Unbox the Magic of STEM Bins®

It’s pretty surreal and humbling when your dream becomes a reality! If you have followed me for awhile, you know that I have always been passionate about elementary engineering, STEM, and the incorporation of purposeful play in the classroom.  Since my publishing of STEM Bins® on Teachers Pay Teachers in 2016, I have loved watching them positively impact classrooms all over the world. From general ed classrooms, to ELL and special needs classrooms, from preschool all the way up to middle school, the success stories have been amazing!  Almost eight years later, they’re still going strong in my classroom, and STEM Bins®  have turned into a educational “movement” that I ever would have imagined.

Not only are my STEM Bins® available as a digital download on Teachers Pay Teachers, they are available as FULLY STOCKED KITS through the phenomenal educational company, hand2Mind!  That’s right…ALL engineering manipulatives, prelabeled plastic bins, full color printed labels and task cards, and so much more are available in two ready-made kits: The Essential Kit and the Comprehensive Kit, and are ready to order and ship through hand2Mind as well as Amazon! These kits are PERFECT for those of you who are interested in pursuing grants for all the needed materials or who lack the time and energy to hunt down, gather, and print all the necessary items.

STEM Bins® are officially STEM Approved™ by stem.org with their official “trustmark!”

Here’s what teachers are saying:

What are STEM Bins® ?

Curious about what STEM Bins® are?  STEM Bins® are plastic containers filled with simple engineering manipulatives.  They contain photo task cards of real world structures and challenge students to use the items in the bins to create and invent as many structures as possible. STEM Bins® are an ideal hands-on solution for early finishers, morning work or soft starts , centers, fine motor practice, incentives, and Makerspace. They provide an open-ended and developmentally appropriate foundation of engineering for elementary students.

Why STEM Bins® ?

Are you wondering how something SO simple could positively impact your classroom? STEM Bins® go FAR beyond “just playing” or “just building” with materials.  Take a look at all of the possible benefits in your classroom!

STEM Bins® Components

So let’s get to the good stuff! What all is included in the hand2Mind STEM Bins® kits?

Here are all the engineering materials included in the Essential Kit. This kit includes contains engineering manipulatives for 12 STEM Bins® , plus all full-color printed materials and teachers’ guide.

The Comprehensive STEM Bins®  Kit contains 16 Bins and four additional engineering manipulatives: KEVA Plank contraptions wooden planks, magnetic shapes, building bricks and a baseplate, and Brainflakes!

All bins have prestickered labels already adhered to the front!

 Lower Grade and Upper Grade task cards (already cut and hole-punched with rounded corners!) are included, with plastic binder rings to assemble them into sets of 6-8.

Best of all, the task cards are interchangeable with ANY STEM Bin!

Students can choose ANY task card and ANY STEM Bin to create with!

Here are a few examples of student creations:

There are many different ways to implement STEM Bins in your daily routine, but here is my suggested weekly schedule:

The Teacher Guide includes aligned standards, assembly instructions, teacher discussion questions, and a variety of blackline masters for recording sheets such as foldable booklets, upper grade response sheets, “Build, Draw, Write” templates, Quick Writes for literacy and math centers, and checkup rubrics.  You also receive Writing Prompt cards and “Challenge Yourself ” Cards to encourage your students to improve and enhance their structures.

I hope you are just as excited as I am about this AMAZING partnership with hand2Mind!