Decorating your STEM classroom in a fun, colorful, creative way that inspires your students to be innovators can be the key to a successful year! Creating a classroom environment that supports learning while also making students feel comfortable can be a challenge. The STEM classroom is definitely NOT an exception to this rule. In fact, I believe the STEM classroom should be a safe environment that makes trying new things, learning from failure, and thinking out-of-the-box all great things. I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite ways to decorate a STEM classroom! With everything from posters to alphabet cards, you are sure to find some ideas for decorating your STEM classroom.
What is a STEM Classroom?
A STEM classroom is usually an elective or enrichment class where students focus on project based learning activities involving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Sometimes Art is thrown in too, turning STEM into STEAM! These classrooms or STEM Labs provide students with hands-on opportunities to solve problems and meet real-world challenges.
Generally, a STEM class will teach students the process for solving problems or creative design and then let them put it into action. Students may work independently or in groups. Add to the mix the variety to supplies and technology students will use and you have yourself a not-so-traditional classroom to decorate.
A STEM classroom also focuses more on the process than the product. Because of this, classroom decorations should help guide students to think critically about the challenges and what they learned from the experience.
Organize Your Supplies
As a STEM teacher you are going to have a lot of supplies. Your supplies just might look a little different than the traditional classroom. One of the great things about STEM learning is the ability to use common household or found items.
Items perfect for STEM challenges include:
- Plastic cups
- Popsicle sticks
- Pipe cleaners
- Empty paper towel rolls
You may also have computers or tablets, robotic equipment, video cameras, and more. In order to be able to prepare and set-up for class quickly it will be important to have everything organized.
I like using plastic shoe boxes to store supplies. With the clear box you quickly see what is inside and with the lid on they easy to stack. Any supplies that don't fit well into shoeboxes, I like to put in open bins that are a little larger. The dollar store is a great place to find bins and boxes without breaking the bank. For special items, like robotics sets, I keep them in the original box.
Then it is time to get busy labeling. These Makerspace Labels have been specially designed for all the STEM classroom or Makerspace and its unique supplies. Labeling the boxes and bins makes it easy for you and for the students. They can not only find supplies they need but also put them away correctly.
Once you've got your supplies organized it is time to start thinking about the walls of your classroom. I love to focus on adding things to my classroom that meet one of these goals:
If I find poster or picture for my classroom it must do at least one of those things. Here's my favorite classroom posters that I use year after year.
The ABC's of STEM
What's a classroom without an alphabet? But not just any alphabet will do in a STEM classroom! These STEM and STEAM inspired alphabet posters are the perfect addition to any makerspace. With key vocabulary built into each letter, these alphabet posters definitely help to educate my students.
As I am teaching and use one of these vocabulary words we look to the corresponding alphabet poster for reference. We talk about the word, what it means, and how the picture can help us remember it. Here's a few of the words students learn through these alphabet posters:
- Augmented Reality
- Green Screen
- Stop Motion
and many, many more! The Makerspace themed alphabet posters are a great way to promote STEM learning in your classroom. Use them all at once, or swap them out periodically throughout the school year to correlate with specific learning goals or STEM challenges.
Inspiring Words from STEM Leaders
While the term “STEM” might be fairly new, there have been great leaders in the words of science, technology, engineering and math for decades. Our students can learn from these great leaders and be inspired by them.
These STEM Classroom Posters feature an inspiring quote from 15 world changers. Here's a few of the influential STEM leaders your students can be inspired by:
- Bill Gates
- Mae Jemison
- Stephen Hawking
- George Washington Carver
- Grace Hopper
- Steve Jobs
- Marie Curie
Decorating your STEM classroom with posters of influential STEM leaders and their quotes about overcoming adversity, thinking creatively, and the importance of curiosity will inspire your students to do their best every day.
STEAM Posters and the Design Process
Help your students learn about each of the fields that make up STEM or STEAM with these STEAM posters. Each letter includes the field of study that it corresponds too. It's a great way for students to learn about STEM (STEAM) and at the beginning of the year.
I also like to reference them throughout the year as we do projects. I ask students to identify the fields of study they are using. It's a great way for them to realize that what they are learning at school doesn't stand alone by subject. It all works together for a common goal.
STEAM and the Design Process naturally go hand in hand. The design process may be something new for many students. So teaching it and having the steps displayed are a great way to guide them as they are working.
The STEAM Makerspace Poster set includes a visual example of the design process and 5 individual posters explaining each step in detail. These posters are great for students who are new to STEM or even those with some experience.
Easy Bulletin Boards and Doors
I love using my bulletin boards and doors to send the message that we are having lots of fun in STEM class. But I also know how time consuming it can be preparing for STEM projects and challenges. That's why I put together some Easy to Create Bulletin Board and Door Sets. During busy seasons I use one that can be left up no matter the time of year. Then at other times, I love to add some seasonal fun. These are a few of my favorites:
You can find these bulletin board and door sets and more in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Make it Work for You!
If you aren't sure yet how you want to decorate your STEM classroom, that's okay. It definitely holds challenges that a traditional classroom setting doesn't have. The best advice I can give you is to take some time to really think through what you need and how you want your classroom to function. Then think about the space you have and how you can make it work.
Save These Ideas for Decorating Your STEM Classroom
Save yourself valuable time by pinning this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back when you need more ideas for your STEM classroom!