An Open Letter to my Local Makerspace:
In my ongoing effort to support schools and libraries that are starting or growing a school makerspace, I wrote the following letter to my local Makerspace mailing list. I’m hoping this might be useful to other educators that are interested in reaching out to their local Maker/Hacker communities. Please let me know if you have other suggestions for how to reach out to the local maker community to support school based making.
Happy New Years Fellow Makers,
Summary: Seeking donations of Getting Started Maker supplies for mobile school MakerSpace kits.
The Pitch: Cleaning your workshop for the New Year? Trying to make room for a new Quad-Copter and a dual extruding 3D printer that converts into a CNC mill? Can’t find room to fit those spare LEDs or resistors into your parts bin?
Consider donating your extra Getting Started Maker supplies to help stock a mobile school MakerSpace kit. A growing number of school and libraries in the local school system are considering or have have created MakerSpaces. Many of these spaces are offering basic crafting supplies and simple building toys like Legos or PlayDoh for use by students. One of the biggest needs for these spaces is to offer a wider range of basic tools and supplies to support Maker projects and activities. A simple tub filled with basic electronic components and project supplies can be the start for a mobile Makerspace that can be loaned out to schools and classrooms. These kits will allow the new MakerSpaces to try out different projects and determine the best fit of tools and supplies for each space.
MakerSpaces are not an ‘official’ school system initiative but are being pulled together by educators that see the importance of students learning by making. Teachers and librarians are writing grants and seeking PTA funds but most are paying out of pocket to get started.
You can help by seeding these new MakerSpaces with materials that are suitable for getting started projects.
-Entry-level electronic components: LEDs, small motors, buzzers, switches, resistors, battery housings, conductive thread, conductive ink, copper tape, small breadboards, jumpers, etc.
–Complete beginner-intermediate kits: TV-B-Gone, Minty Boost, BrushBots, Robot kits.
–Well documented physical computing devices: Arduino, MakeyMakey, Raspberry Pi.
–Books: Books on getting started with electronics, soldering, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.
–Basic tools suitable for projects such as assembling a Printbot Simple kit: hex wrenches, screw drivers, small files, small wrenches, soldering iron and tools. (A number of grants have been for 3D printer kits for student to assemble.)
Background: Hi. I am Josh Ajima a Technology Resource Teacher. I blog about making in the classroom at DesignMakeTeach.com and publish designs on Thingiverse under the designmaketeach username. I’ve met some of you at the local 3D printer meet-ups. I usually have my Printrbot in tow. I have a real passion for 3D printing and have been demonstrating 3D printing to students/teachers and loaning out my personal 3D printer to schools in a mobile tool chest. I’ve been lucky enough to talk with teachers in my school system and the state about 3D Printing and MakerSpaces at workshops and conferences. I worked with one of your members at this years Virginia state tech conference. Hopefully, if you have questions he can verify that I’m legitimate and the projects I am working on fit the mission of your makerspace.
Logistics: If you are interested in contributing, please reply to the thread or email me directly at designmaketeach @ gmail.com and we can work out a time and/or place to pickup the supplies.