Many schools start a maker area, they do not have a lot of money to get started. So where to you begin filling out the space. There are so many options to choose from. First task to do is to look at what you already have. You may have iPads or an Ellison die cutter in your school. They can be used in your makerspace. You may have equipment that students can disassemble in a deconstruction area. There are probably may items that you already have to create a space.

So let's look at what you can purchase. You can use a Makey Makey with a laptop and project. It is a micro-controller board that connects USB and alligator clips to make connections. It can be used with science, math and digital storytelling. The Makey Makey is only $50. This is a great tool for centers and is inexpensive enough to buy a few of them.

If you do not have enough money to purchase a 3D printer, a more inexpensive option is to purchase a 3D Doodler. A 3D Doodler is a handheld 3D printer that can use PLA or ABS filament. I like this device for students who may not be skilled in cad design. Students can draw a 2D model on a piece of paper and trace it with the Doodler. They can make a couple of copies of the drawing and link them together with doodled lines. The student has a 3D object without using a 3D printer.

If you have iPads, there are several apps to take advantage of in your maker area. There are apps that can design for the 3D printer, gaming apps, video apps, augmented reality apps, photography apps, and apps that can create items be printed out on paper. Some of the apps are free, the others can be purchased the App Store. If you have Chromebooks, there are web-based apps that you can use. Tinkercad is one of the design apps we use with our chromebooks.

Papercrafts is the one of the tools that is missed when people are thinking of maker. All you need is a printer, some paper, scissors and tape. We have a a lot of luck with the paper roller coasters and using the Foldify iPad app for storytelling. Most schools have an Ellison Die cutter that can be used to create scenery for the background of images and videos.