Essential Items You Need to Build a Makerspace

Essential Items You Need to Build a Makerspace

Building out a STEM Makerspace can feel overwhelming. There are many things to think about and it can start to seem like it’s all about the “stuff”. Although any STEM program starts with great PBL experiences, the additional “stuff” is what makes it exciting!

Here are some ideas for great products you need in your Makerspace.

First, Set Up Your Ideal Makerspace

Create a functional STEM Makerspace by painting a full or partial wall with whiteboard or chalk paint for impromptu lessons. Adjustable safety glasses for kids and adults keep everyone protected while a sanitizer cabinet hygienically disinfects glasses and goggles between uses.

If you’re working with a large enough classroom, having a Makerspace workbench gives students a broad place to work, and often provides much needed cabinet space for storage. You may also consider a mobile Makerspace cart for moving a 3D printer, laser cutter, or other large, heavy items around the classroom or campus.

Finally, adding Makerspace storage containers helps you and your students organize the tools and materials that are necessary for building and creating projects. They keep items in an easy-to-access and organized fashion, plus they offer a great space for your students to store their works-in-progress.

Next, Fill it Out with Makerspace Tools

Nearly all of your STEM projects will require some form of cutting tool. Be sure to opt for blunt-tip kid’s scissors for those under age 12, and large straight scissors for cutting through tougher materials. A rotary cutter is ideal for cardboard, and you’ll want to get replacement blades frequently.

Hand tools to consider include a hammer, hand saw, and punch and chisel kit. Some power tools that might be useful include cordless drill/driver kits and drill bits.

All-in-one Makerspace kits for robotics and electronics units are a great way to get your classroom started since they include everything your students will need to complete a given project. Many of these kits also include online curriculum to help you incorporate the projects into your existing lesson plans.

Don’t forget to have the accessories on hand including coin cell batteries, maker tape, LED kits, and battery packs or holders.

Then, Add the Fun Extras

Items your students use up quickly could easily be bought in large quantities. Consider how much wood glue, white glue, glue sticks, adhesive putty, and masking tape your students may go through.

Depending on which Makerspace tools you choose, you may also need to keep a supply of nails, screws, templates, sandpaper in assorted grits, and tape measures on hand.

It’s a smart idea to keep one of your storage containers packed with a variety of craft supplies. Think about stocking small, decorative items like pom-poms, pipe cleaners, and craft sticks.

You’ll also want a range of paper products for different projects. Foam board is perfect for bases, walls, and structures. Graph paper helps students map out their ideas for dimensional accuracy. Colored cardstock and construction paper are always useful, and you may want to keep the paper remnants and scraps because you never when you’ll need them!

Lastly, you can never have too many washable markers, dry erase markers, colored gel pens, or graphite pencils and erasers.

Finally, Let Kids Create!

There are many other Makerspace items you may consider for your students, but the above ideas are a great place to start. Combined with kids’ creative imaginations, you’ll have unending uses for anything and everything. If you’re not sure where to begin, get a Makerspace starter kit and try it out in your classroom. Give students time to practice with it multiple times and see how they respond! You can also opt to slowly incorporate different tools and materials into the projects to help kids get acclimated.