Free Materials in the Bay Area
© Krissy Venosdale
The Bay Area is blessed with a variety of places to get free or reduced-cost materials for your classroom, whether you need general supplies or specific materials for science lessons.
Sign up for free and create a project (=supplies list) worth up to $400, and get funded by people looking to support students and teachers. What's more? Partner funding may automatically fund part of your project. Use these key terms to increase your success: Common Core, Science Literacy, Next Generation of Science Standards, STEM , STEAM.
Daly Ralston Resource Center
Located at UCSF Parnassus, this center is a free lending library that houses more than 3,000 science materials for hands-on science and health lessons including "kits" (a lesson in a box), preserved organs, models, microscopes and other equipment.
SEPAL Resource Center
The Resource Center of the Science Education Partnership & Assessment Laboratory at SFSU loans out hands-on, minds-on science education materials, such as books, videos, equipment, models, specimens, charts and posters, slides, and activity kits.
This San Francisco-based online facilitator links surplus to those in need. It's free to post a wishlist and connect with donors.
RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching)
With locations in Redwood City and San Jose, RAFT collects surplus materials from companies and repurposes them into inexpensive educator supplies and standards-aligned activity kits. Note that you must be a member, but it's worth it.
This non-profit creative reuse center, materials depot, and workshop space has a plethora of items available for cheap. They also offer San Francisco educator giveaways on the first Saturday of the month from 1 to 4pm, in October, November, December, February, March and April. You can also donate leftover supplies to them.
East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
Created by teachers for teachers, this facility acquires classroom supplies at a low cost. Sign up for their free membership to get 10% off purchases and hear about free weekly giveaways.