Order Supplies

Scroll down to find an alphabetical listing of items that support hands-on science inquiry. Enter the number of items you want in the box below each item. When you are finished, click any "add to shopping cart" button. You will have another opportunity to change your order.

Click on the 'get materials' tab in each book page for a comprehensive listing of all required materials that support that title.

We offer these supplies as a convenience to busy educators. Prices may be higher than you'd pay at your local market or hardware store. This premium compensates us for stocking and maintaining supplies, and helps TOPS stay in business. When we can, we suggest cheaper alternate sources in our book descriptions to help you save money. If you think of items that would make our list more useful, please let us know.

Adding Machine Tape

2-1/4 inch x 100 feet

Adding machine tape.

Aluminum Foil

regular strength, 20 square feet x 12 inches rolls

Buy aluminum foil here as a convenience item, or for less in many grocery stores.

Baby Food Jars - assorted

without lids

Each set includes 4 small, 4 medium and 4 large glass jars.

Balloons

9 inch balloons, assorted colors

Some students may have latex allergy. Be sure to check before using.

Batteries

size-D, alkaline

These are basic workhorse brands, available everywhere.

BB Shot

at least 30 BBs, 5/32 inch in diameter

Needed for #09 Floating and Sinking and #16 Pressure.

Beakers

50 mL, heat-resistant Pyrex

Needed for #10 Analysis and #12 Solutions.

Bobby Pins

2 inches long

The classic hair gizmo, needed for #18 Sound.

Bottle Caps

crimped-edge, new

Ideal for counting, uniform weights, and mini-containers to hold small portions of chemicals. These unused caps flare more widely than recycled caps. Used bottle caps, if unbent/undamaged, are an excellent free alternative.

Camphor

granules

This is a specialty item for #13 Cohesion/Adhesion. Toss the tiniest specks of DRY camphor (the smaller the better), ONTO the surface skin of a glass of water. Watch them zip and spin around, fueled by the energy of breaking hydrogen bonds! If you allow water to adhere to the surface of these specks (get them wet), nothing happens.

Be aware that camphor irritates eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and is highly toxic if swallowed. Because it evaporates readily, keep tightly sealed, and use only where good air circulation is available. Maintain adult supervision during use.

Candles - birthday

Needed for #09 Floating and Sinking, #11 Oxidation, and #14 Kinetic Model.

Candles - emergency

cylindrical, 5 inches by about 3/4 inches diameter

Also called utility candles. A handy heating source. Correctly sized for #09 Floating and Sinking. Drip catchers not included.

Canisters

16-mm film-canister, snap-on lid

Once ubiquitous, now hard to find. Needed for #09 Floating and Sinking, #16 Pressure, and #23 Rocks and Minerals.

Canning Ring with Lid

fit regular-mouth canning jars

These may be available only seasonally in some stores. Avoid wide-mouth size. Needed for #16 Pressure and #17 Light. Only rings (not lids) are used in #40 Earth, Moon & Sun, and #43 Focus Pocus.

Canning Rings with Lids

fit regular-mouth canning jars

These may be available only seasonally in some stores. Avoid wide-mouth size. Needed for #16 Pressure and #17 Light. Only rings (not lids) are used in #40 Earth, Moon & Sun, and #43 Focus Pocus.

Clay - modeling

oil-based, non-drying

Sold by the 100 gram stick, about 1/4 cup, in assorted colors (our choice). One stick serves a whole classroom for TOPS applications.

Clothespins

wooden, spring-action

These are handy lab items to keep in stock. We use them as bulb holders, tongs, clips, and more.

Craft Sticks

wood

This little flat stick that held your childhood popsicle aloft has many constructive lab applications. Needed for #200 Diving into Pressure and Buoyancy.

Cups - plastic

9 or 10 ounce; clear, flexible, plastic

"Solo" brand or equivalent sold in grocery stores is suitable. Avoid brittle plastic. Used in #16 Pressure.

Dowel - thick

wood, 3/4 inch diameter x 6 inch length

Needed for #09 Floating and Sinking. Must float freely inside a graduated cylinder.

Dowel - thin

wood, 3/16 inch diameter by 6 inch length

This diameter fits the hole in our ceramic refrigerator magnets. Needed for #20 Magnetism.

Dropper Bottle with Eyedropper

1/2 ounce, amber glass

Very handy for storing and conveniently dispensing small quantities of liquid. You may also purchase eyedroppers without bottles as item #1120.

Eyedroppers

glass, with rubber bulbs and screw-on plastic bottle top

These have many lab uses. You may purchase them separately here, or with 1/2 ounce dropper bottles (as item #1121).

Separately, these also double as Cartesian Divers in #200 Diving into Pressure & Buoyancy. If you already have droppers, test them in advance to see if they make good 'divers': Remove plastic bottle top, if any. Dropper must float when empty, then sink with a one-squeeze-intake of water. Test that the seal between bulb and barrel is water tight: The empty dropper should float for a day or so in a glass of water, without taking on visible water.

Eyedroppers - plastic pipette

inexpensive plastic dropper, 3ml, .5ml grads

A lab staple, this budget eyedropper is made of transparent plastic and will deliver uniform drops for your experiments.

Filter Paper

lab grade

A handy lab supply, 12.5 cm dia. circles. Lab grade filters are remarkably expensive. Rinse and dry after each use to use again! Hey, TOPS is not rocket science.

Flashlight Bulbs

4.5 volt, with collar

This traditional filament bulb shines reliably bright (won't blow out) with 3 size-D batteries, yet still glows visibly with just 1 battery. Used in #19 Electricity, #32 Electricity, and #91 Global TOPS.

Tips on shopping elsewhere: Select bulbs with protruding metal 'collars' to facilitate secure integration into clothespin bulb-holders. Use just one bulb brand and resistance rating so all bulbs shine with equal brightness when powered by equal voltage.

Food Coloring - blue

liquid, dispensed in 1 fl. oz. squeeze bottle

A handy science supply used to make water more visible. Used in #39 Corn and Beans, #41 Planets and Stars, and several other TOPS modules.

Glycerine

liquid dispensed in 2 fl. oz. plastic bottle

Used in #13 Cohesion/Adhesion and optionally in #42 Focus Pocus. A great addition to soap solution for making strong, large bubbles.

Graduated Cylinder - 10 mL

shatter resistant plastic on stable base

An important lab inquiry tool for measuring small liquid volumes.

Graduated Cylinder - 100 mL

shatter resistant plastic on stable base

An important lab inquiry tool for measuring larger liquid volumes.

Gram Pocket Scale

digital, pocket size

Digitally weighs up to 500 grams, plus tare container. Sensitive to 0.1 gram in multiple weight units. Durable, but not childproof. Comes with two AAA batteries to get you started.

Lime - garden

powdered calcium hydroxide

Needed in #11 Oxidation to make limewater, the classic test for carbon dioxide. Only one small pinch is needed per liter.

Litmus Paper

100 red strips and 100 blue strips in 2 tubes

Traditional acid/base indicator strips. Red strips turn blue in base; blue strips turn red in acid. Needed for #10 Analysis

Magnet - ceramic

rectangle, 3/16 inch thick

Your basic refrigerator magnet, about the width and length of a large postage stamp, with N and S poles on each face and a hole in the middle. A useful and popular science supply used in may TOPS titles. Purchase at least 2 per student.

Magnifier - hand lens

3X clear plastic hand lens

You'll find many uses for this basic tool of scientific inquiry. Very nice quality for the price. Supports #17 Light, #23 Rocks and Minerals, and #42 Focus Pocus. (One 3X hand lens is also included in each #100 Triple Magnifier Kit.)

Magnifiers - 25X 'Gumdrop' Lenses

larger clear plastic 'gumdrop' lenses

Purchase multiple lenses. Add your own simple materials to economically get a 25X TOPScope into the hands of each student. Comes with full instructions and starter activities. (One 25X lens is also included in each #100 Triple Magnifier Kit.)

Magnifiers - 36X 'Dome' Lenses

smaller clear plastic 'dome' lenses

Purchase multiple lenses. Add your own simple materials to economically get a 36X TOPScope into the hands of each student. Comes with full instructions and starter activities. (One 36X lens is also included in each #100 Triple Magnifier Kit.)

Microscope Slides

glass, standard size

Used in #17 Light for diffraction experiments. For viewing microscope specimens, consider cutting slides, almost for free, from clear plastic bakery cartons. Smooth any sharp edges with sandpaper or an emery board.

Mirror

4x6 inch clear, reflecting plastic

A handy scientific tool. It is made of shatter-proof plastic with peel-off protective film. The plane surface may be flexed for funny faces and interesting experiments. Needed in #17 Light, #42 Focus Pocus.

Nails - 1 1/2 inch

steel carpenter's flat-head nail, 6-penny

A specialty item supporting #42 Focus Pocus.

Nails - 2 1/2 inch

steel carpenter's flat-head nail, 10-penny

Used in some TOPS titles. A surprisingly handy scientific supply.

Nails - 3 1/2 inch

steel carpenter's flat-head nail, 16-penny

A specialty item supporting #42 Focus Pocus and #20 Magnetism.

Nails - wire

1/16 inch diameter steel

A specialty item supporting #42 Focus Pocus. Many small light nails, including finishing nails, have this approximate diameter.

Nut and Bolt

1/2 inch, steel

The bolt may be any length. We supply a 1 1/2 inch-long bolt with a 1/2 inch-inside-diameter nut to fit it, with 3/4 inch outside-diameter hex-heads on both pieces. Nut MUST screw up flush, to contact underside of bolt head. This is a specialty item for #02 Measuring Length.

Paper Clips

size #1, steel, box of 100

Paper clips have 1001 uses in TOPS experiments, and science in general. Feel free to use paper clips you already have, but be aware that different brands come in different sizes and weights. In experiments where uniformity is important, don't mix brands.

Paper Plates

9-inch diameter, generic white

A classic ripple edge-design, with wide application in TOPS experiments. Buy these here for convenience, or for less at your local grocery store.

Pulley

single wheel

A specialty item needed for #22 Machines.

Rubber Bands - assorted

10 grams each of thin, medium and thick

You get 30 grams of soft, strong, durable rubber bands: thin #16 (about 50), medium #32 (about 20), and heavy-duty #64 (about 10). These sizes are specifically selected to work in most TOPS experiments.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses

CE Certified for solar viewing - use with book #40 The Earth Moon and Sun and #45 Pi in the Sky

Special offer for the 2014 partial solar eclipse on October 23rd. Most of North America will be able to see a partial eclipse, which will be especially dramatic in the northern states and Canada. While supplies last, get yours today!

Please remember that looking at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can be very dangerous. Only look directly at the sun with solar eclipse viewing glasses.

Spring Scale

2.5 Newton, 250 gram capacity

A zero-adjustable scale that measures weight and force at different angles (from vertical to horizontal) to the nearest 5 grams. Spring scales with twice this capacity (500 g) gives you only half the precision (nearest 10 grams) and may lack the needed accuracy. Used in #21 Motion and #22 Machines.

Steel Wool

fine grade, unsoaped

A handy lab supply, for studying electricity. Each pad is about the size of a classic Shredded Wheat biscuit. Used in #11 Oxidation and #32 Electricity.

Stopper - cork

size #10

This cork is about 1 inch in diameter across the larger end. You may freely substitute your own synthetic wine corks trimmed to size, or pair smaller corks together. Needed for #09 Floating and Sinking.

Stopper - rubber

black rubber, size #6, no hole

Used in #09 Floating and Sinking, #14 Kinetic Model, and #22 Machines.

Straight Pins

steel, one and 1/16 inch long

Used in many TOPS experiments. Sometimes required for their magnetic properties. Don't purchase aluminum straight pins by mistake.

Straight Pins - Discounted for Rust

steel, one and 1/16 inch long

These are unopened packages of straight pins we have discounted because they have rusted a bit while being stored in the warehouse. Used in many TOPS experiments. Sometimes required for their magnetic properties. Don't purchase aluminum straight pins by mistake.

Straws - straight

plastic, thin

Any length straw, between 0.20 and 0.25 inches in diameter is suitable. Grocery stores generally carry straws with flexible "elbows." You can use those if you cut off the bendable section before using.

Sugar Cubes

126 cubes (not bricks), teaspoon-size

This is a specialty item for #35 Metric Measuring.

Syringes - large diameter

10 mL capacity, about 2 teaspoons

Syringes are a handy lab item for measuring out precise amounts of liquid, creating instant vacuums, and feeling the amazing force of atmospheric pressure. Keep 2 different diameters on hand to illustrate how the force of pressure changes with applied area. You can also buy syringes in farm stores. Those intended for oral medication are sold without needles. If you must purchase the needle, make sure it is removable.

This is a specialty item for #16 Pressure.

Syringes - small diameter

3 mL capacity, about 1/10 ounce

Syringes are a handy lab item for measuring out precise amounts of liquid, creating instant vacuums, and feeling the amazing force of atmospheric pressure. Keep 2 different diameters on hand to illustrate how the force of pressure changes with applied area. You can also buy syringes in farm stores. Those intended for oral medication are sold without needles. If you must purchase the needle, make sure it is removable.

This is a specialty item for #14 Kinetic Model and #16 Pressure.

Tape - clear

3/4 inch x 1000 inch roll

Your standard desk tape with matte write-on surface.

Tape - masking

3/4 inch x 55 yd roll

A handy science supply used in most TOPS modules.

Test Tube - large disposable

36 mL capacity, 20 mm OD, 6 inch (150 mm) length

A lighter weight rimless Pyrex test tube made with thinner glass.

Test Tube - large reusable

34 mL capacity, 20 mm OD, 6 inch (150 mm) length

A tough Pyrex test tube made with rim and thicker glass. Has a white spot for labeling.

Test Tube - medium disposable

19 mL capacity, 16 mm OD, 5 inch (125 mm) length

A lighter weight rimless Pyrex test tube made with thinner glass.

Test Tube - medium reusable

14 mL capacity, 15 mm OD, 5 inch (125 mm) length

A tough Pyrex test tube made with rim and thicker glass. Has a white spot for labeling.

Test Tube - small disposable

6 mL capacity, 12 mm OD, 3 inch (75 mm) length

A lighter weight rimless Pyrex test tube made with thinner glass.

Test Tube - small reusable

9 mL capacity with 13 mm OD and 4 inch (100 mm) length

A tough Pyrex test tube made with rim and thicker glass. Has a white spot for labeling.

Thermometer

red alcohol, calibrated in °F and °C

A compact protective aluminum back-scale makes this item more visible, less fragile, and less prone to roll off lab tables than traditional lab thermometers. Used in #14 Kinetic Model and #15 Heat. Works in all TOPS experiments requiring temperature measurement, except one.

Thread

light duty, 25 yd spool

Just plain old thread. Used in many TOPS titles, especially in Pendulums #34.

Tubing - medium ID

clear plastic, 1/4 inch ID, 3/8 inch OD

This diameter tubing, fitted through small washers (item #1310) and sealed with modeling clay (item #1150) creates air and water-tight seals in #16 Pressure.

Tubing - narrow ID

clear plastic, 1/8 inch ID

Model how a thermometer works. Watch a colored bubble of water move up and down theses tubes as air expands and contracts with temperature. Used in #14 Kinetic Model.

Tuning Fork - long

aluminum, low C, with 128 c/s frequency stamp

A pair of tuning forks, one long (lower frequency) and one short (higher frequency), are specialty items used in #18 Sound. Also a must for teaching about sound in general.

Tuning Fork - short

aluminum, middle C, with 256 c/s frequency stamp

A pair of tuning forks, one long (lower frequency) and one short (higher frequency), are specialty items used in #18 Sound. Also a must for teaching about sound in general.

Washer - large

1 3/8 inch flat washer with 9/16 inch hole

A specialty item used in #11 Oxidation and #37 Animal Survival.

Washers - small

7/8 inch flat washer with 3/8 inch hole

Used in many TOPS labs. Item #1290 (medium tubing) used in #16 Pressure fits through these smaller washers.

Wire - 22 gauge iron

bare wire

A specialty item used for #18 Sound.

Wire - 24 gauge copper

bare wire

This science lab staple is used in #19 Electricity, #20 Magnetism and #33 Magnetism.

Wire - 28 gauge iron

bare wire

A specialty item used in #09 Floating and Sinking.

Wire - 30 gauge copper

thin, bare wire

A specialty item used in #19 Electricity.

Wire - 32 gauge iron

bare wire

A specialty item used in #01 Pendulums.

Wire - set of 3

15 cm each of aluminum, copper and steel

All three wires have equal 20 gauge thickness (same as a paper clip), and equal lengths (6 inches). This is a specialty item for #15 Heat.

Wire - very thin copper

bare wire

The thinner the better. Old household appliance cords may be braided into suitably thin strands. Nip the insulation with wire stripping pliers, then pull off the insulation to inspect. This is a speciality item for #20 Magnetism and #33 Magnetism.

Wire - wrapping

100 feet, plastic insulated

Also called magnet wire or bell wire. This science-lab staple is used in #19 Electricity, #20 Magnetism, #33 Magnetism, and #91 Global TOPS.

Wrapping wire may be recycled from old motors or transformers. If insulated with paint rather than plastic tubing, end leads will need to be sandpapered clean, not stripped with pliers.

Wire - wrapping

3 meters, plastic insulated, small amount for individual students or lab partners

Also called magnet wire or bell wire. This science-lab staple is used in #19 Electricity, #20 Magnetism, #33 Magnetism, and #91 Global TOPS.

Wrapping wire may be recycled from old motors or transformers. If insulated with paint rather than plastic tubing, end leads will need to be sandpapered clean, not stripped with pliers.