(Updated January 2022 / Originally published August 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!
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.
Colleen (Our Head of Content and Curriculum) 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.
(At the end of class, project what needs to be put back 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!
Evolution of our #STEMpack of @makeymakey from the @ice_il #minigrant getting organized and labeled for classroom use— Jen Gilbert (@msgilbertrocks) December 16, 2017
Storage by @ContainerStore #tcs #containyourself #functionalstorage pic.twitter.com/lrXxDv7l1X
Teachers! Here is a card you can print and include in your Makey Makey kits for students! (Download the PDF)
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.
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!
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!
IKEA hack for alligator clips! Use a Kungsfors magnetic knife rack for storage- need an alligator clip? Pull one off! #makered #lifehack #libraries #elemaker @makeymakeylabz https://t.co/pYMdZ7R01v pic.twitter.com/brdhSi9z75— Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen) October 12, 2018
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?
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.
This is how I store my copper tape rolls (thanks to a tip from @joshburker a few years ago!) What are your tips from keeping this glorious tape from turning into a tangled mess?#makered #storagetips #makeymakey #papercircuits https://t.co/9iQUywQlpE pic.twitter.com/bhQohzbOlP— Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen) August 30, 2019
A binder clip makes a great way to keep the tape from a tangled mess.
I unroll what I want then clip it back together and store them like that. pic.twitter.com/V259jbUSFx— Kalo Haslem (@kjh011) July 24, 2019
This glue hack from Chibitronics is genius!
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!
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!
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.
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.)