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    What Do I Need to Teach STEM?


    Summer is wrapping up in the northern hemisphere, and students are heading back to school. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2019–29 employment projections show that occupations in the STEM field are expected to grow 8 percent by 2029, compared with 3.7 percent for all other occupations.


    Clearly STEM is an important and in-demand field of expertise, so get your students started in the world of engineering by introducing them to the tools and building blocks that are used to design the devices that we use every day.

    We've put together a wish list with all the fundamental items needed to help you educate the next generation.


    STEM Giveaway


    STEM Giveaway Prize

    • Duratool Digital Multimeter
    • BBC micro:bit Club Box set with 10x micro:bitsPhil teaching STEM


    1) Engineers, tell us about your favorite teacher, and why they were your favorite
    2) What item are we missing from this list?



    Post your answer as a comment below between 3rd September 2021 and 3rd October 2021.
    The best answers will be chosen by the element14 community team, and you will be shipped your prize (or local equivalent) free of charge.


    List of Items:

    The Basics


    Computational Thinking

    BBC micro:bit

    Teaching logic and computational thinking is the first step for many children into a life of engineering of any kind. The BBC micro:bit comes with educational lesson plans and is a great teaching tool for any level.


    We also have our own BBC micro:bit v2 resources in the dedicated micro:bit space.


    Single BBC micro:Bit

    BBC micro:bit GO BBC micro:bit GO


    10 x Club STEAM Set

    10 x BBC micro:bit set10 x BBC micro:bit set



    Measurement and Power

    Multimeter – An electrical engineer’s best friend. A multimeter reads voltage, current, and resistance, basic measurements that are important in any circuit.

    Bench -

    Multicomp Pro 3.7" Bench MultimeterMulticomp Pro 3.7" Bench Multimeter

    Handheld -

    Duratool Handheld Digital MultimeterDuratool Handheld Digital Multimeter


    Oscilloscope – Electrical measurements aren’t always fixed; some of them change with time! An oscilloscope maps electrical signals against time. Pair it with a function generator to see the difference between a sine wave and a square wave, or plug a capacitor in there and watch those square waves turn into shark fins!

    Digital Oscilloscope -

    Multicomp Pro Digital OscilloscopeMulticomp Pro Digital Oscilloscope

    Handheld Oscilloscope -

    Handheld OscilloscopeHandheld Oscilloscope


    Function Generator – A function generator creates different waveforms at different voltages. Function generators generally allow you to specify voltage, frequency, and the type of waveform. Very useful in learning about AC power, audio, clocking, RF, and more.

    Function Generator -

    Bk Precision Function GeneratorBk Precision Function Generator


    Bench Power Supply – A digital circuit might require 5V, while an analog audio circuit might require +/-15V. A bench power supply makes it convenient to jump from project to project, even when the voltages are different.

    Bench Power Supply

    Multicomp Pro Bench Power SupplyMulticomp Pro Bench Power Supply


    Building Circuits – The Basics

    Breadboard – Breadboards let you quickly wire up a circuit without having to solder wires. Simply plug wires into the right holes and they’re connected. Breadboards also have rails for power and are compatible with ICs (integrated circuits).

    Breadboard -

    Multicomp BreadboardMulticomp Breadboard


    Jumper wire – Don’t skimp on wire; you’ll need a lot of it! Make sure you have a variety of colors, because no one like to debug a circuit when all the wires are the same color and can't be easily told apart.

    Jumper Wire Kit -

    Multicomp Jumper Wire KitMulticomp Jumper Wire Kit





    Passive Components

    Passive components are components that change the power flowing through a circuit, but do not require power themselves. Passive components include resistors, capacitors, inductors, and more.



    Semiconductors – Discrete

    Semiconductors come in two varieties: discrete and integrated circuit. A discrete component is a component with just one circuit element. Passive components like resistors and capacitors are discrete components; however, there are also active ones, like transistors and diodes. These serve multiple purposes, from switching to amplifying and more.



    Semiconductors – IC

    Integrated circuits are chips containing multiple components. ICs are incredibly advanced, with analog and digital chips designed for a wide variety of purposes. Examples of analog chips include audio op-amps, filters, and amplifiers, while digital chips can run the gamut from a simple NAND logic gate to the most advanced FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). Simple logic gates are ideal for teaching the fundamentals of digital circuits.

    Op Amp – an op amp is a high gain electronic voltage amplifier. They are used in many devices, ranging from consumer to industrial. An MC1458 is a commonly used dual op amp.

    Op AmpOp Amp

    Quad NAND Gate – a NAND gate is an example of a digital logic gate. A NAND gate returns a 0 only if both of its inputs are 1.

    Nexperia Quad NAND GateNexperia Quad NAND Gate


    OR Gate – an OR gate is another type of logic gate. An OR returns a 1 if either input is 1. If both are 0, it returns a 0.

    Logic OR GateLogic OR Gate


    555 Timer – A 555 timer generates a pulse that is useful for many applications, but for simple digital circuits, it works wonderfully as a clock to keep everything running.

    555 Timer555 Timer



    Interfacing with the Outside World

    Now that you’ve got the pieces to build a circuit, you’ll need some components that let the circuit do something, whether it be turning on a bulb, reproducing audio, or running a motor.


    Switch – these turn things on and off, whether it be power, an LED, or turbo mode on your robotic vehicle.


    Rocker Switch -

    E-Switch Red Rocker SwitchE-Switch Red Rocker Switch


    Toggle Switch -

    Eaton Toggle SwitchEaton Toggle Switch


    Potentiometer – a variable resistor that lets the user adjust the level of a signal, for example audio volume or the intensity of a light bulb.


    Potentiometers Overview -

    Wirewound -

    Bourns Wire Wound Rotary PotentiometerBourns Wire Wound Rotary Potentiometer


    Slider -

    Bournes Slider Potentiometer Bournes Slider Potentiometer


    LED – Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are a great way to display what’s happening in a circuit. They come in different colors, and you can get them to blink.


    LED Overview -

    LEDs -

    Red LED SetRed LED Set


    LED Array -

    LED ArrayLED Array


    Piezo buzzer – A piezo buzzer beeps when it gets voltage. They’re a great audio notification; remember the classic board game Operation?

    PUI Audio BuzzerPUI Audio Buzzer


    Stepper motor – Motors are very versatile tools, and building a circuit to control one is a great learning tool. Whether the motor is attached to wheels or spooling an excess cable, motors let users immediately see what the circuit is doing.

    Stepper Motor -

    Stepper MotorStepper Motor


    Sensors – sensors detect changes in the environment around them, and come in a tremendous variety of types, making pretty much any interactive circuit possible. Photo, magnetic, and vibration sensors make for great learning tools in the lab.


    Overview -

    Photo sensor -

    TT Electronics Optical SensorTT Electronics Optical Sensor


    IR detector -

    Sharpe Light DetectorSharpe Light Detector


    Magnetic sensor -

    Honeywell Magnetic Field SensorHoneywell Magnetic Field Sensor

    Vibration sensor -

    Vibration SensorVibration Sensor


    STEM Giveaway


    As mentioned above, if you want to be in the running to win the giveaway mentioned earlier in this document, just answer these questions in the comments below:



    1) Engineers, tell us about your favorite teacher, and why they were your favorite
    2) What item are we missing from  this list?


    Post your answer below between 3rd September 2021 and 3rd October 2021.
    The best answers will be chosen by the element14 community team, and you will be shipped your prize (or local equivalent) free of charge.