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How to Spot a Teacher in the Grocery Store

Posted by Sara Goodman on May 16, 2014

How to Spot a Teacher in the Grocery StorePrepping for a top-notch STEM lesson means having content mastery and cart mastery... shopping cart, that is! Stocking up on science supplies during your regular grocery run is the new norm for dedicated teachers who will do whatever it takes to bring exciting, hands-on lessons to their students. So how do you spot STEM teachers by their shopping carts?

Index Cards

Great for giving group work tasks or helping construct scaled models or other science-minded structures, index cards are the secret tool of the science classroom. Loading up on more than 5 packs in a single shopping trip is a total teacher move.

Rubber Gloves, Baking Soda, Vinegar

Sure, you could be doing some high-intensity cooking, but these three items more likely mean that the shopper is planning a class on solids, liquids, and gases. The baking soda and vinegar create a gas when mixed, which inflates the glove. Picking up these supplies can be a major pain, especially when it's on your own dime, but hands-on activities like the inflating glove lesson make science come alive for energetic and curious students.

Beans and Soil

Planting, growing, and measuring bean sprouts is a tried and true science plan, and for good reason. Watching growth in action is much more engaging than looking at plain textbook images. If you see a basket loaded with dried beans and potting soil, chances are you've spotted a passionate science teacher prepping for the next big plant project.

Rubber Bands, Raw Eggs, Straws

The classic egg drop is a popular lesson among teachers and students. It's a fun, messy time, but it's also a great way to get students thinking like engineers. Of course, teachers also need to think like engineers to make it out of the grocery store without breaking any of the materials! Carrying dozens of eggs plus supplies for the egg drop container construction is a dead giveaway of a teacher going above and beyond for classroom prep. 

Great teachers sacrifice so much for their students, including the valuable time and money it takes to prep for interactive labs that play a central role in STEM instruction.

Teachers: What other items on your grocery list scream "teacher" and make you stand out at the cash register?

Photo Credit: Caden Crawford

Topics: STEM

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