Why is this program called IDEAS?

IDEAS stands for “Inventing, Designing, and Engineering for All Students.”

I have students with varying abilities and strengths—can I use this program with them?


How do I get started?

If you aren’t sure about making but you want to facilitate making experiences with your students, our recommendation is to flip through the curricula and pick ONE activity that captures your interest—then TRY IT yourself! The energy you feel after having made something might just convince you to bring this to your students.

Do I need a 3D printer?

A 3D printer is not required for the curricula to be successful. The IDEAS Curriculum (Grades 6–8) is designed for student work to culminate with printing a 3D object, but that’s not essential. The IDEAS Curriculum (Grades K–5) primarily relies on consumables and everyday craft materials, with options to include 3D design and printing lessons if you have that equipment available.

I feel uncomfortable using tools like hammers with my kindergarten and elementary school students. Can I still do the program?

Yes! There are adaptations included in the curriculum that describe alternative techniques for facilitating many of the activities.

Where do I store the supplies?

When you’re preparing to run a club, ordering and organizing supplies is a great place to begin. First, you’ll need a place to store the maker supplies you collect or purchase. For some, this is a closet in a hallway. For others, this is an open space under a table. Having clear bins for the supplies is useful so you can easily see what is in each; we suggest placing two activities’ worth of supplies in each bin. Bins with lids are ideal so you can stack them.

You’ll also need a place to store students’ projects as they work on them. Asking colleagues or students to bring in cardboard boxes or shoe boxes can do the trick. Maybe you can find some empty shelves where students can store their in-process projects. If there is an easily accessible space where students can safely leave their work in progress, definitely use it. It will create less set-up time for you and will allow students to get right to work!

What ages are the curricula best suited for?

Many of the IDEAS Curriculum activities are well-suited for middle-school students, while the IDEAS World-Building Curriculum is geared toward elementary learners.

Do you have any tips for funding the necessary supplies?

As you read through the Materials List, you’ll likely discover that you have access to several items already, such as pencils, markers, construction paper, paint and brushes, different kinds of tape, or other basic office and craft supplies. The Materials List also includes a supplementary list of consumable items that can be collected from families and the community.

How much space and time do I need to do the program?

Making can happen anywhere. All you need is a space for students to work and a space to store supplies. We also recommend having a dedicated area for a hot glue gun station. This means you’ll need a desk or surface near an outlet. 

The time to complete an activity can vary widely, depending on the context in which the activity is being implemented, the extent to which each activity is implemented, the ages and interests of the students, the facilitator’s comfort with the activities, and other factors. You’ll get a sense of the amount of time activities require as you try them out before you facilitate them with students, and can decide on the best ways to adapt them for your situation.

I don’t know how to use mini motors and copper tape. Are there step-by-step instructions for doing skills I don’t yet have?

Each World-Building activity includes step-by-step image and text instructions for facilitators to follow. Whether it’s making a pinch pot or creating a circuit to light up an LED, we’ve got you covered!

Administrators FAQ’s to come.

Parent FAQs to come.

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