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Top 100 STEM Equipment and Materials for the 2022 Classroom

What are the top 100 STEM Equipment and Materials for the 2022 Classroom? Read below to find out!

PDF of the Periodic Table of STEM Equipment & Materials is available below

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I see an emergent theme in the questions received by classroom teachers, homeschool families, librarians, and STEM-organization leaders.


"What STEM supplies do I need?"

"What should a Maker space look like?"

"I was given a $$ budget for STEAM, how should I spend it?"


If you are asking these questions, you are not alone. It is challenging to know where to even start. As an educator who has spent many years acquiring and using STEM/STEAM equipment and materials, I aimed to build a comprehensive list of items that could help others. However, a simple list would not do. I wanted to also share the function of these items so that you can think about acquiring equipment and materials within each of these categories.. This lead me to create the Periodic Table of STEM Equipment & Materials!


While many of the items in the Periodic Table are easily recognizable to you already, here is a rundown of some of the equipment and material recommendations you may not be as familiar with.


Material Processing


Laser Cutter- A fantastic piece of rapid prototyping machinery for any educational program! With a small and powerful laser, this machine cuts, etches, and engraves into a variety of robust materials like wood, glass, metal, plastic, and leather. The precision of the laser results in highly complex designs that may be unfeasible by hand. My students and I predominantly use a laser cutter to create engraved items for our school's store and then we sell those items for fundraisers.




Cricut - There are several models available for a high-quality cutting machine, but we wanted to start with the Cricut Explore Air 2. It has six tools for cutting, writing, foiling, and scoring over 100 different materials- though the materials need to be quite thin. Whether you use the Cricut to decorate your learning environment, have the students create tailored designs for their STEM/STEAM projects, or create products for students' friends and family- the options are endless.




Heat Press- A heat press is a machine that can imprint designs onto fabrics (and other substrates) through heat and pressure. I like the simplicity of Cricut's Easy Press for classrooms because of the automatic timer, and it does not take up a lot of space compared to a more traditional heat press with a long arm that sticks high up into the air. I've used the Cricut Easy Press to heat press designs for the robotics team t-shirts and to decorate burlap bags for a STEm activity.


Robotics and Coding


Bee-Bots- Resembling little bumblebees, Bee-Bots are an excellent introduction for young students (early primary grades) to learn coding and programming. Grab a set for a class with the mat and enjoy the students engaged in coding. Watch this little Bee-Bot navigate a maze!


Dash and Dot- A more complex educational robot for budding technology professionals, the Dash robot has been a powerhouse in the industry. Appropriate for ages 6-10, the Dash robot and its companion Dot come with free apps, a virtual 3D environment, and a subscription to Class Connect. Additional connectors can be purchased separately so Dash can launch items, play the xylophone, bulldoze, and more.


Sphero- A Gyroscope + accelerometer+ a lot of fun = Sphero. Ideal for ages 8-14, these little orbs of sensors and LED lights are programmed to zip around the room. Are you looking for something smaller and even cuter? Check out the Sphero Mini and its nine different color options!




Squishy Circuits- Squishy Circuits support students in the learning of electronic circuits. Ideal for ages 8-12, students use circuits and modeling dough to design interactive prototypes.



Structural


Keva Planks- It is amazing how creative students can be with a stack of wood pieces! Keva Planks take basic block building to the next level by challenging students' spatial capacities to recreate 3D prototypes from 2D diagrams. The deluxe kit is recommended for ages 7+; however, a similar product called Tegu can be great for younger students.



Moontoy- This is a colorful and engaging building set for students ages 4-8+. This is a high-ceiling activity where students can design and engineer freely. Additionally, this set is excellent for encouraging fine gross motor skills.





Hopefully, this list has been helpful to you in thinking about how to build your STEM/STEAM space. As our organization's mission is to support environmental sustainability in STEM Education, please take action to purchase eco-friendly materials. You can find more resources at www.benplusstem.com


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