STEAM Kits

A service of the Discovery Network includes the borrowing of mobile tinkering kits. All kits are hands-on and range in age appropriateness from early learners to 12th grade. Kits can be reserved for 3-6 months and include on-site staff training. Members can borrow up to four kits each year.

These kits can also be purchased. Prices will vary by kit and are dependent on kit materials, construction needs and staff time necessary to build them. Some kits are more consumable-heavy than others and will not be replenished by the Discovery Network after initial staff training and delivery.

Create a stop-motion picture, explore circuitry, complete an engineering challenge, design a tiny piece of art and more with these hands-on tinkering activities! See a full list of our kits below.

3D Pens

6th grade - adult

It’s a 3D printer you can hold in your hand – write your name, trace a mask template or simply create your own 3D art sculpture. This kit contains 10 3D pens, a power strip, a PVC filament holder station, and various colored filament spools.

Recommended for 6th grade and older
Training time: 30 minutes

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Automata

2nd grade - adult

Automata are a playful way to explore simple mechanical elements such as cams, levers, and linkages while creating movable sculptures. This activity is an easy start that can be refined as the user becomes more familiar with motions and mechanics.

*Basic consumables are provided with the training but are not replenished.
Recommended for 2nd grade and older
Training time: 1 hour

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Bernoulli Obstacle Course

2nd grade - adult

Be nimble, be quick, and remember, moving air will do the trick! This kit allows learners to explore aerodynamics in an interactive way with the use of PVC pipe and connectors, hoops, funnels and 10 hair dryers to guide a ping pong ball.

Recommended for 1st grade and older
Training time: 1 hour

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Circuit Blocks

2nd grade - adult

Circuit blocks are designed to tinker with electricity using everyday objects and components. Batteries, lights, buzzers, motors, resistors, potentiometers, switches, are but a few of the types of electrical gizmos that can be hooked together with simple magnetic clips.

Recommended for 2nd grade and older
Training time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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Cookie Cutters

4th grade - adult

Create cookies cutters by designing your own shape and bending aluminum flashing with metal-working tools. This kit will invite visitors to use a pop rivet gun, awls and hammers while adding creative flair.

Recommended for 4th grade and older
Training time: 1 hour

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Fibers

Kindergarten - adult

Explore the numerous ways in which fibers can be found and are used in our everyday lives. This kit includes the tools for sewing, knitting, embroidery and weaving with visitors or students. Basic consumables are provided with the training but will not be replenished.

Recommended for Kindergarten and older
Training time: 2 hours

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Fused Plastic

2nd grade - adult

Turn recycled plastic into beautiful new fabrics to make a variety of fashionable and functional items. Create this unique waterproof fabric by fusing bags together with an iron or a heat gun, included in the kit. Design a pattern to make anything from wallets and purses to raincoats or hats. Develop sewing skills by using a needle and thread to stitch designs into shape or add a button or zipper.

Recommended for 2nd grade and older
*Consumable-heavy kit
Training time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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Glow Light Play

Early childhood - adult

This glow-in-the-dark kit comes with panels that absorb light and slowly emits it over a few minutes. By placing objects over the sheet in the light, learners can explore the properties of shadow and light play. The kit includes a classroom set of mounted glow panels, UV lights, flashlights and exploration materials.

Recommended for early childhood and older
Training time: 30 minutes

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LEGO Art Bots

3rd grade - adult

You may have seen scribbling machines before, but this take on movable art bots uses everyone’s favorite childhood toy, LEGOs! Create beautiful patterns as your vibrating machine moves in unusual ways. Design different linkages to create different movements and patterns.

Recommended for 3rd grade and older
Training time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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Light and Shadow Play

2nd grade - adult

Tell a story or play a game while exploring light through play. Experiment with objects that are more or less opaque than others and discover how to make shadows change size.

Recommended for 2nd grade and older
Training time: 30 minutes

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Light Painting

8th grade - adult

This is a great way to create striking images and illusions using a camera, light sources, and a little practice. This activity is a fun way to learn about exposure, electroluminescence, and camera exploration. This kit requires the use of a dark room and can be done by only one participant at a time.

Recommended for 8th grade and older
Training time: 2 hours

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Loose Parts – Nature

Early childhood - kindergarten

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart and put back together. Loose parts play empowers creativity and imagination. The nature items in this kit invite children to process their world through open-ended play.

Recommended for early childhood to kindergarten
Training time: 30 minutes

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Loose Parts – Texture

Early childhood - kindergarten

When children play with loose parts the experience can be anything they imagine it to be. This allows the opportunity to experiment, discover and invent new things. The Loose Parts – Texture kit includes a variety of items for exploring touch and sensory experiences.

Recommended for early childhood to kindergarten
Training time: 1 hour

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MakeDo

Early childhood - 5th grade

MakeDo creations set the stage for immersive creative and critical thinking through play. Kids will learn by doing as they build, experiment, imagine and work together while using cardboard and simple – but realistic – tools and parts.

Recommended for early childhood to 5th grade
*Consumable-heavy kit
Training time: 30 minutes

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Makey Makey

3rd grade - adult

Turn everyday objects – fruit, pencil drawings and even water – into musical instruments by hooking them up to a Makey Makey board. This kit includes 10 laptop computers and 10 Makey Makey boards and kits created by SparkFun.

Recommended for 3rd grade and older
Training time: 2 hours

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Makey Makey Donkey Kong

3rd grade - adult

Turn yourself into the game controller to save Princess Peach! This kit includes a laptop computer, one Makey Makey board, one projector and a Donkey Kong platform.

Recommended for 3rd grade and older
Training time: 2 hours

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Ozobots

3rd grade - adult

Meet Evo, your new robot friend! Ozobots teach simple coding through storytelling.
Perfect for robotics novices, this Ozobots classroom kit comes with all the materials you need to start exploring the physical and digital worlds of coding.

Recommended for 3rd grade and older
Training time: 1 hour

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Scribbling Machines

Kindergarten - adult

Scribbling machines are motorized machines that move in unusual and interesting ways to draw a series of patterns on paper. They are made from very simple parts and use a vibrating offset motor to bounce, spin, bump and move their way into a work of art!

Recommended for Kindergarten and older
Training time: 1 hour

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Stop-Motion Animation

2nd grade - adult

Using a simple computer program and basic materials, participants learn the fundamentals of stop-motion photography and animation. This kit can easily be transported to outreach programs or used for classroom or summer camp programs.

Recommended for 2nd grade and older
Training time: 1 hour

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Strawbees

Kindergarten - adult

Create 3D sculptures using plastic straws and connectors that are easy to put together and take apart. This kit includes a die-cut and template plates for cutting connectors.

Recommended for kindergarten and older
*Consumable-heavy kit
Training time: 1 hour

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Tiny Drawings

2nd grade - adult

Use a microscope to create tiny drawings with a variety of mediums to see how different art looks up close. To go even smaller, use two heat guns on number six plastic to create even tinier drawings with a shrinky dink effect.

Recommended for 2nd grade and older
Training time: 1 hour

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