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STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, and schools are focusing up on these important skills. Schools are recognizing how crucial these areas of study will be for future students.
Jobs in coming years will need experts in these fields. Some STEM-related jobs are expected to see huge growth. For example, the need for biomedical engineers is expected to increase an incredible 62%.
Not only are STEM classes great for the workers are tomorrow, students of today benefit almost immediately. Students who focus on STEM-related studies earn an average GPA of 3.0.
If you’re a teacher and want to help your students succeed, you need to make sure your STEM lab has the best equipment. First, let’s figure out what kind of supplies your class calls for.
Stages of STEM Classes
Before you start gathering all the cool STEM equipment on the market, you should assess your needs first. Different STEM levels have different requirements.
Here’s a guide to understanding the various skills needed for each stage:
- Stage 1: basic building and communication. Students might work in teams to build simple objects, like a tower made out of index cards.
- Stage 2: Design and engineering. Students begin to use scientific and mathmatic concepts when designing their creations.
- Stage 3: Competitions and long-term projects. Things like robotics or dabbling in 3D printing help students take their skills to the next level.
STEM labs need everything from pipe cleaners to foundry supplies. Once you figure out what you students need, you can get the very best. Check out this list to get you started!
Whether you’re using LEGOs or wooden blocks, the STEM laboratory always needs construction materials.
From learning the foundation in STEM stage 1 to envisioning advanced structures in stage 2 and 3, building blocks are affordable and essential.
Rockets are fun and exciting. Not only will everyone have a blast (pun intended) but they’ll learn new skills, too.
If you don’t want to break out the artillery, you can always try an air-launched rocket. There are also model rocket kits that will guide you through the process before building your own from scratch.
While this popular modeling clay is great for molding into basic shapes and exploring creativity, it also has a place in circuitry and engineering.
Play-Doh is great for insulating circuitry. If your lesson plan calls for electrical engineering, keep some on hand.
Talk about cheap and basic! Cardboard is the workhorse of the well-equipped STEM lab.
Cardboard can be used for almost anything. Give your students some scissors, a marker, tape, and a cardboard box and let their imaginations soar!
This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s easy to overlook. Make sure you’ve got a laptop or tablet with a good internet connection.
There are cheap netbooks and tablets that are great for 3D modeling, research, and even for remote controls for robots. Make sure your laboratory has one on hand.
Stock Up Your STEM Lab
These STEM lab ideas are just the beginning. You can add things like the video game Minecraft or even a 3D printer to your STEM lab help your students excel.