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

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.

Learning with LEGO
Lego Mindstorms Ev3Lego Mindstorms Ev3 Expansion SetLego Bricks & More TowerAcer ChromebookThe LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Idea BookAA Batteries (x2)25 Compartment Organizer (x2)
Total: $929

Intro to Engineering
KEVA Structures 200 Block Set (x4)LEGO Structures Classic Large Creative Brick Box (x2)K’NEX 35 Model Building SetMarbulous-Translucent Marble RunThinkFun Maker Studio Gears KitMakeDo Find and Make Car Kit
Total: $400

Fun with Robots
Ozobot 2.0 (x2)Ollie App Controlled Robot (x2)Dash & Dot Wonder PackiPad Mini 2
Total: $960

Intro to Coding
Arduino UNO Beginner Starter Kit (x3)Acer Chromebook (x3)Arduino Sensor Kit (x3)Exploring Ardunio BookSolderless Breadboard (x3)
Total: $915

3D Printer Magic
FlashForge Finder 3d Printer3doodler Pen (x3)4 colors of FlashForge filament3doodler filamentsGuide to 3D Printing in the Classroom: Recipes for Success
Total: $920

Basic Circuits
Cubelets Six Building Kit (x2)Snap Circuits Student Training Program (x2)LittleBits Electronics Deluxe KitMakey 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,, 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 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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