5 Classroom STEM Activities We Love

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, better known as STEM, education is an integral part of modern education. It prepares children to be future leaders, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in a rapidly evolving technological world. 

While standard STEM lessons might not be overly entertaining for the students, they don’t have to be boring. An abundant array of STEM activities can spice up your classroom, captivating your students’ attention and teaching them lessons that will stick with them through the years. Here are a few classroom STEM activities we love. 

Make Homemade Slime

The gooey, slippery substance that is slime is a favorite among elementary students. It’s an excellent way to incorporate a sensory element to help keep students engaged and focused during lessons on how different ingredients interact and the chemical reactions that take place. 

You can make a large batch of slime ahead of time if time and supplies allow, only making a small batch in class to demonstrate how everything reacts. Or, if supplies are limited, make a small batch in class and pass the finished product around to your students to let them feel the texture and consistency to solidify your lesson. 

To make the slime, combine ½ cup of each water and glue in a mixing bowl. If you want to add color, add a few drops of food coloring at this point and stir it in. Mix in ½ teaspoon of baking soda, then pour in 2 tablespoons of contact lens solution. Stir the mixture until it pulls away from the edge of the bowl. The final product is not a liquid or a solid, often called a non-Newtonian fluid.

Build a Lemon Battery

Teach your students about a battery’s functions by using lemons’ power. You’ll need a few materials to get started, including:

  • Four lemons
  • Zinc covered nails
  • Copper wire
  • Alligator clips
  • LED light

To power the light bulb, start by inserting the zinc-covered nail and copper wire into each of the lemons. The nail functions as the negative end, while the copper wire performs as the positive side. Once you have a piece of wire and a nail in each lemon, connect them with alligator clips in a copper-to-zinc pattern.  

To light the bulb, connect the copper side to the longer, positive side of the bulb and the zinc nail side to the shorter, negative end of the bulb. And, tada! You have light! 

Craft a DIY Lava Lamp

Learning about density doesn’t have to be boring. Spice up your lessons with a quick DIY lava lamp experiment to give students a real-life example of different fluids’ varying densities. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A clear glass or water bottle
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Alka-seltzer
  • Food coloring

Fill the cup halfway with vegetable oil, then pour water into the glass until it’s about ¾ of the way full. Next, add a few drops of food coloring. Feel free to add multiple colors to make an intriguing color combination. 

Open your seltzer tablets and drop them in the cup. Break the tablet into pieces to slow the reaction, and add it in small parts at a time. Watch the bubbles rise and cause the colored water to move through the oil before dropping back down to the bottom. 

Make a Magnet Maze

Learn about the properties of magnets using this fun activity, which involves a few magnets and a DIY maze. The simplicity of this activity makes it a perfect pick for younger children. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardboard or paper plates
  • Magnets 
  • Paperclips
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers

Draw a maze on a piece of cardboard or paper plate, complete with a starting and ending point. Once you’re done, position a paperclip at the starting point and place the magnet behind it to hold it in place. 

As you talk about magnetic fields, showcase the magnet’s power by moving the paperclip through the maze. Reiterate that you’re not actually touching the paperclip – instead, the magnetic force grasps and maneuvers it through the maze. If you have varying strengths of magnets, you can demonstrate how the more powerful magnets can hold heavier objects or pull the paperclip from further distances. 

Make a Paper Helicopter

Teach your students about the challenges of air pressure and lift by having them craft paper helicopters. NASA offers a downloadable template of its Mars helicopter, which makes for an entertaining activity to learn more about air pressure and lift. 

Have your students carefully cut and fold the template as you teach them about factors impacting the helicopter. When they’re done, have them complete test flights and observe how the performance changes by adjusting various factors, like the height at which you drop it. 

Get Creative STEM Activities for Your Students

Need more inspiration for fun STEM activities at different levels, complete with the lesson plans? If you want to dive into the intriguing world of STEM activities and how beneficial they can be for your students, our STEMvelope might be the perfect addition to your classroom. It’s adaptable and adjustable, featuring hands-on printable STEM activities to engage your students with fun learning. 

Make tweaks along the way to keep your STEMvelope fresh and ready for your new year of students, even if you decide to teach a different grade. It works well for students ranging from 1st to 6th grade, so it can grow with you as you move to teach different grades. 

Ready to kickstart an entertaining, collaborative, and interactive learning experience for your students with STEM classroom activities? Contact us today to get started!

How To Make Custom Magnets for Your Classroom

If you want to spice up your teaching game with fun lesson tools or decorate your classroom with a personalized touch, custom magnets made with printable magnet material might just be what you need! This flexible and thin material is compatible with various types of printers, making it an excellent (and affordable) way to create personalized magnets with beautiful designs. 

It’s quick and easy, only requiring a few steps to create stunning magnets. Here, we’ll explore the steps involved in the process to help kickstart your magnet-making journey. We’ll even share a few of our favorite ideas for using custom magnets in the classroom. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What is Printable Magnet Material?

Printable magnet material is a thin, flexible material that can go through certain types of printers. While noticeably thicker than paper, it’s still thin enough to pass through a standard inkjet printer and exit with a beautiful design. 

It’s flexible, so it has no issues passing through the internal mechanisms of a printer. It’s solid black on one side – this is the magnet side. The other side features a white coating that can be glossy or matte – this is the side you print your designs on. 

Using this material, making custom magnets without a complicated, drawn-out process is simple. It only takes a few steps to start creating personalized designs that perfectly match your magnet-making needs. 

How to Make Custom Magnets With Printable Magnet Material

Making custom magnets with your printable magnet material is straightforward. However, you’ll need to avoid using excessive heat on the material, as most sheet materials of this kind can only handle temperatures of up to 70 degrees. 

Due to these restrictions, it’s best to print your designs on the material using an inkjet printer. Laser printers get far too hot for the material, so you can’t use them for printing magnets. 

Choose Your Designs

The first step is one of the most exciting parts of the process. In this step, you’ll choose what designs you want to print on your magnets. Choose high-quality photos with solid resolution to ensure a crisp, clean finish. 

Arrange the images in a Word document, Google document, or similar document, ensuring there’s plenty of room between each design for cutting clearance. If the designs are too close, you may have a tough time cutting around one design without accidentally cutting the one next to it. So, be sure to leave enough room for easy cutting. 

Adjust the Settings for Your Printer

Before you begin printing, you’ll need to tweak the settings on your printer. This process will vary based on the type of printer you have. Ensure you select “Glossy” for the paper type if your magnet material is shiny. 

Verify that the printer is set to one-sided, as a double-sided print won’t work well. If your printable magnet material comes in a continuous roll, cut it into sheets in a size your printer can handle. 

Add the Material to the Printer

Once the settings are correct and you’re ready to start printing, add the printable magnet material to your printer. 

Pay attention to how your printer takes the paper. Ensure you place the magnet material to print on the white side. If your printer prints on the underside of the paper you put in it, make sure you add the magnet material upside down. 

It’s best to load one sheet at a time so you don’t overload the printer or risk smudging the final product. 

Start Printing

Once your designs are ready, the settings are all set, and you’ve loaded the material, it’s time to print! Before you print the entirety of your designs or bulk orders, test print one simple design using the current settings. If the print comes out poorly, tweak the settings as necessary to achieve a crisp, clean result. 

After you get a beautiful initial print, start printing the rest of your magnets. 

Cut the Magnets to Size

Your last step is to trim the magnets to size. Cut off the excess surrounding each design, trimming as necessary to achieve the desired result. This process should be a breeze if you leave enough space between each design!

Your magnets are ready to use once you finish wrapping up the trimming process!

Fun Custom Magnet Ideas for Your Classroom

The sky is the limit when crafting custom magnets for your classroom. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

  • Sight word tray: Print various words on a magnet sheet and place the cut-out word squares on a cookie sheet. Have your students create sentences, find specific words, and similar tasks by arranging the words on the cookie tray. 
  • Gifts: Need a creative way to help your students craft personalized gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other holidays? Let them create a custom design and print it onto a magnet for a cute, personalized gift. 
  • Decorations: Use the magnets to decorate lockers, doors, and other metal materials throughout your classroom and create a space that sparkles with unique flair. 

Craft Your Own Custom Magnets With Printable Magnet Material

Gone are the days of boring magnets with generic designs. Now, you can make custom magnets with little to no effort – all it takes is a few simple steps to choose the perfect design and transfer it to a piece of printable magnet material!

They’re incredibly versatile, working perfectly for creative classroom fun, decorations, and cute custom gifts. Whether you want to use your custom magnets for educational purposes or to add a splash of spice to your classroom’s decor, the possibilities are endless. 

Ready to get started making your own custom magnets? Try our printable magnet material from our arsenal of educational supplies at AGC Education. Contact us today to learn more about our printable magnet material and how it can help you create beautiful, custom magnets!

Resources for Teachers: Where to Print Posters for Your Classroom

Posters can be a fun way to liven your classroom with personalized decor. You can incorporate motivational sayings, helpful tips and tricks for various lessons, or reminders to keep your students on track. But before you can adorn your classroom with well-designed posters, you’ll need to print them. 

There are a couple of options for printing your posters, each dependent on your preferences and budget. Here, we’ll explore where to print posters for your classroom. 

Online Printers

Quick and easy online printing is a convenient way to print posters for your classroom. You can choose from various online printing services that offer poster printing. Many online printers offer pre-designed options for easy, convenient poster printing, although the options vary based on the website. 

With this option, you’ll upload or select a poster design and position it on the digital poster. Once you’re done, you can add the completed design to your cart and check out. After the company prints your poster, they’ll mail it directly to the school or your home based on the shipping address you enter. 

This method is incredibly convenient, as you can print posters from the comfort of your desk. However, it can be costly for more than a few prints, requiring a sizeable chunk of your printing budget to decorate your classroom. 

In-Person Print Shops

Nearby brick-and-mortar print shops are another option for your poster printing needs. Most locations can print posters, allowing you to choose the printed image or text you want on your classroom poster. Some local shops may offer pre-designed posters for convenience, but this varies based on the location. 

This option, like online printing, can add up quickly, especially if you need to print more than a few posters. 

School Poster Printers

The third option for classroom posters is a school poster printer. Many schools invest in their own poster printers to minimize costs. Once they buy the printer, they can occasionally refill on supplies and have a virtually endless realm of printing possibilities. The best part? You don’t have to pay for each print (save for the supplies). 

The upfront costs are steeper than printing a few posters for teacher classrooms, but in the long run, the costs even out. In many cases, you’ll save money, especially if you use the printer frequently, like printing seasonal posters. 

These poster printers come in various types and sizes and are capable of printing professional-grade posters worthy of attention. They’re an excellent alternative to paying a printing and shipping cost each time you want to incorporate a new poster into your classroom.

With these printers, revamping your classroom with new posters is as simple as walking to the school printer. Simply send the poster you want to the printer, prep it as necessary, and within just a few minutes, you’ll have a beautiful, bright, and vivid poster for your classroom. 

With these printers, you can get posters for teacher classrooms for free (save for supply costs). 

Professional Grade Printer Packages

At AGC Education, we offer an array of professional-grade printers, including three options designed to help educators like you decorate their classrooms. 

  • Educator Plus VIVID: This full-color poster printer comes with fluorescent ink to create posters that pop. 
  • Educator Plus Pro Series: This 8-color printer can produce prints with widths of up to 44” or 60”, ensuring your posters stand out in the mix. 
  • Educator Plus: This full-color poster printer has everything you need to print professional-quality posters at school. It comes in two sizes of 24 and 36-inch widths to accommodate varying needs. 

Once you select a printer that matches your needs, take it to the next level with our Educator Plus package, which includes the following:

  • Complete design software
  • Specialty materials
  • 1500+ education-specific design templates
  • Enrollment in our “Technology Implementation Success Program”
  • Ongoing support
  • 3-year warranty

Elevate Your Poster Game With AGC Education

Printing posters can be a pricey venture for schools, especially if you buy them from online or in-store vendors. But with a school-wide poster printer, every teacher can create beautiful posters that pop without leaving the school. 

At AGC Education, we’re all about giving schools the resources they need to create stunning posters, prints, and other items at school. We offer a range of products, from 3D printers for fun projects to printers that create vibrant posters. 

If you’re excited to outfit your school with bright, appealing posters, AGC Education has what you need, from the poster printer to the supplies. Contact us today to get started!

6 School T-shirt Fundraiser Ideas for Your Classroom 

Fundraising is an integral activity that helps ensure schools have the necessary funds and resources to provide quality education. While these fundraisers have morphed into various creative shapes, T-shirt fundraisers for schools have long been an effective way to raise funds while spurring school spirit. 

They generate revenue while inspiring a sense of community among students and friendly competition through design contests. But to promote the success of your T-shirt fundraiser, you’ll need to have a plan. Here are six fun ideas for your T-shirt fundraiser. 

T-shirt Fundraiser Ideas

School T-shirt fundraisers can take various shapes, from raffling off baskets to hosting a design contest. Get creative with your ideas and develop a fundraiser that reflects your school’s spirit and interests. Here are a few ideas to get the creative ideas flowing:

Raffle Off Baskets

Raffle baskets can be an exciting way to raise funds for a T-shirt fundraiser. Fill a basket with items your students might want or need, from school supplies to gift cards to local restaurants. Throw in a few branded tees and other merch items boasting your school’s logo. 

Once you create the basket, announce the raffle to your students. You could do this over the intercom as part of morning announcements, in an assembly, or by walking to each classroom to show off the goodies inside. Set a date for drawing a winner, and remind the students and parents to purchase tickets throughout the weeks leading up to the drawing. 

Sell the Tees at School Events

School events, including football games, gymnastics, and similar gatherings, are excellent places to market your T-shirts. Advertise the tees, showcasing the opportunity to show school spirit to attending students, family, and friends.

Sell the tees wherever works best. If you have a snack stand or ticketing gate, offer the tees there. Provide ample opportunities for participants and viewers to take part in the fundraiser. 

Promote T-shirts Through Social Media

Advertise the fundraiser on social media – it’s a powerful tool! If your school has social media pages on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, talk about the fundraiser there. Discuss what the fundraiser is for, how to enter, and what you’re selling. Remember to showcase photos of the tees you’re selling!

Create Themed T-shirts

T-shirt fundraisers for schools don’t need to be restricted to school-branded merchandise. While tees featuring your school’s logo are an excellent addition to any T-shirt fundraiser, get creative with other options!

Create customized tees with seasonal designs for various holidays or spirit week. Think outside the box and let your students toss in design ideas to ensure the final product is something they would enjoy wearing.

Host a T-shirt Design Contest

This idea ties into the previous themed T-shirt creation idea. Let your students create tees they want to wear and would actually buy through a T-shirt design contest. Outline rules and deadlines, then let your students take the reins. 

The project could be part of a class, like an art or digital design class, or it could be an at-home optional project. It’s up to you and what you think would work best for your students!

Offer Incentives for Top Sellers

Inspire healthy, lively competition and drive sales by offering incentives to top sellers. This is a great way to increase revenue in your fundraiser if your students or faculty are selling the tees for you. 

Develop a few prizes for top sellers based on who is selling. If the students are selling, select prizes that they would like. If your faculty members are selling, choose the prizes based on them. Or, if both are selling, you could have a few options for each. Choose between a single grand prize or a few tiered prizes for first, second, and third place. 

Remember to announce the incentives to inspire sales and remind students that it’s a fun competition!

Create Your Own T-shirts with AGC Education

Printing your own T-shirts can be an excellent way to maximize profits from your fundraiser. By printing the tees at school, you can save money that would’ve otherwise been spent on hiring a company to do it for you. 

At AGC Education, we offer various heat presses designed to help you create customized tees for your school fundraiser. Our sublimation vacuum heat presses allow you to print high-quality designs onto your T-shirts for a long-lasting finish. Our multi-functional heat press helps you create personalized tees, keychains, mugs, and much more, maximizing your creation and profit ceilings. 

We offer everything from the heat press to the supplies you need to get started. Ready to begin creating your own tees? Contact us today to get started!