Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Posts Tagged ‘Lab Supplies

Here are a couple of sites and catalogs that are worth checking out:

  • Edmund Scientific’s (  They have a large selection of science toys and equipment.  I find them to be a bit pricey.  Get their catalog, their web site takes forever to browse.
  • Educational Innovations Inc. (  This is a great catalog, lots to look at in all areas of science education.  This one was new to me, I only recently got their catalog, but I really like it.  I have a list of stuff I want to order from them.
  • ThinkGeek (  To be fair, this isn’t a teacher site, but it is my favorite.  They have such great tech toys, posters and T-shirts (Star Trek & Battlestar Galactica).  Check out their clearance items, there is always a great shirt or toy at a great price.  I’m a ThinkGeek addict.
  • American Science & Surplus (  I think the name says it all.  This is a fun site to browse.  I always have a list of stuff I want, but I never seem to get to the point of placing an order.  I think that may be the nature of surplus, it’s cool junk you want, but don’t need.  At some point I will need something they have.
  • Pitsco (  This is a site for teachers buying science supplies.  They have lots of ideas and kits, I would definitely request a catalog.  I get a lot of ideas here, although I find their kits to be overpriced.
  • Arbor Scientific (  I purchased my original constant velocity cars from these guys.  They are a school supply company, expect school supply prices.
  • Carolina Biological (  Don’t let the name fool you, it is everything your school needs in science supplies.  I have mentioned them before, Carolina is our main supply source at school.  We typically spend thousands of dollars with them each year and I am quite pleased with what we receive.

I love Harbor Freight Tools.  If you teach science and have one of these nearby, you must get there.  The place has tons of tools at bargain prices.  They are made overseas, true, but they warranty everything and I have never had a tool fail on me.

The picture on the right is a digital caliper they sell.  I use these for a lab on density and also when we are discussing precision.  These calipers work great and they are on sale right now for $7.09.  Yes, under $10, try getting something like that from Carolina or Frey or one of the other school lab suppliers.

Another item I purchased from them by the hand full are digital multimeters.  Again, from the supply catalogs, expect to pay about $80 for one inexpensive meter.  At Harbor Freight these babies go on sale for $2.99.  I bought a couple for my house, and even though I have a $100 Fluke meter from my engineering days, I tend to take out my $3 meter when I need a reading.  Of the ten or so in my classroom, I’ve had one of the leads break in two years of classroom use.  I just bought a whole new meter for another $3 and didn’t worry about it.

Here’s another gem, a non-contact thermometer.  I got this beauty on sale for $9.99, and I loved it so much I bought another.  These are mine, but I bring them in when I need them for a lab.  One day I’ll purchase them for the school, I’ve just been lazy about it so far.

You can find all this and so much more.  Here’s a few other items I own and use for school:  A dual temperature heat gun for $10 (used to launch hot air balloons), a set of six pliers (electronics sized) for about $5, pulleys, sandpaper, and inexpensive but decent castors in all sizes.

You can look up where your local store is located and all the items including sale items at:

What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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