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Ms. Julie McDowell from Albuquerque NM is requesting Art Supplies through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Sensory Tools for STEAM Learners

Help me give my students sensory tools, toys, and seating to encourage a creative mindset and future-ready learning. These tools will support children in working together, persisting in tough situations, and support understanding of their own learning.

  • $284 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

I am a STEAM/Technology teacher to 750 students ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade. They are an amazing group of diverse students; all of whom have their own unique qualities, talents, and strengths.

We are a Title I elementary school with a STEAM room that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

For many of our students, their only exposure to modern technology is at school. I am seeking to help our students develop creativity, confidence, design thinking and teamwork by providing hands-on activities in Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM). Many of our students are visual and kinesthetic learners - having opportunities to work with their hands and visualize concepts helps them to better grasp the things that they are learning in their classrooms.

My Project

As said best by Albert Einstein, "Play is the highest form of research". Sensory materials will be integrated into my small group STEAM centers. Playdoh will provide students the opportunity to design and construct models and also provide sensory learning for early elementary grades.

Building and persisting will encourage a growth mindset through the use of the Engineering Design Process.

Sensory tools can be used in several ways that benefit all learners. Tools such as the weighted lap pads, fidget toys (stress & Squeeze) and sensory seating objects (wiggle seats and bouncy feet bands), would be particularly beneficial to students to be able to concentrate, participate and actively learn in and out of all class settings. Sensory toys help students sit and engage with materials that may otherwise be too challenging or sensory over-stimulating. Glitter wands and calming jars allow many students to regulate their emotions, relieve anxiety and stress, as well as increase focus. Many students have difficulty coping and regulating their emotions due to various issues they have endured. Items such as Playdoh, will lead to a deep understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), including; Asking questions and defining problems, Developing and using models, Planning and carrying out investigations, Constructing explanations and designing solutions.

With the above sensory objects, the students will be able to focus more on their work and use these tools to help develop a solution. In the process, they will learn the basic steps of completing an engineering project. Whether working independently or with a partner, students will be further challenged to strengthen their writing skills by writing about their model and sharing it with the class.

Ms. Julie McDowell
Grades 3-5
Half of students from low‑income households

This project will reach 750 students.

3 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Sensory Glitter Storm - Set of 3 - Blue, Silver, Gold - Calming Glitter Tubes for Stress and Anxiety Relief - Encourage Focus and Concentration - Special Needs Toy • Amazon Business $38.46 1 $38.46
Perfect Life Ideas Wobble Cushion Wiggle Seat - Stability Cushion as Wiggle Seats for Sensory Kids and Sensory Cushion Seat for Kids with Pump Included • Amazon Business $17.77 2 $35.54
Skil-Care 914508 Weighted Gel Lap Pad - 7 lb. Rectangular Shape 10" x 22" • Amazon Business $32.50 1 $32.50
Play-Doh Modeling Compound 50- Value Pack Case of Colors , Non-Toxic , Assorted Colors , 1-Ounce Cans • Amazon Business $20.58 1 $20.58
Playlearn Glitter Wand, Magic Wonder Tube - for Kids, Teachers, Therapists, Sensory Room, Classroom, Autistic, ADHD, SPD. Medium Size. 4 Different Multicolored Tubes. 6 Inch • Amazon Business $18.99 1 $18.99
YoYa Toys Pull, Stretch and Squeeze Stress Balls 3 Pack - Elastic Construction Sensory Balls - Ideal for Stress and Anxiety Relief, Special Needs, Autism, Disorders and More • Amazon Business $15.99 1 $15.99
Play-Doh 2-Lb. Bulk Super Can of Non-Toxic Modeling Compound with 4 Classic Colors - Red, Blue, Yellow, & White • Amazon Business $7.99 2 $15.98
DNA Stress Balls - 3 Pack - Squeezing Stress Relief Ball - for Kids and Adults- Stress Squishy Toys for Autism, ADHD, Bad Habits and More - Risk-Free Sensory Rubber Ball • Amazon Business $14.99 1 $14.99
Feety Chair Bands for Kids – (5 Pack) ADHD Bouncy Kick Fidget for Elementary, Middle, High School Students and Fidgety Adults for Classroom Chairs and Desks (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue) • Amazon Business $14.97 1 $14.97

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


1 Donor


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


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Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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