Makerspace Resources for School Librarians

Screenshot 2015-02-20 15.50.21(Updated post from my Podbean Site) Updated 3/14/15

Summer 2014 I was asked to present a webinar to Ohio School Librarians for InfOhio. The recording is available here.

I also created a resource list (adapted from a collaborative presentation with LISD librarian, Leah Mann) and year long programming ideas that I will continue to update on this page.






  • Maker Journals: (How great would it be to have a maker journal all year? Or use Maker ed as authentic research? Kids could have to make something in small challenge groups and record all findings and modifications in a maker journal! Please teachers, let’s collaborate on this idea!)
  • Costumes (Even from paper!)
  • Card and board games
  • Inspire kids to invent and create with Rube Goldburg:
  • Make Retro games:
  • Make your own Squishy Circuits

Good for Upper ES- HS

  • Makedo Kit (Make anything with cardboard) – Great for ES and Caine’s Arcade
  • littleBits Pro library  or One of Everything – Good for learning about sensors, synths, and basic electronics
  • Makey Makey (Order a class set and order extra alligator clips) – excellent resource for teaching the basics of circuits and electronics
  • Hummingbird Kits (Order 5) – a little more complicated and require coding
  • Arduino (Once your kids have mastered littleBits, Makey Makey, and still want to learn more….) 
  • Raspberry Pi (Look at Adafruit’s project page so you’ll have some ideas on what else you need to order besides this microcomputer. )
  • Sphero 2.0 ( I call Sphero my library cat, but go ahead and order a class set. These guys can help students visualize distance, rate, time, and percentages! Ollie is just for fun though!)
  • Snap Circuits (You can actually order a lot of these kits from Barnes and Noble) 
  • Sugru: Crazy cool stuff for toy hacking workshops, creating your own battery cases (You can also buy this from Adafruit)
  • Verve: Legos of the Future (This looks like a blend between littleBits and Makey Makey)
  • Circuit Scribe: Draw your own Circuits
  • Bare Conductive : Electric Paint
  • Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit — Great kit for learning Arduino.  You can use Ardublock on Sparkfun’s site to help kids with coding Arduino with a drag and drop platform.  (Also, learned about an extension created by Kreg Hanning where you can program your littleBits Arduino module in Scratch! Go get that at his github!)
  • Digital Sandbox– All the power of Arduino without having to plug in all the tiny pieces.  A good starter to teach 4th and up about programming and move them into Arduino later (Also works with Ardublocks which looks like Scratch!)
  • Wearable Electronics for soft circuits like Flora or Gemma (But again, have a specific project in mind and buy all accoutrements)
  • 3d Printer (I’d wait for these to come down in price become more efficient)

Good for Lower ES

  • Makedo Kit
  • Bee Bot : Codable robot for littles
  • Cubelets: Cool snap together cubelets that teach you about robotics! (Good for MS)
  • Kibo Robot : Snap blocks together, scan, and watch Kibo go! I love that this teaches coding skills in a kinesthetic way!
  • Dot and Dash: Good programmable robot that kids under 2nd grade can handle
  • Paper Circuits: Copper tape, 2032 coincell batteries, pre-printed instructions
  • Rocket projects- balloons duct taped to Hotwheels, DIY stomp rockets, lots of good stuff out there on Instructables! (Good for MS)
  • Tegu Building Blocks
  • K-nex and Legos (Also good for MS)
  • Blink Blink Kit– Fun paper circuit kits
  • Rigamajig – Build crazy cool stuff like catapults and pulleys- flat packs for storage
  • Mobile Mag Wall for libraries– LOOKS AMAZING!

*What if I can’t get it all? Decide how you want to run your space. Do you wanna have workshops or challenges? A challenge lasts a lot longer, so you could buy 10 sets of Makey Makeys and run a challenge for a few months.  Or get 10 Spheros and do a different Sphero challenge each month. Just keep stretching your ideas and see where your imagination can take you, but don’t get bogged down ordering a lot of stuff you do not know how to use.  Buy a set of something and see where it takes you!

  • Brushbot supplies: Scrub brushes and Electric Toothbrushes from the Dollar Tree
  • Old car toys (Rocket propelled w balloons), balloons, old car toys with gears or switches, electronic motors for scribble bots (can buy from Radio Shack or get them out of a dollar store toothbrush), wire cutters, wire from phone lines (like old internet cords, etc), alligator clips, old tennis balls, old computers, old electronics, empty/cleaned coffee bags, oatmeal containers, 2 liter bottles, Modge Podge
  • Subscribe to some Maker lists like: Maker Ed by Diana Rendina, Makers by Clay Forsberg,  Maker Space by James Herzing,  Maker BFFS by Colleen Graves
  • Use Hashtags:  #makered, #makerspaces, #makeymakey, #kidscancode, etc
  • Join our PLC Maker chat the first Wed of the month from 10:30-11:30 #makerlibchat


Month Low Tech High Tech Cur Connections
August Origami LED Origami



September Duct tape projects Little Bits-space kit-synth kit

Snap Circuits

October Makedo- make something with cardboard (Caine’s Arcade) Frankentoys- make it light up or move, etc with Hummingbird

Great resource here or buy Sugru to make interchangeable toys

Rolly bot– Like Sphero but made with a brushbot

November Nanowrimo Interactive book w Makey Makey

Scratch coding  -Use resources from Pursuitery. (See below)

  1. Chasing Game Challenge
  2. Maze Game Challenge
English- Story writing/Science- Electricity, conductive materials, circuits
December Upcycle old picture books into coasters w Modge Podge (Find words and make your own magnetic poetry style coasters, or make story coasters.) LED Throwies

Hour of Code


Jan Cardboard Mazes w Makedo Game Controller Workshop w Makey Makey (from MakerJawn) o#MakeyMakeychallenge –Challenge them to create their own game and invent their own game controller. 

Logic Puzzle w Makey Makey

Digital Storytelling with Scratch

Math- X/Y Axis, Equations, Computational Thinking/ English- Interactive Story idea changed into a logic puzzle
Feb Unmake stuff Get kids to bring old stuff Paper Circuits- Interactive Greeting Cards( Circuit Scribe or Bare Conductive)  #MakeyMakeychallenge cont. Science- Electricity, conductive materials, circuits
March Make your own Ukelele Arduino Music ProjectsSphero Obstacle Course using Macrolab or Sphero Chariot Challenge Music/Art/STEM
April Rube Goldberg Challenge – Motion projectsWind Turbine Challenge: Animated Poems with Mozilla WebmakerHummingbird robot poems Makey Makey Maze w Brush Bot

Sphero – Chariot Challenge and Obstacle Course Challenge

May Upcycle a Day for the Month of May! – Coffee bag idea Raspberry Pi Photo booth  

Inventions for math “market”

Math- Market /Science- Recycling, properties of materials

Scratch Lessons (from Pursuitery )

Chasing Game Challenge:

Maze Game Challenge:               


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