Tips for Setting Up an Elementary Stem Lab
The Focus on STEM
With the new focus on STEM, STEM labs are popping up all over the place! Has someone asked you to teach STEM and set up a lab? Starting a STEM lab can be overwhelming. Here are some great tips that will help you get started in an organized fashion!
A few years ago, my administrator asked me if I would like to start teaching STEM (I had taught second grade and special education for many years). I was intrigued, and after much thought decided I was up for the challenge! My husband teaches science and STEM at the middle school level, so I was in a better position than most. Consulting with him about basic needs was a logical step. I also did a lot of research about elementary STEM programs and read and reread the Next Generation Science Standards.
Elementary STEM Lab Setup
What I have done is put together a list of all of the equipment and supplies that are needed to run an efficient lab. I would suggest that if you are starting a new position you let everyone in your district know what you need before you place an order. In many districts science is getting squeezed due to the emphasis on ELA and math test scores. Teachers often have equipment that they are willing to donate! Many of the materials that are used in a STEM lab are things that are readily brought in by fellow teachers and students.
Equipment – These are the non-consumables.
Materials – These are the consumables.
When I list plurals of equipment I try to order 5 or 6, so that each table group can have equipment to work with. I know this list is extensive. You may need to prioritize, and order what you can, when you can!
Complete Start Up Resource – Click on the cover to see the resource.
Best of luck with your new adventure!