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Elementary Science

Science supplies

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Briney Kerner Kerner Briney Kerner Kerner 4423 Points


My name is Britney and I am currently a senior at Henderson State University.  I'm majoring in K-6 education.  I love science and I want to do all I can to engage my future students in it as well.  I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of go to supplies for science learning that they keep on hand?  Do you just get them as you need them?  

Hey Briney,

I am also an Elementary Education major and have been wondering the same thing about all the different supplies that I see in my mentors rooms. What I have found is that teachers have collected things over the years and that soem things are grade level specific. We just finished rocks and mineral in the class I am working with and the teacher has a collection of different rocks and minerals to show the kids as examples. She also has different soil samples for the soil unit we are on now. My suggestion would be to start collecting things that could be used in any grade like magnifing glasses, mearsuring tools, leveled books, etc. Then when you get a job for a specific grade do a deep dive into the different AKS's that you will be teaching and keep an eye out for different supplies you can use.


Best of luck in your education career!


-Christi Solsberry

Abrianna Moore Abrianna Moore 635 Points

Hello Briney, I am an Elementary Education major at Wartburg College. I have had these same questions too when it comes to materials. I definitely think you need to look into how funding you will recieve from your school before determining where to get supplies/materials. Many times when a teacher leaves a school, especially a science teacher, they will leave behind many materials and supplies. It is important to weed through these things to see what to keep and what not to keep. Although some of the things may be outdated, it is important to keep in mind that if it still works, the students will still see the effect. There is no sense in purchasing new supplies when the hand-me-down ones work just as well or slightly less. As stated previously, you should find a district that appreciates and values your ideas for a well-run science classroom. In your upcoming interviews make sure to come prepared with an idea of what supplies you will need and make sure they are willing to provide those things for you.

I hope this helps!

All the best,


Shontel Harris Shontel Harris 460 Points

Hi Britney, 

My name is Shontel, it is my senior year of college is at Wright State University. Over the years, my CT has collected a large number of different mainuplatives. For teaching energy, we have used solar toys and lightbulbs. For rocks and minerals we used various sorts of rocks. We have also used magnets and  magnifying glassses for other activities. If you enjoy used food we made cupcakes to study layers of the earth.   On Pinterest, I've seen some fantastic ideas. I hope this information is useful.

Taylor McGuire Taylor McGuire 2830 Points

Hi all!

I'll be honest, I haven't really seen any science materials in my placement classrooms. The majority of my own collected science materials have come from my Science Methods professor throughout my senior year. As Shontel said, I think that Pinterest is a very convenient tool in gathering ideas for our lessons, and I will definitely be using that myself. I am curious to see what kind of materials I will come across and gather in my own arsenal as I progress in science instruction, but as of now, I don't have much to my collection. I think certain tools that are used for math (measuring tapes, rulers, measuring cups, etc) can transfer well into science. Not to mention basic household items (magnets, batteries, dirt/soil, oil/vinegar, etc.) can be easily added to that collection. 

Peggy Ashbrook Peggy Ashbrook 10433 Points

Hi all,

Accumulating sets of materials over time is a good approach to gathering science materials. That way you don't end up with boxes of materials that don't meet your students' needs even though they looked so useful in another classroom or a catalogue. But pipettes/droppers and magnifiers are "must-have" science tools!

There are many, many cute ideas on Pinterest--to help evaluate their potential for scientific learning, see this article on how to choose quality effective learning experiences:  To Pin or Not to Pin? Choosing, Using, and Sharing High-Quality STEM Resources from the NAEYC's journal, especially the list of reflective questions "Considerations for selecting high-quality STEM experiences for early childhood classrooms." 

A Reuse & Recycle center is a good place to get materials such as sea shells and fabrics, and nature is a wonderful source of materials that inspire close looks and questioning, leading to investigations to learn more. 

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