A Boise-based company plans to be the next Amazon for STEM products. Bill Albert, CEO and founder of STEMfinity.com, wants educators to think of his website when it comes to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the classroom.
“I want to provide more resources for schools,” Albert said.
After working 15 years in the education professional development field, Albert decided to step away and create his own business in 2011.
“When I was in the classroom working with robotics, I saw an opportunity,” Albert said. “I wanted to make STEM accessible.”
He noticed not all students had access to STEM-related materials and so he thought of selling STEM kits.
“I want to get students engaged and learning about STEM topics,” Albert said.
STEMfinity.com is an online store for education resources focused on STEM education. Albert purchases the products from manufacturers and then resells them. The company targets hands-on resources and technology tools for K-16 education. In the spring, Albert was recognized as “Most Influential in STEM” by the National AfterSchool Association.
“We are a one-stop shop for STEM and we make it easy for educators to find everything they need in one location,” Albert said.
More than 30,000 products are available online. The company also offers 1,000 STEM grant opportunities and free resources for educators.
Amy Armstrong, a librarian at Heritage Middle School, received donated STEM kits from STEMfinity and says it gives students a great opportunity to create and invent.
“The kits give students a different way of looking at technology,” Armstrong said. “I have bought STEM kits off of Amazon and they have been a bust.”
STEMfinity reaches to customers across the nation and sells products in more than 30 countries.
“STEM isn’t going away – you can see industry, businesses, government and schools have invested ramping up STEM education,” Albert said.
Alison Lark, the program manager at Discovery Technology, is a customer that keeps coming back.
“I like the resources the company has to offer,” Lark said. “The hands-on activities are great.”
From robotics, 3D printing, drone technology, alternative energy and rocketry, Albert wants teachers to feel comfortable teaching STEM.
“A lot of teachers are intimidated by teaching STEM and we want to help them get through that fear level,” Albert said.
Click here to check out free STEM activities and learn how to apply for classroom grants.