If you’ve been searching for a STEM materials or STEM supplies list for your classroom, homeschool, group, or club…you’re going to find it right here. Below you will find my favorite materials to help you build a STEM kit, maker space, or tinker kit anywhere! Let’s make STEM fun for kids and let’s do it on a budget!

STEM SUPPLIES LIST FOR AWESOME STEM PROJECTS

INEXPENSIVE STEM SUPPLIES

There is a wide range of STEM supplies on the market and a wide range of price points too! My goal is to share as many “do-able” and “afford-able” STEM challenges and engineering projects as possible. I firmly believe that every kiddo or student should have access to STEM, and you can do it on a small budget!

In fact, check out what one reader shared with me…

I wanted to say thank you for offering these pages! I run a small after-school program at an elementary school in rural northern California and the Jr engineer guides are the perfect thing for our program.

Our kids range from K-5th grade and these projects are perfect for that age group. We do them once a week on Wednesdays (a 5hour long day) and it helps engage the kiddos, teach them something new, all the while being fun and exciting.

We’ve also been able to secure a grant to help with funding in large part because of the stem activities we’ve gotten from you so thank you!

Amber

WHAT ARE STEM MATERIALS?

What do you need for a STEM classroom, STEM lab, library club, after-school program, homeschool space, and so on…

A lot of times you think you need expensive STEM kits, and many of the high-priced electronics such as Mindstorms, Osmo, etc. When in fact, digging around in the recycling bin, opening junk drawers, and examining random items in a new way is all you need to get started.

It is everyday materials and supplies that can open up the discussion of the engineering design process. Learn more about the engineering design process.

HOW DO YOU MAKE STEM FUN FOR KIDS?

The best answer to this question is to keep it simple and open-ended. Additionally, the less complicated and user-friendly the materials, the better.

Plus, you may find that only putting out a small selection of materials for a particular STEM challenge or project not only helps with time management but decision fatigue as well. Do what you can with what you have!

The classic marshmallow spaghetti tower challenge is a good introduction to STEM with limited materials. All you need is a packet of spaghetti and a packet of marshmallows.

Also, check out our free printable STEM projects below with a STEM supply list!

STEM SUPPLIES LIST FOR ELEMENTARY TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

The best STEM supplies you will want for your STEM lab look something like this:

  • LEGO bricks
  • Wooden tinker toys
  • Dominos
  • Cups (Paper, plastic, styrofoam)
  • Paper plates
  • Paper tubes and rolls
  • Paper (computer and construction)
  • Markers and colored pencils
  • Dry erase board and markers (great for designing prototypes)
  • Scissors
  • Tape and glue
  • Paperclips and other types of clips such as the binder clips
  • Pool noodles
  • Craft sticks (jumbo and regular)
  • Cupcake liners
  • Coffee Filters
  • Straws
  • Rubber bands
  • Marbles
  • Magnetic materials (magnets and wands)
  • Toothpicks
  • Egg cartons
  • Aluminum cans (no sharp edges)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clothespins
  • Pulley and clothesline rope (inexpensive at hardware stores, make a zip line)
  • Rain gutters (also fairly inexpensive at hardware stores, make fun ramps)
  • PVS pipes and connectors
  • Random materials found in packaging (foam, packing peanuts, plastic inserts)
  • Recyclable materials such as plastic bottles, containers
  • Seasonal/thematic items from craft stores and dollar stores (perfect for our seasonal/holiday STEM challenge cards)
  • Plastic totes of various sizes to hold it all!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources as you are sure to find many different STEM materials around your area as well. Additionally, this list does not include the more expensive kits such as LEGO Mindstorms, Osmo, Sphero, Snap Circuits, etc.

Of course, you can also build up your STEM library as well! Sometimes a good book is all you need to spark new creativity and interest. Check out our teacher-approved book lists below as well.

Grab this free printable STEM project & STEM supplies list to get started today!

Click here or on the image below.

MORE HELPFUL STEM RESOURCES

ENJOY STEM WITH BUDGET STEM SUPPLY LIST

Looking for tons of awesome STEM ideas? Click on the image below or on the link for all our STEM projects for kids.