The basic physical setup for a STEMLab is fairly simple; a room with tables and storage shelves. How the tools and materials in that lab are organized can be a bit more complex, depending on how your STEMLab will be used. In some cases, all activities will take place in the STEMLab. If this is the case, the organization plan is fairly straightforward – tools and materials are organized by type and stored on shelved in labeled plastic bins. Space is also provided for ongoing student work/projects. A separate table might be reserved for larger items such as the 3D printer. You might also want to reserve a table for drilling and sawing and one for soldering.

     If you don't have a separate room set up as a STEMLab, you might still want to organize materials in plastic bins (see below).  When teachers need materials for a project, they can go to the materials and tools storage area and fill an empty bin, or a few smaller bins, with the things they need.  One plan for organization might have the following bins:

o Electronic Tools
  • Multimeters
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering irons/stands
  • Third hands
o Electronics Materials
  • Solder
  • Wire
  • Electrical tape
  • Batteries
o Electronic Components (lots of small parts so some sort of parts box might work well)
  • Led’s
  • Switches
  • Servo motors
  • Breadboards
  • DC Hobby motors
  • Solar Cells
  • Pumps
  • Other circuit components
o Hand Tools (glue guns, screwdrivers, wrenches, needle nose pliers, saws, rulers, PVC Cutters, scissors, utility knives)

o Power Tools
  • Dremel
  • Cordless Drill/bits
o Electronics/Robotics Kits
  • Hummingbird Kits
  • Arduino Kits
  • Discover Electronics Kits
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
o Materials (large and small bins/boxes)
  • PVC pipe
  • Dowel rods, wooden slats
  • Recyclables
  • Plastic bottles, cardboard, foamboard,
  • Zip ties, pipe cleaners
  • Paper Towels
  • Foils/Wrap
  • String
  • Aluminum foil pie pans, paper cups, Aquarium Tubing
  • Ongoing student projects
  • Tape (Duct, scotch)
  • Glue
     Providing Materials.  One way to get a lot of the materials listed above would be to ask for contributions/donations.  A great example of how to do this can be seen in the handout developed by Ferry Farm Elementary School in Stafford County.  There's always a stack of these handouts on the front desk in the main office for parents and visitors.  The front page describes the schools makerspace and the back lists requested supplies.  A copy of the letter is available here.