STEM/Engineering Education - Pre-K - Grade 8
The educational benefits of Problem-Based Learning have been known and thoroughly tested for many years. When presented with a solvable challenge, and provided the tools and assets to design and produce a solution, students can acquire and master problem solving skills, reinforce academic skills, learn new technologies, and gain the important STEM skill sets applicable to many careers.
For decades, Learning Labs has made hands-on learning a cornerstone of the company. We have assembled equipment and courseware from a group of award winning manufacturers and publishers. This page is dedicated to those resources.
Kid Spark STEM Education
Kid Spark programs are designed to help young students learn foundational STEM fluencies the moment they enter school and then build upon their learning each and every year. Their elementary and middle school programs are comprised of progressive units of instruction that cover a range of STEM concepts, and can be used to meet any student where they are.
All Kid Spark STEM education programs include free curriculum, STEM Labs, and online professional learning.
Kid Spark STEM education programs include the following three levels:
Pre-K through Grade 1 - Kid Spark utilizes hands-on learning while focusing on helping young students develop important competencies that are prerequisite for a lifetime of STEM learning. View Brochure
Grades 2 through 5 - In Kid Spark’s 2nd - 5th Grade STEM Program, students jump right into the shoes of a real engineer as they explore applied math, mechanical & structural engineering, and robotics & coding. View Brochure
Grades 6 through 8 - In Kid Spark’s 6th - 8th Grade STEM Program, students explore challenging STEM concepts from their everyday world, authoring with technology to solve problems and create new solutions. Students explore concepts in structural & mechanical engineering, physics, rapid prototyping & 3D printing, computer science, and robotics. View Brochure
Over 50% of all jobs require some degree of coding skills, and research shows that there are 1 million unfilled IT jobs in the US. Coding career openings have increased by over 200,000 every year since 2010, so the demand if obvious. Learning Labs has several coding solutions, all of which involve hands on interaction.
Birdbrain Technologies cultivates creativity and computational thinking by providing flexible and inspiring products like these:
Finch is a programmable robot that brings computer science to life by providing students a hands-on representation of their code.
Hummingbird Robotics Kits are creative robotics tools which allow students to design, build, and program a personally meaningful robot out of any materials, with any device, in multiple programming languages.
pi-top provides educators with all the tools needed to make teaching and learning standards-based Computer Science easy and engaging. Powered by a unique Raspberry Pi programmable ecosystem, pi-top blends step-by-step coding, robotics, and engineering lessons with hands-on hardware applications. Here are some links to their products:
pi-top  - A portable brain that can be clipped from project to project without needing to rebuild.
Aviation and Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
In recent years, drones/UAVs have evolved from expensive toys to critical tools for many professional applications such as entertainment, agriculture, real estate, search and rescue, civil engineering, surveying, law enforcement, and more.
DJI is the world leader in drone technology with about 70% of the market share worldwide. DJI offers three series of drones:
Mavic Series - Powerful and foldable for aerial adventure
Spark Series - A fun mini drone with all of DJI's signature technologies
Phantom Series - Professional-grade aerial imaging
Note: DJI Models and pricing changes frequently. Please call 1-800-334-4943 for a formal price quote.
SAFEDrone is a classroom protocol for training students to operate drones indoors, assuring proper training to mitigate risk. Students will apply classroom math, science and engineering by fully understanding "How a drone flies and how it is controlled.
STEMPilot - Learning Labs, Inc. is proud to partner with STEMPilot education K-12 STEM Labs. STEMPilot offers turnkey STEM labs in the form of their edustation product line of flight simulators and curriculum.
The Technology Student Association's UAV Drone Challenge is being introduced for the first time in 2023, and it is initially a high school only competition. Learning Labs can provide all the necessary components for a team of students to build a competitive drone from the ground-up. Why not give your middle school students a head start?
Call us at 1-800-334-4943 for more details.
3D Printers (More 3D Printers)
No STEM program would be complete without 3D printers. Learning Labs features a variety of 3D printers from various manufacturers.
Here are some suggestions:
Tiertime builds a line of great quality 3D printers at reasonable prices starting below $800. Entry-level Tiertime printers use PLA and ABS filament to print colorful designs. With supervision, these 3D printers can be used in elementary classrooms as well as middle school Maker Labs and entry-level Engineering programs (STEM).
Snapmaker machines are unique because of their flexible 3-in-1 design. Not only can the Snapmaker be a 3D printer, it can also be converted into a laser engraver/cutter and a CNC router/carver.
3D scanners allow students to reverse engineer objects by measuring physical objects and turning them into 3D models that can be edited and 3D printed
Matter and Form is a 3D scanner that's friendly, fast, and easy. It can capture scans with up to 0.1mm accuracy from objects as large as 9.8" tall and up to a 7' in diameter. Guided by standards-aligned STEM projects, students learn how to combine 3D scanning, 3D design and 3D printing to form the powerful toolset of inspiration, discovery and creativity.
One of the most flexible and powerful tools in a creative space is a laser cutter and engraver. Young engineers can design parts or structural components, cut and engrave them from a variety of materials, and use the components to build large complex models and structures.
Note: the Snapmaker Machine (above) also features a Laser Engraver/Cutter attachment.
LaserPro laser engravers/cutters feature a powerful CO2 laser that can etch or cut non-metal and anodized material through sculpturing the material surface with heat. Simply create or edit a vector-based graphic using a program like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator, then print. The type of graphic and the laser's power and speed settings control how deep the media is cut. It works great with wood, but other materials can also be cut.
Note: Anodized Metal can be etched, but not cut.
FLUX Beambox is a powerful laser cutter and engraver that lets you shape, cut, and engrave on materials like wood, leather, acrylic, and cardboard. Beambox offers a maximum work area of 15.7” x 14.7” and cuts up to 3/8" thick (varies by material). With their highly integrated software Beam Studio, your imagination is the only limit. Beam Studio is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux. Its intuitive user interface allows you to easily access all features of Beambox. Beam Studio enables multi-computer control and supports JPG, PNG, SVG, and DXF files.
Lasers greatly expand creative freedom!
Turbocharge your 3D printer by replicating your prints in seconds. Stop waiting hours for each print, and get to work as soon as you’ve found a form that’s perfect for the job. Go from idea to concept, to working prototype in just a day by creating, experimenting, and completing designs in a matter of minutes.
Mayku Formbox The FormBox is an easy-to-use desktop vacuum former with an 8”x 8” forming area and a 5” draw depth. 3D print models and vacuum form molds for casting materials like concrete, plaster, soap, chocolate, jesmonite, Wax, jelly. ice, foam, and silicone.
CNC Equipment - Machine Tools, Routers, Plasma Cutters, & Waterjets
If you need to cut material with precision, you'll want CNC. These machines can cut a wide variety of media from soft materials like leather and cardboard to hard materials like metal and tile. Learning Labs represents several companies with CNC machines that will cut just about anything from leather to steel.
Forest CNC manufactures a variety of quality CNC Routers, Plasma Cutters, and Wood Lathes.
Intelitek has established itself as a leader in affordable CNC machines, with over 13,000 CNC machines installed in industry and education across the world. Intelitek can supply CNC Mills and Lathes, Routers, and Plasma Cutters. Intelitek is also known for integrating their CNC equipment with robots, conveyors, and various other technologies to create CIM and FMS systems.
Roland DG has been at the forefront of CNC mills and rapid prototyping, delivering tens of thousands milling machines for a wide variety of applications since 1986. Roland also supplies large format printers and cutters, direct to garment printers, and various other graphics resources.
Snapmaker machines feature a CNC "carving" (routing) configuration as well as 3D printing and Laser Engraving and cutting.
Tormach has a broad range of reasonably priced CNC mills and lathes available in benchtop and floor-standing configurations.
Wazer is a compact self-contained waterjet that can cut virtually anything using water and abrasives.
Large Format and Specialized Printer/Cutters
Some printers are capable of full color printing and cutting of large banners, posters, retail packaging, and vinyl car wraps. Other printers can print directly to clothing or other textiles while others can print to virtually any media including metal and wood.
Roland DG is acclaimed as the pioneer of printer/cutters that integrate printing and cutting functions into a single unit, and is also recognized for incorporating the latest digital printing and color management technologies in its high-quality, high-definition printers. Here are some links to various models of Roland printers:
VersaStudio BN-20/BN-20A Desktop Inkjet Printer/Cutter - 4 or 5 color printing (CMYK or CMYK + White for printing on clear media) with a print width up to 20" with continuous roll-feed.
TrueVIS SG3/VG3 printers/cutters are available in two print widths: 30" and 54" with continuous roll feed.
TrueVIS VF2-640 printers (does not cut) have expanded color options and are the largest of the Roland DG printers with a media width up to 64".
VersaUV LEC2-330 and LEC2-640 UV printer/cutters are designed to take premium label, packaging, and specialty graphic production to another level. The UV series uses UV light to speed-up the ink setting process.
VersaUV LEF UV flatbed models print on standard materials or unique items such as pens, smart phone covers, ADA signs, personalized awards, giftware, promotional items and more.
VersaSTUDIO BT-12 models print directly onto cotton t-shirts, apparel, tote bags and other products in minutes from the comfort of your desktop.