STEM Kits are an amazing tool. When I first started doing STEM projects with my children, I often found myself scrambling to find all the items and tools we needed. Not to mention trying to find inspiration! With quality STEM kits everything is in one place, making life so much easier! STEM kits come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, there really is something for everyone. Here I’ve gathered up my favourite STEM Kits, including what’s in my DIY STEM Kit.
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STEM Kits come in a variety of different forms. Some are more focused on one aspect of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and it’s important to read up on each one to see if it covers the aspects of STEM that most interest you or your children. I’ve broken down my list into three sections: monthly STEM kits, project specific kits, and how to build your own STEM kit. Note that most of these STEM kits are for mid-elementary aged students and up.
Monthly STEM Kits
I really love monthly STEM Kit programs. If you are new to this concept, you purchase a subscription and each month a box full of experiments and project pieces arrives at your door. They are incredibly convenient. There are some amazing STEM kits out there and we’ve tried so many of them over the years. A few stand out as big winners in our books.
Groovy Lab In A Box – This is one of our favourite monthly boxes in our homeschool. It comes with everything we need to do the activities and I love the challenges that encourage kids to take the concepts even further. On top of that they include a “beyond the box” section on their site which includes even more activities, videos and articles on the topic of the box. This creates a full unit study on the subject, all delivered to your door each month. I featured their Earthquake Box and States of Matter box on STEAM Powered Family.
Creation Crate – For older STEMists and kids interested in circuits, programming and circuitry, Creation Crate is amazing! We did the first challenge, and now have the second challenge waiting for us to do this month. I love that they have structured their STEM kits so each month builds on what was learned the previous month. It provides a wonderful, year long learning program for your tweens, teens and even tinkering adults.
Steve Spangler Science Club – Everyone knows Steve Spangler, he is everywhere bringing science and discovery to the world with the goal to inspire the next generation of scientists. This kit includes everything you need to do some amazing science, all laced with lots of humor and fun. The projects are presented in a very accessible way, so even the most nervous new scientist will quickly become confident. The best part is that they also offer kits for classrooms and large groups. Perfect for those teaching many young scientists.
Project Specific STEM Kits
These STEM kits tend to have specific uses but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a great deal of learning that comes from investing in these kits. Many of them can be used for years, adapting and changing as children grow and learn new skills.
Snap Circuits – Our Snap Circuit kits are a huge hit. We started with the smaller sets but now have the Snap Circuits Extreme Kit that will keep my kids engaged through high school level. With their details plans and lessons, kids learn a great deal about building circuits and creating.
Mindstorms – Robotics and LEGO combine for some fantastic learning opportunities with Mindstorms. One of the great features of Mindstorms is all the educational workshops and programs available around the kits. There are even programs where teams build robots and compete in challenges.
Educents STEM Bundle – Great for young scientists just getting started and homeschooling families with younger children just getting started in STEM and science experiments.
Sphero – Sphero is a fantastic tool for learning coding. Kids can be challenged to program Sphero to do various tasks or complete obstacle courses.
Molymod Chemistry Model Set – Chemistry fans love these kits that combine a little Chemistry with Engineering as you build models of various molecules. It makes for some wonderful hands on learning.
MudWatt Fuel Cell – MudWatt is an extremely unique STEM kit every young STEMist is going to want. Using the power of electricity-generating bacteria naturally living in soil, kids experiment with different types of soil and even items from the kitchen, all in an attempt to maximize their power. It includes an app to measure power generation, track bacteria growth, and kids can even unlock an educational comic book. This is an amazing kit, kids will love!
Build Your Own STEM Kit
The great thing with STEM is that you can build your own STEM kit and even project specific kits. In fact, you will discover over time that you will naturally start building up tools and resources for STEM work. One of the things I love about buying monthly kits is that so many of the items go into our STEM bin to be used for all sorts of things in the future. If you are considering building your own STEM kit, first consider what kind of work you are most interested in doing. STEM is a vast field, the only limitation is your imagination.
Architecture and engineering? Check out our Tinker Space to see what we included in ours.
Whatever passions your children have, research some activities, pick your favourites, then start building your own STEM Kit based on what you need for those activities. Over time you can build and expand it to include new interests and passions.
Some basic items we always have on hand for our Build Your Own STEM Kit:
Recycle bin materials
Containers ( various styles and sizes – disposable cups, plastic bags, Tupperware type containers, containers with lids, etc.)
Batteries (Our little 3V batteries get so much use! But we keep an assortment on hand.)
Wire – We keep an assortment of different wire types around.
Tool kit (scissors, rulers, tape, glue, etc.)
Microscope and magnifying glasses
Test tubes and beakers (not necessary, especially for younger kids, but we LOVE using ours to lend to the true scientist experience!)
Tablet or Computer
Anything else that will help you explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math!