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Fun Fact Friday: Storage Tips for Makey Makey and More!

August 30, 2019

Recently, we had an educator asking on our Facebook group for the best way to store copper tape. It lead us to thinking all about the storage woes teachers face in this maker madness era! So today we are sharing our favorite tips for storing Makey Makey and beyond!

Storing a Class Set of Makey Makeys

First off, we are looking into a longterm and robust solution for classroom storage of Makey Makey, but we've seen some great teacher hacks! Here are some of our favorite.

Photo Storage Boxes

Colleen (Our curriculum, community, and content director) stores everything in these Iris photo storage boxes. A lot of times you can find this particular size with a larger box that will contain each individual box. This way you can store the Makey Makey, USB cable, and alligator clips all in their own container. At the end of class, just share via your document camera what needs to be in the box.

The kids can see what to put back in the box and you can see that the students put everything back with a quick glance! 

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Reduce Reuse Recycle 

Diana Rendina repurposes old VHS cases! We don't know if you still have some lying around, but they are also clear and make a great container for our little invention kit.

Other Storage Containers

Bill Steinbach uses these stackable storage boxes, if you have the shelf space, these look great!

 

 We even noticed this teacher using index card bins for holding her Makey Makey kits!

 

Storing Alligator Clips

We've actually written a whole post on alligator clip hacks here. But our favorite way to store alligator clips is to hang up a magnetic knife rack from Ikea. You can place it on the side of a cart, on a wall, etc. It's easy to pull alligator clips off and easy to put them back! Plus, they stay untangled!

 

 

Storing Conductive Tape 

We love conductive tape, but it can get unruly quick! What do you do with your copper tape to keep it from being a tangled mess?

Ziplock Bags

One of the easiest hacks (but not necessarily full proof) is to keep copper tape rolls in a ziplock bag with the bag still zipped and just the end sticking out.

 

Office Supplies

A binder clip makes a great way to keep the tape from a tangled mess. 

 

 

This glue hack from Chibitronics is genius

 

 

3D Printed Solutions

We haven't tried it, but this 3d printed spool from Flounder on Thingiverse looks like a great way to keep your tape from entanglement!

Pre-cut Pieces

The ultimate teacher hack for keeping copper tape in order is to pre-cut pieces and give kids just the amount they need. It is important with this method that you explain that kids can't waste the tape! Kids need a little know-how in getting started with copper tape as it is very different than other types of tape! (Also, make sure you tell them the edges can be sharp! Ouch!)

If you have a minute, watch this great getting started with copper tape video from Jie Qi at Chibitronics, explaining how to use it, and the difference in conductive and nonconductive adhesives! 

Storing Other Makey Makey Supplies

This tape storage rack from Makeshop (and Adam Savage made one!) is seriously a great way to store lots of types of tapes for all kinds of maker  madness! 

Storing Cardboard

Cardboard is the ultimate maker material, but storing boxes can get bulky! We suggest cutting cardboard boxes down into sheets and storing in like sizes so your students will have different sized squares and rectangles for making. These can be stored in an art sorter, an old atlas storage, or if you have an old "Big book" bin, you can keep cardboard pieces stored in this too. The best thing about this is that it encourages students to become cardboard architects when designing projects and they won't just use a box because it is easy!

If you need some ideas for cardboard attachments, Erin Riley has some great ideas called "Cardboard inventory"! You might also be interested in this post from Diana Rendina about her Cardboard Challenge in 2015. 

More Makerspace Storage Tips

Here's a few other ideas on storage for your school makerspace! Let us know any more tips you use in the comments on this blog!

Here is a whole post on makerspace storage over at Colleen's blog.)   

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