Trash for Teaching

Science Kits

Trash for Teaching (, a Los Angeles nonprofit organization, collects manufacturers’ castoffs, discards, and overruns and redistributes them to elementary and middle schools for use in art and science projects.

Trash for Teaching’s science kits (watch video) teach basic concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They consist entirely of clean, unused items that have been salvaged from manufacturing operations, such as:
  • ballpoint pen tubes
  • strips of metalized polyester film
  • lengths of decorative ribbon
  • Petri dishes
  • eyeglass lenses
  • specimen cups
  • clothes clips used in dry cleaning

Relying on nothing more than these and similar components, the kits offer surprisingly extensive possibilities for instruction. In-depth lesson plans provide hours of material. Lessons can easily be adapted by the teacher to cover as many or as few class periods as desired.

Each kit contains enough materials for a team of two to four students. A classroom carton consists of:

The following kits are currently available, with more planned in the near future:

Tin-Can Telephone
  (Minus the Tin Cans)
Principles of engineering
Pathways of Light Optics: reflection, refraction,
  and the pinhole camera
Moiré Patterns Beautifully complex visual
  patterns from simple textures
Induction/Deduction Inductive and
  deductive reasoning

For more information, contact Steve Stanton, Executive Director, Trash for Teaching.

A one-sheet version of this page is available here.

Trash for Teaching is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.