price in my book. The same day she got them my daughter laid out flat the pieces for a cube and then pushed it together and said look a cube! She was almost 5 at the time!! Younger children love using these to build because of the magnets holding them together allow for more stable construction.  The ones linked are the best deal at the time I wrote this - I will try to update if I see deals!

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