With STEM/STEAM/STREAM taking off in primary classrooms across the country, Tinkering Trays, STEM boxes (sticks, bins, and bags), Makerspaces and the like are growing in popularity as teachers ask themselves "How can I integrate STEM into my classroom?"
Minute to STEM it Tinker Tubs were born out of a desire to give my students more access to STEM materials and activities. For the past 3 years I've been collecting resources through Donors Choose projects, Hall Malls/Free Table in the Teacher Lounge, the recycling bin, and finding ways to use common classroom materials to challenge my students. Last year I stored these challenges in plastic bins and used them in a STEM Writing center. Recently, I got a very generous donation of pencil boxes and decided to create Tinker Tubs for daily use!
When my students finish packing up each day they choose a Tinker Tub and use the materials inside to complete the challenge cards that are in the tub. Tinker Tubs are great for indoor recess, early finishers, STEM writing centers, science centers, morning work, Fun Friday, and just about any other way you could think to incorporate them!
In this pack you will find pencil box or bin labels, challenge cards, reflection questions, and a STEM recording page that will help walk your students through the Engineering Design process. I'd recommend storing materials and challenge cards in plastic shoe boxes, pencil boxes, Ziploc bags, baskets, or bins.
Laminate all of these items for long-term, repeated use! I print the challenges and reflection double-sided, then laminate and place them in boxes with appropriate materials. I also print and laminate the recording page. We use this page for Minute to STEM it! challenges and STEM Book Companion challenges
so students are very familiar with it.
You will find most of these materials in your own classroom. However, I have included some examples of great STEM materials that are worth investing in!
Click here to see more STEM/STEAM/STREAM resources!