It’s that time of year when everyone starts working on their back-to-school supply lists. Normally these lists contain such items as pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc. But what about STEM supplies? If you’re going to be studying science, technology, engineering or math, there are some specialized items you will need. (Remember, many universities expect you to take 3 years of lab science in high school.) The required resources may vary depending on the subject, but here are some basic suggestions.
Scientific Calculator – The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator is the best-selling calculator that every student needs. This all-purpose calculator is sturdy, functional, and durable. It’s ideal for middle school, high school, college, graduate school, and beyond. Great for using with the ACT and SAT tests. Buy one now and it will serve you well for years, or pass it down to your younger siblings.
Magnifying Glass – You probably already have a magnifying glass at home, but this one is different because it has a huge 5.5” lens and built-in LED lights (requires 4 AAA batteries). Even though this magnifying glass is big, it’s not heavy because the lens is made of crystal clear acrylic. They say it’s scratch-proof and it definitely isn’t going to break easily. Everyone in the family will find a use for this – you, mom, dad, the kids, even grandpa – for science experiments, nature observations, coin and stamp collections, electronics, crafts, etc. It will come in handy for working in low-light areas or in spots where shadows fall on your work.
Rock & Mineral Collection – This set of 75 rock and mineral samples can be used for display and for demonstrating the physical properties of minerals including hardness, specific gravity, luster, tenacity, cleavage, fracture, streak, and magnetism. Each sample is numbered and identified on an index sheet. The collection and its accompanying materials (study guide, streak plate, magnet) are designed to correlate with standard earth science texts.
Periodic Table of the Elements – With a dad who’s a chemist, we have a lot of periodic charts in the house, but this one is my favorite. The Periodic Table of Elements is essential to the study of chemistry. This illustrated version is both attractive and informative.The chart features fabulous mineral and astronomical images, information about each element, it’s symbol, electron orbitals, atomic weight, toxicity, and its important uses. It also contains a section on famous scientists who have advanced our knowledge of the Periodic Table. The way it’s illustrated goes perfectly with the Chemistry 101 DVD curriculum. It’s a large, sturdy, laminated 24×36 poster size chart.
Molecular Model Kit – This is an excellent set for both students and teachers to aid in organic and inorganic chemistry studies. It contains a total of 252 pieces made of durable and sturdy plastic which are color coded to national standards.
Human Anatomy Model Kit – This skeleton replica is great for display and instruction, a must-have for anatomy class. Easily follow the step-by-step pictorial instructions to build the skeleton while learning the names and locations of the major bones and how they support the body. The Activity Guide provides additional interesting facts on the functions of each bone. The completed model measures 9″H when assembled.
Microscope Slides – Set of 100 prepared glass slides including plants, insects, and animal tissues for use in biological education (zoology, biology, botany, anatomy and physiology). Perfect for all levels of study up to college. This set comes in a nice wooden storage case with a guide sheet. A great value! (Or you can get a smaller set of 25 slides.)
Student Microscope – This microscope comes with full optical glass elements, metal framework, 360 degree rotatable monocular head, and LED illumination. It offers five magnification settings: 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X and 1000X. It’s an ideal microscope for science students from elementary to high school – and it’s the same quality as those used in schools and colleges. Excellent value! You can also get a complete Student Microscope Set that comes with the microscope, slides, book, and other accessories.
Digital Scale – This is a high quality pocket scale. It’s great to use in the laboratory for measuring samples as well as for small items around the home. The scale has a bright backlit LED screen for easy reading, a tare feature, and the plastic cover can also be used as a tray. It’s compact so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Measuring Cup Set – Your mom won’t want you using her nice kitchen measuring cups for your mad science experiments. So this set is perfect for your lab because of its sturdy professional design, plus it’s marked in both standard and metric measurements. (This 5-piece set comes with an “I Love to Bake” recipe book, but you can let your mom have that.) They have a matching set of measuring spoons too.
Splash Proof Safety Goggles – Protect your eyes from airborne particulates and chemical splash. These sporty ski-style goggles provide great protection and are extra comfortable, conforming to virtually any facial profile. Perfect for chemistry lab!
Glass Lab Thermometer – This student grade thermometer is 12 inches long with a temperature range of -20 to 110°C / 0 to 230°F. Great for science projects and experiments!
Pocket Thermometer – If you don’t need to measure anything over 110°F, get this professional quality pocket thermometer. The portable thermometer is good for checking the temperature of pools, ponds, lakes, etc. It comes in a closed plastic case for taking out in the field, with a loop for attaching a lanyard to hang over a body of water.
AcuRite Color Weather Station with Forecast/Temperature/Humidity – The backlit LCD screen includes indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity, moon phase, barometric pressure with weather trend indicator, time and date. Intelli-Time clock automatically updates itself for Daylight Saving Time. Display stands upright for tabletop use or is wall-mountable. The outdoor sensor features powerful wireless technology, a weather-resistant design, and an integrated hanger for easy mounting. Self-Calibrating Forecasting is generated from weather data measured by a sensor in your yard – giving you the most accurate forecast available for your exact location. More serious weather observers will want the AcuRite Wireless Weather Station with Wind and Rain Sensor.
Mechanical Drafting Pencil – This set of .5/.7/.9 mm metal mechanical pencils is ideal for use with rulers and templates for writing, drawing, and technical drafting.
Engineering Pad – Smooth green 3-hole punched paper with a 5 square/inch printed back grid for use in engineering classes and labs. 200 sheets per pad.
Computation Book – This engineer’s research and computation book is just like what busy professionals use to record data and make calculations. Quadrille-ruled on heavyweight buff-colored paper, with a pressboard cover and double wire binding. Notebook contains 76 sheets with 152 numbered pages.
Graph Paper Notebook – This is a great spiral-bound graph-ruled notebook for general graphing, drawing, etc. Keep 100 pages of math and science notes in one convenient graph paper notebook. Or the 3-hole punched sheets can be transferred to a 3-ring binder. Strong and durable, this notebook will last the whole year long!
Can you think of any other must-have STEM supplies? Leave a comment below!