If You had a $50K Budget for Making….

I’ve been asked to specify how I would spend $50,000 to start an elementary school along the path to learning-by-making. The suggestions are based on my experience working in schools. The three game-changers of fabrication, physical computing, and computer programming are well represented, along with tools for photography and multimedia authoring.

The only thing I forgot to add to the shopping list is an inexpensive MIDI keyboard for music composition and performance.

You have a choice between 20 Macbook Air laptops or up to 70 Toshiba laptops. I did not budget for carts, bags, or extended warranties.

Of course, you need multiple copies of Invent To Learn – Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, Super-Awesome Sylvia’s Super-Simple Arduino book, The Invent to Learn Guide to 3D Printing in the Classroom and the other books recommended here.

Here is my spreadsheet in Excel format and as a PDF document.

Of course, there’s always our list of favorite stuff to be found here too.

Happy shopping!


4 Comments on “If You had a $50K Budget for Making….

  1. Wonderful list, Gary. Thanks for that a la carte menu. I want to second Michael’s comment: for every dollar spent on program materials or curriculum, one should be lucky enough to spend x1.5 that amount on PD to get the activation process — great term — and the PLC learning work in place.

    It needs to be enough to support repeat encounters with the materials so teachers can learn like kids learn, by sharing what they’ve done, talking to each other and refining their thinking and approach…. Fun to look at that list.

  2. might budget some of that 50K to pay for Gary and or others to help you learn how to use all of that stuff with students. Yes I am sure many of you are experts and it will come naturally and I am sure you can read the book — but for my money I would stash away 5-10K and hire gary and sylvia so I actually do something fun with all of that….or at least shorten the activation process….