The reality is, Makerspaces do cost money. But starting doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Start small and plan ahead. To help you get there, here are some tips on how to start with nothing and how to fundraise to help make your STEAM dreams come true.
1. Visit the local $2 store for simple, cheap materials. Visit our free lesson plan page to access great ideas on running a session using low cost materials.
1. Use what you have. A school is filled with items that you can scavenge and use in your space. When I started looking around the teachers were more than happy to let me snoop through their storage cupboards for supplies. Often there are sets of lego or blocks that haven't been used for ages that could do with a dust off and a new lease on life.
2. If you have a newsletter, put the word out for donations. Ask for recycled items that would be going in the bin at home.
3. Ask the local community for donations of items that they may be throwing away or to contribute to a fund.
4. Educate your families and community on what a Makerspace is. Why do you want to run it, what will it do for their kids, why is making and tinkering so important. If your families are aware of this, they will be more inclined to get involved and help.
5. Fundraise! There are many ways to get money into your space. See our fundraising ideas post for more information. Or click here.
6. Ask the PTA for a set amount of money to help you get it started.
7. Grants are another option such as Unlocking Curious Minds.
At the end of the day the cost of a Makerspace program doesn't need to stop your plans.