Educators often reach out and ask for a list of materials when they’re getting started with a makerspace or STEM/STEAM program. I often hesitate to provide a list, because I believe every space should be unique. With the opportunity to visit lots of spaces, each is a bit different--different set-up, different areas of interest, different feeling. That's what is great about a space that allows you to connect, collaborate, and apply your creativity in different ways.
After the start up of STEAM Maker spaces into school districts that I worked on, I learned one important thing – that the materials you put in your space should be based on the needs and interests of your students. The ideas and experiences should be co-created with the students you serve.
I understand that those just beginning this work may need a little jumpstart, so I created a blog post several years ago with makerspace items from A to Z. The list is often shared on social media and many teachers have reached out saying how helpful it has been. Whether starting a new maker space in your school or developing stem learning centers for your classroom, having a basic materials list is helpful. (especially for those writing grants or vying for budget items from school and district leaders.)
I figured that it was about time to update the original list and make it a bit more comprehensive, I reached out to my friend (and one of the most creative makers I know), Chris Woods. You know Chris as @DailySTEM. His social media posts, podcast, and book have been an inspiration to me and many. We collaborated on this list in an effort to include a wide variety of items that we know kids love and educators need. It includes consumable items like glue and markers, as well as donated recyclable items like cardboard and plastic containers. The list also includes tools and tech items, like Hummingbird robotics and Makedo.