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Sustaining a MakerSpace

I am currently completing year two of running a MakerSpace in my library.  It is a constant struggle to make sure that materials are available and ready for upcoming builds and projects. 
Here are a few ways that I have been able to keep up with the needs of our kids and the space. 

Donations of recycled materials are an easy fix.  I have found that just letting families know what is needed at the beginning of the year seems to keep those materials coming in throughout the year.  Just today, there were 3 bags of recycled materials sitting by my mailbox in the office.  They contained tin cans, plastic water bottles, lots of paper towel and toilet paper rolls, and the ever popular duct tape.  I have also been gifted fabulous donations of yarn, fabric, and other craft materials.  

Donor's Choose projects have been a great resource for our MakerSpace.  I have created and have fully funded 3 projects that range from sewing machines and knitting needles to Keva planks and lego wheels and axels.  

PTAs are a fabulous resource, they are always willing to help when possible.  Ours has funded mini grants for robotics materials and they even purchased our 3D printer.

This year I am trying something new...a MakerKid's Summer Camp.  My partner in crime, Mrs. Haynes and I are offering a maker camp for 25 second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students.  Our camp will be held July18-22 from 9am-Noon for $125.00.  ALL funds will go toward materials for the MakerSpace.  Forms just went home 2 days ago and we have 7 registrations already!  We are really excited to work with kids this summer and try some fun summer maker projects...water balloon launch here we come!

School District Foundation grants have been a huge asset to our space.  Our MakerSpace has been awarded 3 foundation grants.  The first was an almost $8,000.00 grant that got our space started.  The second was a grant to bring more sets of Dot and Dash robots, and the third was another large grant written with 2 other librarians in my district that is heavy on robotics (we will share materials throughout the year)

And, let's just be honest, I buy things for the space ALL THE TIME!  Rolls of ribbon, fabric, hot glue gun sticks, calligraphy pens, and so on. 

Looking forward to year three and continuing to scavenge and save for MakerSpace materials.  


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