I am frequently asked for advice on what materials to purchase for school maker spaces. I am definitely not an expert on this topic, but I have gotten a couple of grants for B.O.S.S. HQ (Building of Super Stuff Headquarters) that have allowed me to try out different products. I thought I would devote this week to sharing about a few items that I have judged to be well worth the money.
(If you intend to apply for a grant for a school maker space, be sure to research your district’s policies on spending grant money. If you need to use approved vendors, then you should verify that you will be able to purchase the items you propose and that the vendor will accept your district’s preferred method of payment.)
We are about to wrap up our robot activities in Maker Club for this year, and I’ve learned a lot about the robots we have in our space. If you are thinking of purchasing robots for your maker space, there are many factors to consider. Of course, I didn’t consider any of those factors – just creativity potential. We were also sent a couple of robots by companies for review.
Of course we have been learning as we experiment with various robots that they each have pros and cons. Keeping them charged, for example, can be a challenge. And the learning curve definitely varies.
I thought I would share some of the info I’ve gathered about the robots we have in case you would like to see a side-by-side comparison. I’ve embedded the sheet I’m using to keep notes on each one. It is a document I plan to update in the future with some of the other robots we are still trying out. You can also access it here if you prefer not to have to scroll to see the details.
One thing that I would recommend is that you commit to buying at least 2 of whatever robot you decide on. It helps for grouping – and when one of them has a dead battery or other troubleshooting is necessary. For our Maker Club, we have 4 different types of robots, so the students rotated to each station to try them out. Then, their groups were assigned a specific robot that they are currently preparing for our Robot Olympics.
If you have any questions about the robots, feel free to leave a comment on this post. For more maker space resources, check out my Pinterest Board here.