As a parent, you want your child to succeed. Adding more STEM learning for your children is a way to help them become problem-solvers, innovators, and critical thinkers. But if you want more STEM education than what your school provides, you can set up your own STEM center at home. Follow along with this guide on how to set up a STEM center at home.
Don’t miss the complete quick start guide to teaching STEM at home!
What is a STEM Center?
A STEM center is an area where children are allowed to explore the concepts of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) together as a unit to solve challenges or problems.
You’ll find many elementary teachers using STEM centers in the classroom, but parents can also create their own STEM center at home.
How to Set Up Your STEM Center at Home
If you’re ready to set up a STEM center at home, follow along with these easy steps!
STEM Center Station Ideas
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Finding a Location for Your STEM Center
Once you pick what your STEM center will be (ours is just a white table with wheels from Ikea), then you can find a place for it.
I recommend placing it in an area of your home that is accessible to your kiddos, but also in a place where you can keep an eye on things. Placing your STEM center in an area of the house with a hard floor is highly recommended.
We currently have our STEM center in our filming studio, because we use it to film the Jarring Science Club lessons. But before we started the Jarring Science Club, we had our STEM center in our breakfast nook off of the kitchen.
If you have a garage that doesn’t get too hot or cold, that also makes a good location for a STEM center. You want to pick a location with a good amount of natural light, and a place where you can leave projects undisturbed overnight.
How to Set Up at STEM Center
If you have the space, it works well to store your STEM supplies either by type of resource or by type of challenge.
We use the closet in our filming studio to store our STEM materials and we also have a large shelf in the garage where we store things. I like to store them by type of resource, so we have LEGOs together, science experiment supplies together, microscope stuff together, building materials together, and so on.
I bought little dish tubs to store our items in. You could also use stacking containers, but I found that when we stack supplies, no one puts them back, so we use open containers in just one row.
That way kids can just toss things back into the appropriate bin when they are done with them.
You also should have a cleanup station with tons of paper towels, rags, and a trash can. These STEM activities can get messy, so having some tools to make clean-up easier will help a lot.
Supplies for an at-Home STEM Center
You’ll want to stock your STEM center with age-appropriate STEM supplies. We like to use recycled materials for building, blocks and building tools for engineering challenges, Squishy Circuits for electrical engineering activities, and basic science supplies for science investigations.
You can watch the video below for some of what we include in our STEM center at home, or go here for a complete, printable STEM supply list.
Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kids Science Experiment KitLearn & Climb Science Kit for Kids – 21 Experiments Science Set, Hours of Fun.4M Crystal Growing Science Experimental Kit – Easy DIY STEM Toys Lab Experiment Specimens, A Great Educational Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & GirlsUNGLINGA Kids Science Experiment Kit with Lab Coat Scientist Costume Dress Up and Role Play Toys Gift for Boys Girls Kids Age 5 – 11 Christmas Birthday PartyDiscovery Extreme Chemistry Stem Science Kit by Horizon Group Usa, 40 Fun Experiments, Make Your Own Crystals, DIY Glowing Slime, Fizzy Eruptions, Gooey Worms & MoreNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Fossil Dig Kit – Excavate 15 real fossils including Dinosaur Bones, Mosasaur & Shark Teeth – Great STEM Science gift for Paleontology and Archeology enthusiasts of any ageScientific Explorer Disgusting Science KitCrayola Color Chemistry Set For Kids, Gift for Age 7+Learn & Climb Kids Science Kit – Over 60 Experiments, Fun with Science!CIRO solar robot kit 12 in 1 educational STEM learning science building toys for kids age 8-12Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit, Kids Building Projects Kits, Stem Engineering Toys for Kids 8+TELMU Microscope 40X-1000X Dual Cordless LED Illumination Lab Compound Monocular Microscopes with Optical Glass Lenses & 10 Slides
Easy STEM Challenges to Add to a STEM Center
Try these fun STEAM challenges with your kids and add these challenges to your STEM center at home!
STEM Challenge Idea Sparks
Carson Dellosa – Seasonal STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge STEM Toy and Building Game for Boys and Girls Age 6 and Up – TOTY Game of the Year FinalistCarson Dellosa – STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideMaking and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young ChildrenSuperScience STEM Instant Activities: Grades 4-6: 30 Hands-on Investigations With Anchor Texts and VideosThe Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsSTEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for KidsSTEM Lab (Maker Lab)STEM Activity Book: Science Technology Engineering Math: Packed with Activities and Facts (STEM Starters for Kids)
More STEM Challenges for Kids
If you like these challenges, you may also want to check out our list of STEM activities for kindergarten, STEM activities for elementary, STEM activities for toddlers, quick STEM activities, easy STEM activities, preschool STEM activities, and no-prep STEM activities!