When The Money Falls Short, You Don’t Have To!

As we all know, teachers don’t make a ton of money.  Heck, schools are often times not as funded as much as they should be.  This means that we as teachers have to get creative and find resources that are affordable for both us and students.

Here are a selection of resources I’ve found that are free (or very cheap).  We’ve got to keep it from braking the bank!



As science teachers, we should all be signed up for NSTA.  It’s a great organization that gives out tons of resources to teachers for very little cost!  For a yearly cost, teachers are given tons of resources including a subscription to one of their journals (which have tons of information and various labs in them!) and tons of other books/resources that they provide.  The site listed above is just some of the resources that it provides as publications that are free to even non-members.

2. PhET Simulations


This probably seems overdone.  But PhET simulations are great.  They are completely free for educators to use and there are a ton of them available.  They are tons of fun for students, as long as you don’t over use them too much!



NASA is great.  The steps they have take to advance science are no joke, and so incredibly important to know the universe around us.  There website is great for providing teachers with fun activities, videos, and more to get students engaged and interested in a lesson.

4. Youtube

This one goes without say, Youtube has so many videos on it that it is hard to find one that isn’t based on something you are learning in the classroom.  Kids love watching video and learning through watching rather than sitting through a lecture.  Getting students interested in what you are talking about through video is great!

A great example are TEDTalks and other videos about random things that students are interested in.

4.1. Bonus! PlayPosIt


PlayPosit is great.  It lets teachers add in questions, statements, etc. in Youtube videos to keep students engaged and thinking about what is going on.  This is a great way to start a lesson because you can use the PlayPosit stops to get students asking questions then having discussions.

5. Demos!

There are tons of places to find demonstrations for your students.  Googling for science demos usually turns out with some fruitful options, plus there are tons in NSTA books and other publications everywhere.  Science teachers are constantly thinking of new and interesting demos to get students engaged and enjoying a lesson.

This is just a simple demonstration that is super cheap.  Dry ice is the most expensive thing, as the rest will be on hand at your home or in your classroom; and dry ice is cheap as well!

6. Brainteasers/Brainbusters

To get students thinking and engaged, you can always start with a brainbuster or brainteaser for the day.  There are tons of books that are sold with them online, and even websites that have them available completely for free.

These are just a few of the affordable ways teachers can get their students engaged and interested (heck, even getting them to refocus).  There are tons of other options, some more expensive than others, but my other fellow future teachers can provide even more than just I can!


  1. Katin,

    Thanks! As I said to Aesa’s comment, I absolutely love all the stuff that NSTA provides. The journals given each month are great for giving you tons of resources. I tried to keep it simple, but also provide enough explanation for everyone.

  2. Dillon,

    Great blog post this week! I loved all of your activities to engage students. I thought NSTA was a great suggestion for teachers. They do have a lot of great resources! Also, I think that you did a good job explaining why these things should be used in the classroom. I think that the crystal ball demo was fun. Overall, good job!


  3. Dillon,

    I think it’s great that you included NSTA as a cheap resource for teachers! Membership really isn’t that much at all, considering that you get access to all kinds of resources and lesson plans and ideas. It’s a great thing for any teacher to have at the ready. I also loved the demo you showed with the crystal ball! Very cool! Great work!


    • Aesa,

      Thanks! Every single science teacher should be part of NSTA! It’s such a valuable organization and the resources it provides are great. I loved the demo too, it’s a classic and great in general.

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