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Classroom Recipes: Build a Makerspace for Under $1,000

Build a Makerspace for Under $1,000 graphic

Teachers around the country are excited about Makerspaces, and for good reason. By turning a classroom or library into a Makerspace, students can join a global movement of makers while learning STEM in a hands-on way.

What is a Makerspace? We like the definition they use at OEDB:

“Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn.”

For a teacher, that usually means creating a designated space for kids to meet, create, invent, and learn outside of the traditional classroom structure.

To help you get started with your Makerspace, we’ve put together a few lists of supplies you can request through DonorsChoose. These recipes are a great place to begin, and we’ve included resources below for educators who want to take their making to the next level.

ps126-98 (3) copyLearning with LEGO

Lego Mindstorms Ev3
Lego Mindstorms Ev3 Expansion Set
Lego Bricks & More Tower
Acer Chromebook
The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Idea Book
AA Batteries (x2)
25 Compartment Organizer (x2)

Total: $929

p1944316_007_mdlgIntro to Engineering

KEVA Structures 200 Block Set (x4)
LEGO Structures Classic Large Creative Brick Box (x2)
K’NEX 35 Model Building Set
Marbulous-Translucent Marble Run
ThinkFun Maker Studio Gears Kit
MakeDo Find and Make Car Kit

Total: $400

p1944316_007_mdlgFun with Robots

Ozobot 2.0 (x2)
Ollie App Controlled Robot (x2)
Dash & Dot Wonder Pack
iPad Mini 2

Total: $960

p1944316_007_mdlgIntro to Coding

Arduino UNO Beginner Starter Kit (x3)
Acer Chromebook (x3)
Arduino Sensor Kit (x3)
Exploring Ardunio Book
Solderless Breadboard (x3)

Total: $915

p1944316_007_mdlg3D Printer Magic

FlashForge Finder 3d Printer
3doodler Pen (x3)
4 colors of FlashForge filament
3doodler filaments
Guide to 3D Printing in the Classroom: Recipes for Success

Total: $920

p1944316_007_mdlgBasic Circuits

Cubelets Six Building Kit (x2)
Snap Circuits Student Training Program (x2)
LittleBits Electronics Deluxe Kit
Makey Makey Invention Kit (x3)
25 Compartment Organizer (x4)

Total: $918

Where to shop for everything above when creating your project: Amazon Business, CDW, Kaplan Early Learning, Best Buy Education, Quill.com, Staples Advantage, NASCO

Inspired by anything you see? Create a new project!

Of course, with such a variety of vendors, the prices listed here might vary. We encourage you to shop around to get the best deals. These are also suggestions for supplies, not actual bundles, so feel free to mix and match as you please.

And if you have questions about where to find any specific items, check out this guide to commonly requested items.

Other Makerspace Resources for Teachers

  • To go beyond the resources you can fit in your classroom, take your class on a field trip to a local Fab Lab. Here’s a map on the Fab Foundation website.
  • Educators interested in connecting with other teachers working on engineering in the classroom can visit Link Engineering.
  • HS Librarian and blogger Colleen Graves has put together a great list of links for teachers getting started with the Maker community.
  • Kristina Holsweiss runs a blog about her awesome library Makerspace (or, as they call it, their “Libratory”) funded through DonorsChoose projects.
  • Make It At Your Library is full of inspiration for specific projects to do in your Makerspace.
  • Our friends at CODE.org are a great resource for learning programming yourself and teaching it to your students.
  • Maker Ed has put together the excellent Youth Makerspace Playbook. Here’s link to the free pdf, or you can buy a hard copy here.
  • Maker Ed has also developed a comprehensive resource library – the Spaces and Places section is particularly relevant for teachers.
  • Also check out the Maker Ed Google+ community for maker educators
  • These recipes aren’t just for STEM classes – see how this English teacher uses Sphero in her classroom.
  • There are several free programs available for 3d modeling, including TinkerCAD and SketchUp.
  • San Francisco’s wonderful Exploratorium runs an online course on Tinkering for new makers.
  • For teachers in geographic areas that qualify for the “Fuel Your School” partnership, here’s some information on how you could use that offer for a Makerspace in your school.

And, as always, you can take inspiration from your fellow teachers. Here’s a list of DonorsChoose projects involving Makerspaces.

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