I get asked all the time, “What’s on your STEM wishlist?”, “What items should I buy to set up my STEM classroom?”, or “What STEM supplies can I afford on a budget?” So, here it is, all in one easy-to-find location. I am so excited to share with you my favorite STEM classroom supplies to help you set up the best STEM classroom, STEM space, or makerspace this year.
1. Strictly Briks
While I adore LEGO and all of the cool sets they have available, buying enough for your students to use in class can put a huge dent in your teacher budget. So, you can probably imagine how excited I was to find a more inexpensive and comparable option on Amazon!
Strictly Briks are classic interlocking bricks 100% compatible with LEGO and all other similar building bricks on the market.
I use interlocking bricks a lot in my STEM activities. And, my students get super excited when they find out we are doing a brick-building activity. That’s why these are the perfect addition to any STEM wishlist!
Not only can these bricks allow students to be creative, but students can practice Math skills and problem-solving as well! If you’re a bit stumped as to how to do this, check out my favorite STEM activities using interlocking bricks like these.
2. Strictly Briks Baseplates
Just when I thought these incredible and affordable bricks couldn’t get better… I discovered Strictly Briks also makes baseplates!
I can tell you from experience, that finding affordable baseplates for interlocking bricks like LEGO is really difficult. And, when I have a whole class of kiddos using bricks for STEM building activities, it can be hard to make sure every student or group has a baseplate or two to build on.
The Strictly Briks baseplates come in the standard 10×10 format just like LEGO baseplates. But… they also come in a bunch of other sizes and shapes. How cool is that? From skinny rectangle to half-circle, the building options available with the Strictly Briks baseplates are infinite!
3. Learning Resource Gears
I feel like gears and STEM go hand-in-hand. But, using clunky metal gears isn’t realistic in an elementary classroom. So, if you want to give your students the experience of interlocking gears in an engaging toy form, these Learning Resource Gears are a definite STEM wishlist must-have!
These gears aren’t just fun, they also help students practice skills including:
- Practicing Physics
- Developing Creativity
- Fine motor skill practice
- Problem Solving
- Critical thinking
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg! These gears are the perfect addition to any STEM classroom or makerspace. Because they are so versatile, it’s easy to assign specific tasks or just let students experiment and have fun with these gears.
4. Plus Plus Blocks
Have you heard of Plus Plus Blocks before? If not, you need to add them to your STEM wishlist this year!
Their puzzle piece design is so cool and every “brick” easily connects to the next. Because of this, your students can work in a flat mosaic style or connect them in a 3D way to create more intricate builds.
Whether you have a set activity for these Plus Plus Blocks or not, your students will be focusing on fine motor skills, logic, creativity, and imagination.
On days when my classes have free choice, I love checking in with my Plus Plus Blocks group to see all of the super creative designs they come up with!
5. Magformers – Magnet Builders
Magnets are always crowd pleasers. But, when they come in colorful shapes that can be used to build almost anything, your students will be thrilled!
- Isosceles Triangles
- Super Triangles
- Super Squares
These Magformers Magnet Builders are perfect for STEM activities because of their versatility! The students really love the 3D builds and I’m always amazed at what they create. They are a must-have supply for any STEM Classroom or Makerspace.
I love using these for STEM challenges like those included in the May the Fourth be with you STEM Challenge BUNDLE. With a variety of shapes, students can build in a little more detail than with traditional bricks.
6. GeoStix to Add to Your STEM Wishlist
GeoStix are construction sticks that help students practice math, construction, and fine motor skills. This makes them perfect for STEM challenges! GeoStix encourages sorting, counting, sequencing, and more.
With different lengths and easy snap-together connections, students can use these cool hands-on building sticks to complete many STEM challenges. They are a great building tool for students of all ages. They are a must have STEM classroom supply!
This GeoStix set also comes with tons of awesome task cards. The cards include images for students to create using the snap-together GeoStix which means you have a ready-to-go STEM center activity straight out of the box!
7. Keva Wooden Planks
Rube-Goldberg machines are fun for everyone who builds them, sees them, or interacts with them. The Keva Wooden Planks help students create their very own Rube-Goldberg machines.
The wooden planks included in this set can be used to create scaffolding, ramps, paths, and much more making them perfect for your STEM challenges this year!
Similar to the GeoStix, this Keva Wooden Planks set comes with a building ideas book. Whether your students use the set with the book as a center activity, or as a group Rube-Goldberg challenge, they are sure to have a great time learning AND playing!
These wooden planks are great to use for this bridge building challenge. It’s a fun, hands-on challenge that connects science, math, and engineering in one real-world application.
8. 3D Dux Designs
Did you ever try (unsuccessfully) to build your dream house with interlocking blocks as a child? I did! I was always determined to build the biggest, most awesome house with my interlocking blocks. The problem was, that I was really limited in my design choices.
If these amazing 3D Dux Designs with reusable white geometric cardboard shapes and multicolor connectors had been available when I was a kid, I would have been in heaven!
These recycled cardboard shapes are super easy for students to connect with the plastic 3D printed connectors allowing them endless options for building designs. You can even add your own cardboard pieces to make the builds even more exciting!
Your students will love building while also experimenting with physics, geometry, deductive reasoning, problem-solving, experimentation, and complex spatial thinking all while “playing”.
I love giving these 3D Dux Designs geometric cardboard shapes to my students as they build a turkey runaway zipline or turkey hideout while working on our Simple STEM Fall Bundle activities. You can check out all of the fun and engaging activities I use during the fall season in the Miss Tech Queen TPT store!
9. Add Strawbees to Your STEM Wishlist
Strawbees are such a versatile building material, your students won’t want to put them down! Whether you use STEM challenges or let students free-build, the possibilities are endless!
Unlike a lot of building materials, the unique Strawbees connectors can be used to create hinges and moveable joints. And, you can even add in extra straws from the discount store for more building options.
In addition to the building materials, this set also includes inspiration for 21 projects! Yet another amazing addition to your STEM centers or Makerspace activities!
I love using these Strawbees in our Halloween STEM challenges. They are especially great for the Witch’s Tower Math Challenge included in the Halloween STEM Challenges Bundle! My students really love building with the Strawbees and have so much fun completing STEM challenges with them. If you are interested in some super fun and engaging Halloween STEM challenges that can also double as Halloween party activities, grab this awesome Halloween STEM Challenge bundle!
10. Last, but NOT Least… Storage for Your STEM Supplies
Ok, so now you have all of these incredible STEM classroom supplies to use in your room this year. But, how do you keep everything organized and stored safely throughout the year and with multiple grade levels? With storage bins!
I love these Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Containers so much! Not only are they perfect for storing away our STEM supplies. Since they are clear I can quickly and easily see what is inside each one.
They can also be used as take-out bins for center activities! All I have to do is include the directions or task cards in the bin and Voila! My students are able to grab the bin they need and everything is already in it ready to go! I mean, it just doesn’t get any easier than that!
To make finding the right STEM classroom supplies even quicker I use Makerspace Labels with images. Not only does this help me quickly locate what I need for the day’s activities, but it also helps me and my students keep our STEM supplies organized. With clear labels on everything my students know what to grab, and where to put supplies during clean-up time.
STEM Wishlist Must Haves in Action
I can tell you from years of experience, that these STEM wishlist must-haves will help you as you start building up your STEM classroom or makerspace with ease! They really are my favorite items to use every year. Check out the video below for even more examples of how some of these incredible STEM wishlist must-haves can be used in your classroom.
More STEM Resources at Your Fingertips
For more tips and tricks to setting up a successful STEM classroom or makerspace, be sure to check out these Miss Tech Queen blog posts!
- ORGANIZING YOUR STEM CLASSROOM WITH 5 EASY TIPS
- 5 TIPS FOR SETTING UP YOUR TECHNOLOGY CLASSROOM
- FUN AND EASY BITMOJI CLASSROOM IDEAS
- SETTING UP AND DECORATING YOUR STEM CLASSROOM
And. . . if you just aren’t sure where to start – then check out the Miss Tech Queen Tool Box. I’ve taken all my experience as a STEM / Makerspace teacher and put it in one place. Inside the Tool Box you get step-by-step tutorials and everything you need for engaging STEM projects.
Save My Favorite STEM Classroom Supplies!
Be sure to save these incredible STEM classroom supplies to your favorite STEM Pinterest board today! Then when you are ready for something new, you will know just what to get!