Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:23 PM

My school's middle school and high school classrooms has been gifted $100,000 to support STEM education. We are a small school of about 75 middle school students 6-7-8th grade students. My classroom is being renovated and school's server will be updated which I believe will leave about $50,000 for equipment, technology, furniture etc. Probes, surfaces, cromebooks, 3-d printers??  So have some fun and dream with me if you had $50,000 to spend, what would you buy? 

Laura Anderson
Laura Anderson
10 Activity Points

Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:55 PM

Arduino micro-controllers, Spheros, Shelving units with wheels, and maker type tools, parts, and construction materials.

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
83456 Activity Points

Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:18 AM

I totally forgot to mention Picture Perfect Science books from NSTA!

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
83456 Activity Points

Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:41 PM

If you have a few $K left over, you should definitely get the Phenomenon-Based Learning Books (from NSTA Press) and accompanying materials (from Arbor Scientific). Here are links to the elementary version


the middle-school version


and the high-school version


On any of those pages, you can scroll down, and under “Details,” you’ll find a link for downloading a sample chapter. And if you click on that link, you get not only the sample chapter, but also the table of contents and the Introduction. Teachers will find the Introduction quite informative in describing how they should present the activities in ways that will be most pedagogically effective for all levels of students.

The books are based on "Phenomenon-Based Learning" (PBL), which builds knowledge of, and interest in, physical science as a result of observations of real-world phenomena, in this case, some fun gizmos and gadgets. The idea is to teach broader concepts and useful thinking and performance skills (as with NGSS) rather than asking students to simply memorize facts and formulas. Students will investigate an interesting gadget and, motivated by their own curiosity, explore and discover how it works and what physical phenomena are involved. Thus the book’s approach to learning is based on curiosity and creativity — a fun way to learn!

There are kits of materials designed to go with the book, which are sold by Arbor Scientific. You can see them here:


Click on any book to see the kit(s) for that book.
The kits each provide enough materials for dozens of activities and would be a great investment for any school, with or without the books.


Iris Lee
Iris Lee
150 Activity Points

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