Looking for some new tools to incorporate in your classroom's Makerspace? This list is for you!

7+ STEAM Tools to Promote Learning in Your Makerspace

Makerspaces are a great way to encourage self-directed learning, problem solving, creativity, and collaboration in the classroom. When it comes to what type of tools to include in your Makerspace, the options are plentiful. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

3D Design 

The majority of schools don't have access to their own 3D printers, but that doesn't mean your students wouldn't benefit from using different 3D design tools. Majority of these tools are free or inexpensive for student use, and the end result can be used in a 3D printer, or uploaded to other popular programs such as Minecraft. Here are a few options software for 3D Design:

  1. Tinkercad (PC, Mac, Chromebooks)
  2. Morphi (PC, Mac, and iPad)
  3. SketchUp (PC, Mac, Web)
  4. Fusion360 (PC, Mac)
  5. Autodesk (PC, Mac, Chromebooks, iPad)

Raspberry Pi

The open source, versatile computer that costs a mere $35! Students can learn programming, and participate in a variety of educational projects via their global online community.

E-Textiles and Wearables

A great way to get fashion-savvy students interested in STEAM and making. Electronic textiles and wearables are an especially hot topic with girls.

  1. Lilypad Kits
  2. Conductive Thread
  3. Conductive Fabric

Squishy Circuits

This conductive and insulated playdoh can be used in a variety of ways. Learn more at the following sites:

  1. Premade Squishy Circuit Kits
  2. Make your own playdough

Legos

These classic toys still have a lot to offer students today. Check out the following links for more on how they can engage your students in STEAM, Robotics, and various engineering projects:

  1. Lego Education
  2. Lego Challenges
  3. Coding Offline with Legos

The above lists are from Meredith Martin's training session, Getting Started with Makerspaces and STEAM, which I encourage you to view in full inside the Teacher Learning Community.

Which of these ideas do you want to try first? Let me know your favorite in a comment on this article.

About the Author
Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at editor@simplek12.com.