Building a STEM Classroom

To help prepare the next generation of the STEM workforce, iCEV’s brand-new STEM site is designed to make STEM programs approachable, regardless of funding, space or teacher experience. iCEV understands the challenge of finding funding to buy the necessary tools and supplies to effectively educate your students. In this article, iCEV highlights tools and supplies to meet your programs budgetary needs as well as project ideas to help your program reach its academic goals.  

 

Cost-Effective Tools and Projects

For programs seeking low cost or cost-effective tools for your STEM classroom, start with basic craft tools to use across most projects. Basic tools like hot glue-guns and cordless drills are great assets to STEM classrooms and can serve many purposes. Below are cost-effective tools and sample projects for your STEM classroom.

Tools:

- Hot Glue-guns
- Scissors/ Cutters
- Sandpaper
- Cordless drills

Sample Projects:

Egg Drop Project: explores concepts such as gravity, force and acceleration
Bridge and Tower Building: teaches engineering concepts
Rube Goldberg Device: enhances critical thinking skills and engineering basics

Breadboards and circuits are also a valuable asset to STEM classrooms as they allow students to interact with electronic components without the use of a soldering iron. Breadboards are cost-effective and useful tools for teaching circuit design and technological education concepts while using a tool that engineers use every day. 

 

Moderately Priced Tools and Projects

For programs with mid-range budgets looking for tools and project ideas; basic fabrication shop tools offer hands-on experiences through more complex projects. Programs may also look into microcontrollers and robotic technology to expose students to robotics and technology concepts. Moderately priced tool and project ideas are included below.

Tools:

- Drill Press
- Bandsaw
- PVC Cutter
- Clamps

Microcontrollers & Robotics:

- Microcontroller
- Motor controller
- Mobile cutters and power source
- Sensor kits

 Sample Projects:

Robot Frames: explores robot design and construction
Water Rockets: demonstrates physics concepts
Underwater PVC Robot: introduces students to engineering basics

 

Large Budget Tools and Projects 

For programs with larger budgets looking to diversify their project types and tools in their maker space, 3-D printers and other digital fabrication tools are a great addition to STEM classrooms. These types of tools expose students to more complex concepts like mass production and prototyping using technology. Below are tools and sample projects for large budgets.  

Tools:

- 3D Printer (requires regular upkeep)
- Laser Cutter
- Vinyl/ Craft cutter
- CNC Router/ Mill

Sample Projects:

Model making: promotes STEM literacy 
Patten/ Stencil making: introduces students to production design 
Robot part making: explores design and construction concepts

 

As the STEM workforce grows rapidly, STEM educators are faced with how to outfit their maker spaces to properly educate and offer hands-on experiences to the next generation of STEM workers. With iCEV’s new STEM site, educators can now access resources and content to meet their programs unique needs. To learn more about iCEV’s new STEM site, visit our website and follow us on social media to stay up to date.

For more project ideas, join us for National STEAM Day on November 8th. Our team will be sharing projects, tips and tools to implement in your STEM classroom. If you have a scheduling conflict, go ahead and register for the recording of the video. One lucky attendee will win a Lab Challenge kit for their classroom.  

 

 

 

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