Deciding which STEM supplies to purchase can often be a daunting task. There are so many options—some of them great and others not so much—but having the right supplies for your classroom can make a drastic difference on your students’ education. However, more important than any supply is the curriculum behind the lesson; learn more about our curriculum. This post will explore some tips on choosing STEM supplies so that you can make your next purchase with confidence.
For Younger Students
When buying supplies for younger students, remember that fun supplies may promote learning and creativity even more than the latest high-tech gadgets. Children who are having fun are more engaged in their work and are better able to learn. Provide your students with creative toys such as Legos, building blocks, and basic programming games and they won’t even realize how much they’re learning! These supplies are especially handy if your purchases are constrained by a tight budget. Sometimes, the simplest and most affordable supplies (cardboard, tape, scissors, etc.) are the most beneficial for fostering problem solving and creativity in young minds.
For More Mature Students
Older students may benefit from more advanced supplies, which usually come with a higher price tag, unfortunately. That’s not to say that you can’t still shop affordably, but your students are likely to require more than cardboard and building blocks to feel challenged. As your students become advanced enough to utilize higher-end programming software and robotics equipment, you will have to exercise discernment when making your purchases. Make sure to buy from reputable sources, and avoid buying only the cheapest supplies—as these can often leave you worse off in the long run. Choose items that peak your students’ interest. For instance, a robotic arm that your students can program and control is just plain cool, and will no doubt keep them engaged and excited to learn more. Be sure to browse our cool robotics kits so you don’t miss out on some neat supplies!
What to Avoid
Try to avoid a lack of variety in your STEM supply kits. Having a diverse assortment of materials and tools allows students of all ages to maximize their creative potential and gives them ample opportunities for problem solving. Check out our STEM supply kit and save yourself the trouble of purchasing your assortment of supplies separately.
Kits that are messy and disorganized can be more trouble than they’re worth. Avoid kits that have easy to lose pieces or require every component in order to be functional. Tools and materials are bound to break or disappear—it’s inevitable—but cut your losses and purchase a kit that is easy to keep track of and remains usable even with a couple of pieces missing. Read more about keeping your classroom organized here.
Don’t think that just because a supply kit is cheap that it is the best value. Unrealistically cheap supplies often lack durability and are more suitable for one time use. If you plan to reuse your STEM supplies, then you will be better off opting for better quality materials, despite the higher cost.
Take a look at our other resources for more information about STEM education.