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STEM does not have to be expensive. In fact, #STEMontheCheap solutions require more imagination, creativity, innovation, and invention than the shiny, expensive STEM things out there. This page highlights our favorite #STEMontheCheap resources from specific lessons to websites with hundreds of #STEMontheCheap ideas.

cell phone using macro lens hack to magnify five dollar bill

$1 Laser Pointer Macro Lens Hack

Learn how to take apart a $1 keychain laser pointer from Family Dollar and turn it into a macro lens for either a cell phone or tablet. It basically turns your device into a low-powered ...
$1 Solar Garden Light Hack

$1 Solar Garden Light Hack

Hack this $1 Solar Garden Light to get a solar panel, high-intensity LEDs, a rechargeable battery, battery holder, and sometimes a switch ...
Balloon-Powered Car

Balloon-Powered Car

These #STEMontheCheap balloon powered cars are another engineering design challenge that allows for iteration through the engineering design process ...
drawing of bug twirling a buzz off

Buzz Off, from RAFT

Buzz Off, when whirled around, makes a sound like an insect. A fantastic project for engineering the way it performs by making modifications to the original design ...
Constellation Boxes

Constellation Boxes

These #STEMontheCheap models can be used to teach perspective and vantage point. Challenge students to model actual constellations ...
Fourto

Fourto

Fourto is a hack of the game Quarto. Learn how to make your own pieces for either $2 with dollar store pieces, the cost of copies of the 2D pieces, or use the template to ...
Gobblet: Hack it! Make Cubelet!

Gobblet: Hack it! Make Cubelet!

Based on the concept of Tic-Tac-Toe, Gobblet takes strategy to the next level. This game takes just seconds to learn but a lifetime to master. It develops strategic thinking, problems solving skills and memory. Gobble up, line up ...
Newspaper Dowel Construction

Newspaper Dowel Construction

Roll newspaper pages into dowels to create all kinds of structures ...
Pepper's Pyramid hack atop a cell phone screen

Pepper’s Pyramid Projecter

Turn your cell phone or tablet into a 3D hologram-like projector using plastic you would normally recycle ...
Physics Ring and Chain Trick

Physics Ring and Chain Trick

NOT MAGIC! Can you master the physics ring and chain trick? Check out this document for directions and info about where to get your own ring and chain - or 100s of them! ...
Quiet Blocks

Quiet Blocks

Use pool noodles to create your own set of quiet blocks. #STEMontheCheap ...

Rattlebot

Turn a $1 electric toothbrush into a self-powered robot ...
Shalors

Shalors

Shalors (Shapes and Colors) is a $2 hack of the game Qwirkle. Using supplies from online and the dollar store, you can make all 108 pieces of this game for just a couple dollars AND ...
photo of a journal made with the STEMAZing hack

STEMAZing Journal Hack

Make graph paper STEMAZing journals that require no staples or tape, using an old bookbinding trick ...
Tongue Depressor Harmonica

Tongue Depressor Harmonica

Create this #STEMontheCheap harmonica using large craft sticks, rubber bands, and some other inexpensive materials ...