This page shares a collection of resources recommended by Mr.Erdreich for educators and makers alike! Organized in categories, resources include software recommendations, machines and equipment, projects and lesson ideas, competitions, vendors, and more! Also be sure to check out Mr.E's Digital Classroom on YouTube for videos that correspond with many of the resources shared below! Contact Mr.Erdreich if you want to learn more, or if you have suggestions and resources to share!
Apps, Software, & Technology Resources
Organized by content area, the following is a collection of apps, software, or resources for makers of all ages. Whether you are looking to create a 3D model for the first time, or a hyper realistic simulation, Mr. E has compiled a list of powerful apps that may suit your needs. Also included in this list are technology resources, such as robots or drones.
CAD / CAM for 3D Modeling
Tinkercad - Tinkercad is a versatile CAD program that is compatible with all devices and 100% free to use! Students of all ages can use Tinkercad to get acclimated with modeling in 3D to create incredible simulations, visualizations, and prototypes that can be produced on a 3D Printer or Laser Cutter. Tinkercad also includes an awesome coding modeling feature (CodeBlocks), Minecraft mode, and lego mode too!
Onshape - Onshape is a powerful and advanced web-based CAD program that is compatible for all devices and free for education uses! Onshape is comparable to other professional programs, such as SolidWorks or Inventor, as it allows for complex modeling, assemblies, drawings, and simulations. Additionally, Onshape allows for sharing and collaboration between users in real-time, as well as awesome rendering capabilities on all devices!
Sketchup - For users looking for an intermediate but capable CAD solution, Sketchup is very applicable. Sketchup is free for all users and is now web based and works on all devices! Sketchup provides tools needed to make a variety of different 3D models or renderings, but specializes in architectural models.
Z-Brush (Formerly Sculptris) - Perfect for Art-minded users looking to create 3D models that focus more on aesthetics than engineering. Z-Brush is a mesh-modeling program that is like sculpting clay right on your screen.
Blender - An open-source and advanced application for users looking to combine 3D design, rendering, and animation. This mesh-modeling program is incredibly capable and does just about everything for free! Blender requires a Mac or Windows computer.
AutoDesk Fusion 360 - Fusion 360 is an advanced CAD software that can be used to create 3D models, simulations, renderings, animations, and CAM files. Fusion 360 blends may components of AutoCad, Inventor, 3Ds Max and more into one single application. Fusion 360 is free to all students with an Autodesk education account and is compatible with Mac or PC, or web-based applications.
AutoDesk Inventor- Inventor is an advanced CAD software that can be used to create 3D models, assemblies, and technical drawings. Inventor is free to all students with an Autodesk education account and is only compatible Windows computers
AutoDesk Revit- Revit is an advanced CAD software that can be used to create 3D architectural models like buildings, towns, blueprints, and other structural designs. Revit is free to all students with an Autodesk education account and is only compatible Windows computers
AutoDesk AutoCAD - AutoCAD is an advanced CAD software that can be used to create professional 2D and 3D designs. AutoCAD is free to all students with an Autodesk education account and is only compatible Windows computers
SolidWorks - A professional and Industry-Standard CAD Program used by countless companies to design the products and tooling we rely on everyday! SolidWorks is for power users looking to create limitless things through time and skill. Compatible with Windows computers.
FreeCAD - The name basically says it all. Are you looking for a parametric 3D modeler with infinite capabilities that is and always will be free? Then FreeCAD is probably the option for you. FreeCAD is constantly be updated with features to increase its capabilities too!
ArmorSmith - This mesh-modeling CAD program specializes in making costumes or props that suit the human form. With powerful modeling tools, a creative designer can fabricate just about anything using bespoke rendering and scaling tools.
Luban 3D - This program has so many features embedded within its simple UI that it may take years to really exploit all of the possibilities. Looking to cut or manipulate 3D models? Or are you looking to create Lithophanes or other complex geometric functions? Then Luban is the power program for you.
Cura - Cura by Ultimaker is a powerful CAM slicer for 3D printing. Compatible with nearly any FDM / FFF 3D Printer, Cura provides tons of features for preparing models to be printed with a huge range of settings, filament choices, and parameters.
Cura LulzBot Edition - Based on Cura by Ulitmaker, Cura LulzBot Edition offers a more-simple UI that is tuned to LulzBot 3D printers, and just about any FDM / FFF machine.
Slic3r - This open-source CAM program offers both slicing capabilities that would work with just about any printer, as well as powerful manipulation tools to modify existing 3D models. Slic3r is Mr.E's preferred tool for simply splitting models into parts to be printed.
PrusaSlicer - By Prusa, this powerful CAM slicer works well with almost any FDM / FFF / SLA / SLS 3D printer you could imagine! With tons of parameters, filament choices, and power tools, any model can be prepared to be printed in PrusaSlicer.
OctoPrint - Looking to put your FDM / FFF printer online, add a webcam, time-lapse camera, or other power features? OctoPrint may be for you! By combining a Raspberry Pi microcontroller to your existing 3D printer, OcotoPrint offers a huge range of open-source features and mods for users of all levels.
AstroPrint - If you have a print farm and you're looking to optimize your printer management, AstroPrint is one of the best options. With tools to put printers online, manage jobs, and perform start-finish slicing operations, AstroPrint offers a clean and powerful UI.
Easel - Easel is a web-based CAD and CAM program used to design and control prototypes to be produced using Inventables CNC machinery. Easel is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Chromebook devices after creating a free account.
Vectric V-Carve - V-Carve is a more advanced CAD and CAM program that can be used for a variety of CNC Mill, Router, and Lathe applications. With loads of pre-programmed materials, endmills, and parameters, this program will get any user started immediately!
BobCAD-CAM - This all-in-one design solution offers powerful industry tools for modeling and design in CNC mill, router, and lathe production. This program is idea for professional users looking to get the most out of their machinery.
MasterCAM - A pioneer program in CNC production, MasterCAM offers powerful and professional tools for designing products and preparing them to be manufactured on virtually every CNC machine you could imagine.
CAD for 2D Design / Graphic Production
Adobe Illustrator - The industry standard for vector image production and design. Adobe Illustrator offers the most powerful features and tools for professional users.
Adobe Photoshop - The industry standard for raster image production and design. Adobe Photoshop offers the most powerful features and tools for professional users.
Adobe Lightroom - A raster image production and editing software for all levels, Lightroom offers tools and features to optimize and streamline photo editing and production projects.
Adobe InDesign - The industry standard for page layout, publishing, production, and design. Adobe InDesign offers the most powerful features and tools for professional users.
Adobe Acrobat Pro - The best program to edit PDFs, as well as create interactive and embedded features compatible with all devices.
Corel Draw - A powerful and professional graphics suite that offers countless capabilities for vector, raster, and page layout design. Corel offers users of all levels industry-quality performance with tons of versatility and flexibility.
Corel Vector (Formerly Gravit Designer) - Formerly Gravit Designer and now owned by Corel Draw, Corel Vector is a powerful web-based vector design program compatible on all devices. Corel Vector is no longer free, but offers a free trial for all users.
Vectr - This web-based vector design program is compatible on all devices and free for all users! Vectr offers similar features to a professional program, such as Illustrator or Corel, but in a simple UI for beginner-level users.
InkScape - InkScape is often referred to as the best free Illustrator alternative for vector design. Inkscape offers tons of powerful and industry-standard design features for users of all levels, but is only compatible with Windows, Mac, or Linux platforms.
BoxySVG - Another web-based or desktop-based vector design program, BoxySVG offers powerful vector design features for users of all levels. BoxySVG is not free, but offers a free trial.
Pixlr X - Pixlr X is a free and simple to use web-based raster photo editing program for all users! Pixlr X offers simple photo editing features and tools that offer beginner-level capabilities.
Pixlr E - Pixlr E is a free and advanced web-based raster photo editing program for all users! Pixlr E offers many industry-standard photo editing features, similar to Adobe Photoshop with intermediate to advanced design capabilities.
Canva - A web-based page layout and publishing design program, Canva offers users of all levels templates and design features that offers professional quality results for free!
Adobe Express (Formerly Adobe Spark)- A web-based and free to use page layout and design tool, Adobe Express offers professional quality results in an easy to use UI for all users!
Google Drawings - Designed by Google, Google Drawings allows for users of all levels to create graphic design imagery through a simple UI that models features across the Google Apps suite.
Google Slides - Often used exclusively as a simple presentation tool, Google Slides has the ability to create large format page layouts and designs with powerful and simple to use design tools for all users of all levels.
RDWorks - CAM for many hobby / DIY Laser engraver systems, RDWorks is has a basic UI and many CAD / CAM features that work well for basic production techniques. RDWorks also includes some AI features that are powerful, such as overlapping line deletion or shape closing for vector art manipulation.
PhotoGrav - This simple program modifies and prepares photographs for high performance laser engraving on any machine, and virtually any material. It is simple UI, the user can import photos, apply basic effects, and prepare raster engraving files based on the intended output.
1-Touch Laser Photo ULS - Produced by Universal Laser Systems, 1-Touch Laser Photo is an advanced photography preparation tool for laser engraving. Similar to PhotoGrav, 1-Touch allows the user to import photos, apply simple cropping or scaling, then prepare the photo for engraving on a variety of substrates.
Video Production / Animation
iMovie - For Mac users only, this movie edition software offers powerful and industry-standard features for users of all levels.
Final Cut Pro - For Mac users only, this is a professional and industry-standard video editing program. Like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro offers advanced users design and editing capabilities to create high quality productions.
Apple Motion - An extension of Final Cut Pro and for Mac users only, Apple Motion offers tools and features to create visual effects and animations to enhance any media project.
Adobe Premiere Pro - A professional and industry-standard video editing program, Adobe Premiere Pro offers advanced users design and editing capabilities to create high quality productions.
WeVideo - Currently the most powerful and capable web-based video edition and production program compatible with any device. WeVideo is great for users of all levels and offers industry-standard features for editing videos in a simple UI.
OpenShot Video Editor - A 100% free and open-source video editor that is compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows devices. This powerful program offers many features that are only available through expensive alternatives.
HitFilm - Perfect for the aspiring creator and compatible with Windows and Mac devices, this video editing program offers professional and industry standard tools in a user-friendly interface with affordable pricing options.
Blender - An open-source and advanced application for users looking to combine 3D design, rendering, and animation. This mesh-modeling program is incredibly capable and does just about everything for free! Blender requires a Mac or Windows computer.
Unreal Engine - Free for students with tons of learning resources, Unreal Engine provides powerful industry-standard tools that can be used to create professional quality video games, animations, film, or broadcasting projects.
AutoDesk Maya - A professional and industry-standard 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program for advanced users looking to produce high quality projects just like the pros.
Powtoon - A powerful vidoe, animation, and stop motion video editor for users of all levels. Powtoon offers free and paid accounts, as well as EDU pricing and features.
Cloud Stop Motion - Optimized for beginners and schools, this web-based stop motion video editor allows users of all ages to create exciting stop motion videos on any device.
Adobe Lightroom - If you're looking to bulk edit a lot of photos at once for an animation project, Lightroom is the best app for the job.
Camtasia - This powerful video editor combines basic editing tools with screen recording and production methods to create professional quality videos with ease. Compatible with Windows and Mac, education discounts and pricing available.
Sling Studio - The Sling Studio is a streaming hub that allows you to turn any device into camera network. Through wifi-adapters and apps, connect all of your devices to put on a full-scale production with digital switchboard control.
OBS Studio - This free broadcasting software turns any computer into a production facility with a simple UI and easy to use tools! If you're looking to control a series of inputs or heighten your streaming capabilities, this is definitely worth considering.
OpenProcessing - This powerful web-based IDE and collaboration platform allows users to create programs in a variety of languages that include P5.js, HTML, CSS, and JS. Users can save and share their programs, as well as engage in classes and different collaborative educational experiences.
Code.org - A game changer in computer science education, Code.org offers learning resources for all ages. This includes challenges, curriculum, lessons, and educational games suitable for any level user.
MakeCode by Microsoft - This web-based platform uses gamification to teach computer science skills to a wide range of users through arcade, microbit, and minecraft platforms! MakeCode also includes tons of resources for educators.
Blockly - A powerful and versatile block-based programming language, Blockly is used by many beginner-level robotics platforms and resources. Blockly can be used by beginner-intermediate level programmers to make everything from an app, to a game, or an autonomous drone!
Scratch - Developed by MIT, Scratch has been a pioneer for teaching computer science principles to makers of all ages. Through a block-based environment, programmers can use scratch to create incredibly complex programs while strengthening their skills and computational abilities.
P5.js - Based on Processing, P5.js is an interactive and visual language that can be used to create beautiful animations, graphics, simulations, games, and more! P5.js is a fun language to learn that also strengthens real-world computational thinking abilities for intermediate-advanced users, and its one of Mr. E's personal favorites!
Python - This incredibly versatile programming language has not only shaped computer science education, but also the computer science industry. With easy to learn algorithms and syntax, Python is a powerful programming language for users of all levels.
Processing - A language designed to teach computer science skills to all, Processing is a flexible and fun visual language that allows for infinite possibilities to be created. With many sub-languages that include Android, Python, HTML, and Raspberry Pi, Processing allows users to gain abilities in numerous applications.
Thunkable - This web-based software combines a drag-and-drop UI with block-based coding to enable programmers of all levels to have success in making professional-quality app designs and layouts.
Tinkercad CodeBlocks - This unique app combines CAD and 3D modeling with code through an interactive and easy to use platform. Combining these two fields is a challenge, but also an engaging experience that strengthens visual and spatial reasoning skills and computational thinking skills simultaneously.
Tinkercad Circuits - This MUST HAVE app allows users to design and simulate analog and digital circuits FOR FREE in an easy to use and incredibly versatile environment! Circuits is one of Mr.E's favorite apps that is free to use and allows for both block-based and script-based programming in Arduino and Micro:bit.
Unreal Engine - Free for students with tons of learning resources, Unreal Engine provides powerful industry-standard tools that can be used to create professional quality video games, animations, film, or broadcasting projects.
Unity - A powerful video game specific design and programming platform that offers resources for students and users of all levels. Unity can empower a programmer to create professional quality games and virtual reality environments.
Apple Swift - For Mac / Apple users, this programming language offers resources for programmers of all levels. Through Swift, coding skills can be gained with infinite applications and uses.
Apple XCode - Apple's professional developer tool used to create apps for Mac OS, IOS, TV OS, and Watch OS.
Android Studio - Google's professional developer tool to create Android-based programs and applications.
Google AI Education - Google has created resources for teaching Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning coding protocols for users of all levels.
Patchr.io - Patchr is revolutionizing the way PCBs are designed for learners of all levels. Hardware design shouldn't be hard, and Patchr's simple CAD interface makes designing and manufacturing your own custom PCB an exciting experience.
Fritzing - This powerful simulation tool allows users to create analog and digital circuits, simulate code, develop schematic diagrams, and develop PCBs.....all in one streamlined application.
KiCad - If you are an advanced user looking to create professional schematics or PCBs, this is the program for you.
Arduino - The Open-Source Arduino platform is huge, and Mr.E's preferred microcontroller. With limitless possibilities and opportunities to program in block-based and script-based applications, Arduino offers countless learning experiences for all users.
micro:bit - A newer microcontroller, the micro:bit is offering powerful coding experiences to users of all levels in an easy-to-learn environment. micro:bits can be used to create countless like games or robots and is perfect for beginner-level programmers.
Raspberry Pi - A more powerful microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi combines hardware and software to create a coding UI for users of all levels. With applications for the DIY maker and industry, Raspberry Pi offers endless resource for almost any project.
Adafruit Circuit Playground and MakeCode Programmer - The Circuit Playground is a fun to use and easy to learn microcontroller that makes interacting with circuitry for the first time easy! Themed challenges offer engaging experiences for beginner-level users of all ages with countless resources for teachers.
CoDrone EDU by RoboLink - The CoDrone EDU is Mr.E's preferred drone application for education as it challenges students to not just fly drones, but program them to fly autonomously. The CoDrone EDU is super durable and packed with features. RoboLink offers a user friendly coding experience with opportunities to program in blockly, python, or arduino.
DroneBlocks - This engaging programming application allows students to learn code in both hands-on and virtual experiences through real-world missions! DroneBlocks works with DJI micro drones, as well as offers incredible VR missions for users of all levels.
DroneBlocks Quadrupet - The Quadrupet offers an entirely new approach to teaching robotics education to advanced users. Reflecting real-world robotics applications for public safety, the Quadrupet challenges students to solve problems with robotic systems.
CoderZ - This immersive virtual programming experience offers engaging challenges in a realistic environment! With block-based and script based programming challenges, CoderZ offers an incredibly engaging platform for programmers of all levels.
VexCode VR - This FREE simulation program is a phonemail resource for all who want to learn about robotics! Designed by VEX, VexCode VR offers side-by-side block and script programming challenges in a virtual setting that corresponds to the physical environment.
VEX 123 - For the youngest programmers, VEX 123 is an awesome robotic platform that allows for interactive interaction and programming at many levels! With touch, color, and block-based programming, students in K+ can engage with this real-world resource!
VEX GO - Recommended for programmers in grades 3+, VEX GO provides engaging programming and building challenges through content that is attainable for programmers of varying levels! With motors and sensors, VEX Go provides real-world skills for all.
VEX IQ - Recommended for programmers in grades 6+, VEX IQ builds on programming capabilities through block and script applications while also expanding building capabilities with complex sensors and capable systems!
VEX EXP - With industry-reflected practices, VEX EXP is for more advanced programmers with stronger understandings in construction systems. Using a metal frame and standardized components and hardware, VEX EXP provides a real-world programming experience.
VEX V5 - Through real-world applications, VEX V5 offers career practices and various robotics programming environments for young programmers advancing in their skills with a passion for computer science education.
LEGO Spike Prime - SPIKE Prime is the newest LEGO Mindstorms product that replaces the EV3 before it. SPIKE Prime continues to use the incredible LEGO platform for construction in combination with a user friendly programming environment with motors and sensors capable of limitless possibilities.
LEGO BricQ Prime - To replace and expand upon the WeDo platform, BricQ offers a familiar LEGO building experience with introductory programming skills and challenges for the youngest programmers.
Boe ShieldBot for Arduino by Parallax - One of the pioneering robotic platforms, the Boe-Bot is still one of the best platforms for learning robotics available. With a flexible chassis and familiar Arduino core, the Boe-Bot can take many shapes with many different sensors and attachments to offer endless challenges.
Cyber:Bot by Parallax - A newer version of one of the original robotic systems, the Cyber:Bot offers an advanced system suitable for all levels of programmers. With a micro:bit core, the Cyber:Bot can take many shapes with many different sensors and attachments to offer endless challenges.
TinkerKit Braccio by Arduino - The Braccio is Mr.E's favorite robotic arm platform for education because it is affordable, flexible, and incredibly capable with loads of documentation and resources for teachers and students!
Universal Robot - This industry-grade robot is a robotic arm solution that offers limitless learning experiences for robotic systems and automation.
mBot - This versatile platform makes learning robotics fun for all! With a friendly interface and clever platform, the mBot offers an all-one programming platform for learners of all levels.
Sammy PB&J Robot - Mr.E recommends this for all young programmers as it is an engaging and intuitive picture-based programming platform that supports learning computational thinking and problem solving skills!
Finch Robot - The Finch Robot is another micro:bit-based robotic platform that offers an all-one programming experience loaded with sensors and countless challenges!
Edison Bots - This robot is incredibly affordable and flexible for any aspiring robotics programmer! The Edison bot offers programming options for all levels, and a unique construction and building system that incorporates LEGO and open-ended design.
Mindsensors - This unique platform allows you to take classic LEGO Mindstorms motors and sensors, and connect them to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi microcontroller!
ZumoBot - This unique little robot offers an all-in-one programming experience through a chassis that is different from nearly all other platforms in a similar market.
Cubelets - Through a unique blend of building and programming, Cubelets allow students to learn logic functions through a hands-on and engaging problem solving environment.
Ozobot - One of the original robotic platforms for the elementary age group, Ozobots combine basic coding principles with color, picture, and block-based challenges all the way through advanced script-based challenges as well.
LittleBits - Imagine LEGO meets microcontroller, and that describes LittleBits! LittleBits allow users to combine software and hardware to construct autonomous systems and complex circuits in a simple and user friendly environment for all levels.
Backyard Brains - Recommended by Mr.E, this awesome platform combines complex real-world neuroscience with DIY microcontrollers to create an engaging and exciting experience for learners of all levels. Through the sensors and kits, we can use our body to control our code as we design biotechnology solutions for the future!
NeuroMaker & BrainCo - This incredible STEM kit teaches robotics and neuroscience programming tool allows students to interact with computer science with their thoughts....literally!
MakeyMakey - Another MUST HAVE for any makerspace. The MakeyMakey allows students of all levels to gain understandings and experiences between the relationship of hardware and software in an achievable way that is EASY and immediately successful.
Machines, Tools, & Supplies
A staple in nearly every makerspace, 3D printing is changing our world in nearly every industry from food, fashion or even medical technologies. There are lots of great options out there, but the following are ones Mr. E reccomend from his own experience:
LulzBot - This US-based company offers industry-standard performance and incredible versatility and reliability for hobby prices. With tons of flexibility, LulzBot printers can print loads of different filaments in any environment right out of the box in combination with incredible customer support, open source hardware, and loads of resources and documentation.
FormLabs - With industry performance and a phenomenal interface and platform, FormLabs offers incredible capabilities through some of the best resin printing machines available.
Prusa - A pioneer in hobby FDM 3D printing, Prusa offers some of the best printers for the advanced DIY maker anywhere. A popular choice for print farms, Prusa is known for its performance, reliability, and documentation.
Creality - With a huge lineup, Creality offers a wide range of printers that start with affordable entry-level models to large format industry-spec printers!
Raise3D - If you're looking for bigger printers, Raise3D is one of the best options on the market for any makerspace. With high quality performance, Raise3D machines offer new capabilities for bigger printing with affordable prices.
Modix - And if you are an advanced user looking for REALLY big 3D printers, Modix is one of the best options. Note, these printers are kits and require the skill of an advanced user to get them at a high performing level. These printers a offer mid-advanced level performance in a much bigger package.
Preferred for under $300 - Creality Ender 3 v2 - An awesome and affordable option for the hobby maker, the Ender 3 offers a modest build volume, flexible performance, and great quality for a low price.
Preferred for under $500 - Prusa Mini - With the same level of quality, documentation, and performance as all other Prusa printers, the Prusa Mini offers a big volume in a small package with loads of printing capability for any maker! Check out Mr.E's Hands-On Prusa Mini Review here!
Preferred for around $1000 - LulzBot TAZ SideKick - The TAZ SideKick is a user friendly printer with a modest build volume that is ready to go right out of the box. With easy adjustment and calibration, the SideKick offers reliability features equal to the highest performing LulzBots. Additionally, the SideKick is infinitely upgradable and available in two different sizes, each with all of LulzBot's universal tool heads that allow for endless of posibilities and filaments.
Preferred for Kids - Toybox - The Toybox combines entry level 3D printing with user friendly software and modeling sharing into a seamless app that makes it the best platform for beginners of all ages. All 3D printers require maintenance and tuning, but the Toybox simplifies setup and ease of use through its intuitive system.
Preferred for travel and durability - LulzBot Mini 2 - With a sturdy metal frame, auto cleaning and calibration features, and modular design, the Mini 2 is Mr.E's favorite printer to have on the go. Throw it in a car, roll it around on a cart, and the Mini 2 will print quality models every time with ease. Check out Mr.E's Hands-On Mini 2 Review Here!
Preferred for high performance - Lulzbot TAZ Pro - With professional quality printing capabilities, dual head extrusion, auto calibration, and clever sensors, the TAZ Pro is Mr.E's favorite high performance 3D printer. The modular tool head design allows for any filament to be printed easily, and the sensors and calibration features allow for consistent and reliable results.
Preferred for entry-level Resin Printing - Creality Halot-One Plus - Resin printers often offer higher performance for lower costs, but the Halot-One Plus is Mr.E's favorite. This printer offers an easy to use interface and easily attainable accessories and documentation for an affordable price.
Preferred for intermediate-level Resin Printing - Prusa SL1S - This resin printer combines two of the biggest benefits to SLA printing methods, detail and speed! The Prusa SL1S offers high performance results in a simple, reliable, and more affordable package for makers of all levels.
Preferred for high performance Resin Printing - FormLabs Form 3+ - This Resin Printer offers a modest build volume in a clean and compact package, in addition to industry-matching print performance.
Preferred Filament Selection -
PLA - Great for general classroom use. Mr.E loves the matte and recycled PolyTerra by PolyMaker.
PETg - Awesome applications that need to be more durable, or for vacuum forming and mold making processes.
TPU - Print flexible parts with spools of TPU. Mr.E loves printing TPU on his standard LulzBot's and prefers GizmoDorks TPU.
Conductive PLA - Conductive PLA allows for incredible things to be created through embedded circuitry! Checkout Proto Pasta's conductive PLA, and try printing with normal PLA to create models with embedded conductors and insulators!
PC PolyMax - If you need high strength, PC PolyMax by PolyMaker is incredible stuff when printed with a hardened steel nozzle.
WoodFill - Printing wood from your FDM printer offers awesome materials processing capabilities for any makerspace!
Metallic Silk PLA - 3D printing trophies is one of Mr.E's favorite projects, and this is his favorite filament for the job.
CNC Laser / Water Cutters
Laser and Water cutters are incredibly capable machines that can be used in nearly every project with great ease. There are lots of great options out there, but the following are ones Mr. E reccomend from his own experience:
Universal - This professional quality laser manufacturer offers industry performance through reliable and user friendly systems. Mr.E's preferred choice for advanced users, Universal offers the most user friendly UI with incredible support and versatility.
Epilog - A professional brand, Epilog is one of the most popular choices in an industrial setting. The new Fusion Maker offers industry-standard performance for more entry level prices.
Glowforge - A game changer for CNC Laser Cutters, Glowforge combines beautiful design with intuitive user interfaces to make laser cutting accessible to anyone! This is the best option for any at-home makerspace for makers of all levels!
Full Spectrum Laser - FS Laser offers a wide range of products suitable to virtually any need. From hobby-series to more industrial applications, FS Laser offers easy to use entry-level systems for makerspaces of all sizes.
Boss Laser - Boss offers industry size and production performance for hobby prices that is suitable for any need and the more advanced user.
Wazer - The first and only entry-level waterjet cutter available for makerspaces of just about any size. The Wazer offers a simple UI and an easy to learn web-based platform for makers of all levels.
CNC Plotters / Mills / Routers / Lathes
CNC Plotters, Mills, Routers, and Lathes are versatile machines that can be used to machine anything from wood, to metal or vinyl. There are lots of great options out there, but the following are ones Mr. E reccomend from his own experience:
Inventables - Inventables offers a range of products that fit the needs of makerspaces of all sizes, and designers of all levels. With user friendly UI, a clean and easy to use hardware, and high performance, this is one of Mr.E's favorite machines.
ShopBot - With a range of small and large CNC options, ShopBot has and still is one of the best CNC mill / router systems for the educational environment.
Tormach - Looking to work with metal? Tormach offers professional performance for more entry-level prices for mills, routers, lathes, and more!
Bantam Tools - For high precision CNC milling and PCB milling, Mr.E loves the ease of use Bantam tools in combination with a simple UI and awesome performance.
CAMaster - This US-based company offers loads of documentation, resources, and support for all CNC production applications as well as a wide range of CNC mills and routers ideal for everything from DIY / hobby uses to industrial production.
Shaper Tools - This versatile hand-held router offers CNC performance by turning you into the gantry and part of the machine!
Graphtech - A leader in professional and industry performing vinyl cutters and CNC plotters, Graphtec is Mr.E's plotter of choice.
Roland - A classic in any graphics shop, Roland vinyl cutters have been the cutter of choice by many for decades.
Cricut - The ultimate tool for any hobby user, Cricut offers versatile CNC cutting and plotting on loads of materials for affordable prices.
Depending on the goals and needs of your makerspace, tools may vary exponentially. Mr. E uses a lot of different tools in his own projects and classes, but the following are ones that are used very frequently across countless applications:
Safety Glasses - Safety first! Include a set of glasses for every student, as well as glasses that are adjustable and can be worn over existing eye where.
Coping Saw - The coping saw is an easy to use hand tool that is great for cutting detailed lines through soft materials safely.
Canary Cutter - Cutting cardboard can be a challenge and hazard for many, unless you use a Canary cutter! Similar to this tool, the MakeDo or Elmers Built-It tools offer saws, drivers, and fastners for working with cardboard at a young age!
X-Acto Precision Razor Saw - This small hand tool allows for easy detailed cutting through a variety of soft materials.
Tweezers - Everybody needs tweezers to do intricate work, get a couple of good sets!
Hot Glue Gun - The staple of makerspaces everywhere. Stock glue guns of different sizes and temperatures for different applications!
Measuring Tools - An assortment of measuring tools from rulers to compasses, squares, and calipers are key in design.
Automatic Wire Strippers - Stripping wires can be difficult, automatic and adjustable wire strippers make this take achievable by all students of all ages and abilities!
Hot Wire Cutter - A favorite in Mr.E's classes, hot wire cutters allow for easy, safe, and fun styrofoam cutting.
Hot Air / Heat Gun - Usable for countless things, this is a powerful tool for shaping, fixing, finishing and more.
Thumb Ruler / Cutting Mat - X-Acto knives are dangerous! Always cut with a mat and use a "thumb ruler" to support your material and protect your hands!
Soldering Equipment - Soldering is a vital resource for electronics, but safety is key. Include fume extractors, holding jigs, and safe spaces when using soldering irons.
Cordless Drill - A must have, both for makers or teachers in any environment.
Drill Press - From creating axel holes to mounting points, drill presses are key machines for any makerspace.
Scroll Saw - This easy to use saw is a great tool for younger makers working with simple projects. Mr.E's personal favorite is the easy to use and versatile Rockwell BladeRunner.
Bandsaw - Another common machine in makerspace that is easy to use and effective for straight cuts and gentle curves in a wide range of materials.
Table Saw - Not needed for many smaller makerspaces, the Table Saw can be used to create complex cuts and ripping in boards of all materials. Mr.E recommends SAW STOP.
Miter Saw - Not needed for many smaller makerspaces, the Table Saw can be used to create complex cross cuts and miter cuts in boards of all materials.
Sanding Stations - This could be simple sand paper or sanding blocks, handheld palm sanders, or sanding machines like the Oscillating Spindle Sander (Mr.E's favorite for smaller makerspaces), sanding our projects teaches lessons about a higher level of precision and finishing for woodworking, model making, or even 3D printing.
Kreg Jig - An easy joinery tool, Kreg Jigs make assembling DIY projects strong and simple.
Counter Sink Bit / Plug Cutters - Drilling with a countersinking bit adds new capabilities to your project, especially when paired with plugs.
Forstner Bits - Drilling larger holes is often needed for projects, Forstner bits are easy to use and work in a range of materials.
When Mr. E is asked, "What can we make in here" as students enter his makerspace, he always answers...."just about anything." To support this, a makerspace needs an assortment of supplies that fosters creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. Mr. E has literally hundreds of different materials and random items available, but the following are things that are used in nearly every project. Some items, like hinges, wheels, or even gears are super useful too, but Mr. E and his students 3D print these things on-demand rather than ordering them.
All kinds of tape, All kinds of glue, All types of Paper, Felt, Craft Foam sheets, Tongue depressors, Balsa wood, Polystyrene, Assorted Wooden Dowels, Bamboo Skewers, String, Rubber bands, Paper clips, Brass Fasteners, MakeDo fasteners, Assorted Springs, Metal Washers, Brass Fasteners, Magnets, Velcro, Zip Ties, Assorted Self-Tapping Screws, Pipe Cleaners, Mousetraps, CDs, Assorted Gears, Paper Cups, Straws, Cardboard, Foam core, Cardboard Tubes, Tinfoil, Wire, LEDs, DC Motors, Solar Panels, Batteries, Battery Connectors, Push-button SPST switches
Project & Lesson Ideas
Looking for project ideas or lesson plans for your makerspace? Check out some awesome ones here:
Mr.E's Projects Page - This constantly expanding page is a collection of some of Mr.E's favorite projects, lessons, and collaborative works over the years.
Mr.E's Digital Classroom - Mr.E has created hundreds of videos to assist in learning software and to share different projects and lessons, all free on his YouTube channel!
STEM with Mr.E - If you're looking for slideshows, handouts, and other instructional resources that are ready to go, check out the STEM with Mr.E store on Teachers pay Teachers.
Erdreich Innovations LLC - Mr.E's own brand, Erdreich Innovations provides curriculum developing and instructional design services to educators and organizations, worldwide!
Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AE3) - This incredible organization offers resources for providing collaboration and diverse instructional techniques for dynamic engineering education in the p-12 subjects.
Amazon Future Engineer - Amazon has been working to promote technology and computer science education for all through events, challenges, curriculum, and more.
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) - ASEE offers publications and research towards providing meaningful learning experiences in engineering education.
Arduino Project Hub - Sponsored officially by Arduino, the Arduino project hub allows makers to share projects created using this incredible microcontroller.
Backyard Brains Experiments - In addition to offering incredible neuroscience kits and resources, Backyard Brains also shares an incredible collection of science experiments for educators.
CMU CS Academy - Created by Carnegie Melon University, the CMU Academy teaches coding principles through a web-based and graphic oriented python programming language! This resource includes the curriculum needed for any classroom to get up and coding.
Code.org Curriculum - The definition of effective computer science education, Code.org offers free curriculum for educators K-12, and higher ed.
The Coding Train - Daniel Shiffman is an educator and programmer who works to bring complex coding principles to a level accessible by all. Check out this resource for tutorials, guides, and challenges for all levels of learners!
CSTA - The Computer Science Teacher Association strives to offer meaningful resources for teachers of computer science. With workshops, conferences and more, CSTA is an awesome group to be a part of!
Cyber.org Education Resources - This organization is working to support educators as they teach topics within computer science and cyber security across K-12 education.
Dana Foundation Neuroscience Resources - This collection of activities, lessons, and challenges offers resources for science and biotechnology educators.
Goals for Sustainable Development by the UN - "The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet." These goals act as excellent themes for design challenges in the STEM classroom, as well as providing real-world connections through empathy and sustainabiltiy.
Green Design Lab - Supporting sustainability and education for our future, this collection of resources offers programs and curriculum for teaching sustainability and renewable energy.
HackSpace - This innovative publication provides makers of all ages with project ideas and useful resources!
Instructables - The ultimate project sharing website, Instructables offers countless amazing projects, guides, and resources for educators and makers everywhere. Check out Mr.E's Instructables here!
Inventables Projects - Sponsored officially by Inventables, the Inventables project hub allows makers to share projects created using CNC routers and mills.
ISTE - ISTE strives to help educators teach students how to use technology to solve problems. Through standards, resources, training, and more, ISTE is an awesome resource for educators everywhere.
ITEEA - The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association provides educators with information and resources to create effective and engaging learning environments.
ITEEA Safety - If you teach with machines in a makerspace environment, teaching and enforcing safety effectively is key.
Learn Robotics with Parallax - One of the leaders in robotics education, Parallax offers detailed lessons, curriculum, and challenges for programmers of all levels.
Little Bins for Little Hands - This awesome website collects and shares countless resources for the K-5 makerspace! The site is filled with a wide variety of lessons, resources, challenges, and graphics for the youngest of makers!
LulzLessons - FREE for all STEM educators! In collaboration with Mr.E, LulzBot has created curriculum that includes plans, handouts, samples, rubrics, and more for integrating 3D printing into any STEM classroom anywhere!
MakeCode Curriculum - To support teaching computer science, MakeCode offers lessons to teach coding through an arcade and game-oriented platform.
MAKE Magazine - One of the leading maker publications, MAKE Magazine offers loads of articles, projects, and resources for all makers!
micro:bit for teachers - To support teaching computer science, micro:bit offers lessons to teach coding through and robotics and electronics-oriented platform.
NASA - NASA offers a wide collection of interactive and multimedia embedded lessons for STEM educators everywhere.
Onshape Curriculum - This collection of lessons and courses are produced by Onshape to engage students learning CAD at all levels.
OpenProcessing Lessons - One of Mr.E's favorite resources, OpenProcessing offers lessons and classes for programmers of all levels.
Patchr - More than your typical lesson plan, Patchr offers instructional resources from lessons, to software, kits, and guides for a unique learning experience in electronics and hardware design.
PicoSolutions - PicoSolutions offers FREE curriculum for all STEM educators in the areas of energy, power, rapid prototyping, and more!
Scratch for Educators - As a leader in block-based programming, Scratch offers countless resources for educator.
Tinkercad Lessons - These free lessons offer users of all levels opportunities to gain skills in CAD and technology education through engaging lessons by Tinkercad!
TryEngineering by IEEE - Powered by IEEE, TryEngineering offers resources for students and teachers as they strive to learn about the different fields of engineering!
VEX Lessons - Free for all, VEX offers lessons, challenges, and guides for every level of K-12 robotics education.
We are PrintLab - Offers versatile 3D printing curriculum for schools and makerspaces! With beautiful graphics and engaging content, this curriculum is perfect for a new program that emphases 3D printing instruction.
Awesome Books and Literacy Connections to STEM:
Izzy Gizmo - pk-K - Created by Pip Jones (Author), this story follows creative young inventor Izzy Gizmo who makes the most amazing things....that just never seem to work properly. Possible projects include: Problem solving, failure, the design process, and more!
I Love my New Toy! - pk-K - Created by Mo Willems, this book follows two friends, an Elephant and a Piggie, who is afraid to share their toy with their friend out of fear for it breaking. Possible projects include: design process, toy design, structures and forces, egg drop / protective prototypes, and more!
The Most Magnificent Thing - pk-2 - Created by Ashley Spires, this beautiful picture book introduces a fun character motivated to create the most magnificent invention! Possible projects include: Tinkering, creating, fabricating, design process, and more!
Room on the Broom - pk-2 - Created by Julia Donaldson (Author) and Axel Scheffler (Illustrator), this book follows a witch and her cat as they fly through the sky on their broom! Possible projects include: physics and flights, structures, gliders, zip line prototypes and more!
Snowmen at Night - pk-2 - Created by Caralyn Buehner (Author) and Mark Buehner (Illustrator), this fun seasonal book looks at what snowmen do at night when no one is watching! Possible projects include: character design, problem solving, and more!
Bonaparte Falls Apart - pk-2 - Created by Margery Cuyler (Author) and Will Terry (Author), this book follows a friendly skeleton who just can't seem to keep himself together! Possible projects include: structures and forces, subsystems design, problem solving, and more!
Wendel's Workshop - k-2 - Created by Chris Riddell (Author), this fun book follows an incredible inventor who created a robot to help him, but then found the robot was taking his work away through its tidying! Possible projects include: Technology, problem-solving, robotics, and more!
Those Darn Squirrels! - pk-3 - Created by Adam Rubin (Author) and Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator), this funny story looks at how an old man and a group of squirrels use the design process to solve all sorts of problems! Possible projects include: engineering design, prototyping, problem solving, and more!
Engineering Elephants - pk-3 - Created by Ph.D Emily M. Hunt (Author) and Ph.D Michelle L. Pantoya (Contributor), this book introduces young children to engineering and design concepts through a fun and humorous story! Possible projects include: engineering design, animal science, renewable energy, and more!
Just Like Rube Goldberg - pk-3 - Created by Sarah Aronson (Author) and Robert Neubecker (Illustrator), this book looks at the incredible life and achievements of the amazing Rube Goldberg through is journey as an engineer! Possible projects include: simple machines, mechanisms, engineering design, problem solving, and more!
Be a Maker - pk-3 - Created by Katey Howes (Author) and Elizabet Vuković (Illustrator), this book introduces the design process to young makers through fun rhymes and vibrant illustrations! Possible projects include: engineering design, problem solving, tinkering, inventing, and more!
Boxitects - pk-3 - Created by Kim Smith (Author, Illustrator), this fun book looks at the struggles of a young boxitect as a new study joins their class who is also an excellent creator and boxitect! Possible projects include: Architectural design, collaboration, problem solving, structures and forces, and more!
How to Code a Rollercoaster - pk-3 - Created by Josh Funk (Author) and Sara Palacios (Illustrator), this book follows two young programmers as they try to use coding principles and logic to create a rollercoaster! Possible projects include: computer science, programming, problem solving, and more!
How to Code a Sandcastle - pk-3 - Created by Josh Funk (Author) and Sara Palacios (Illustrator), this book follows two young programmers as they try to use coding principles and logic to create the perfect sandcastle! Possible projects include: computer science, programming, problem solving, and more!
Counting on Katherine - 1-3 - Created by Helaine Becker (Author) and Dow Phumiruk (Illustrator), this book looks at the efforts NASA engineer Katherine Johnson during the space race and Apollo 13 mission! Possible Projects include: Space exploration, problem solving, forces and structures, egg drop / protective prototypes, and more!
Judy Moody Saves the World! - 1-3 - Created by Megan McDonald (Author) and Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator), this Judy Moody novel looks at the importance of recycling in order to save our planet! Possible projects include: recycling, upcycling, sustainability, environmental sciences, and more!
Judy Moody M.D: The Doctor is In! - 1-4 - Created by Megan McDonald (Author) and Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator), this time Judy Moody is a doctor looking to help those in need, and show off a pretty amazing cloning experiment! Possible projects include: Biomedical, Biotechnology, and more!
What Should Danny Do? On Vacation - 2-3 - Created by Adir Levy (Author), Ganit Levy (Author) and Mat Sadler (Illustrator), this book follows Danny as he faces countless choices and challenges on his vacation! Possible projects include: Collaboration, problem solving, theme park design, simple machines, and more!
Designing Dandelions - 3-4 - Created by Emily Hunt (Author), Michelle Pantoya (Author), and Irma Sizer (Illustrator), this book introduces Engineering Design concepts through a fun story about aliens investigating the life cycle of Dandelions! Possible projects include: engineering design process, product life cycle, plant and animal sciences, and more!
How to Catch Series by Scholastic - This book series offers exciting opportunities to integrate STEM education and design-based learning into literacy! Check out for books, handouts, and challenges for your K-5 makerspace!
Frozen - Various - This modern movie and story series brings topics about temperature, weather, and thermal properities into the classroom! Possible projects include: thermal energy, weather science, energy transfer, and more!
Three Little Pigs - Various - Written by countless authors for countless age groups, this age old tale looks at an engineering challenge at its best! Possible projects include: Forces and Structures, architectural design, materials processing, and more!
Humpty Dumpty - Various - This classic tale introduces the concepts of structures and forces, teamwork, and problem solving! Possible projects include: Problem solving, collaboration, Forces and Structures, egg drop / protective prototypes, and more!
Rapunzel / Tangled - Various - This princess' hair tells quite a tale in countless stories for a variety of age groups! Possible projects include: Structures and forces, zip line, towers, and more!
Super Heroes - Various - From Iron Man to Wonder Woman or even Spider Man, super heroes bring creative ideas to endless challenges through engaging solutions that might excite and interest your students! Possible projects include: zip line prototypes, projectile launching devices, transportation systems, forces and structures, electricity, and more!
Harry Potter - Various - This amazing world of magic offers endless tales of design challenges and creative problem solving that would captivate any reader! Possible projects include: problem solving, physics, chemistry, electricity, and more!
Star Wars - Various - With space travel, robots, unique species, and more, any Star Wars story can be turned into a design challenge! Possible projects include: transportation systems, droid design, forces and structures, biotechnology, energy, and more! Check out some of Mr.E's Star Wars themed challenges on the projects page.
Grants & Funding Opportunities
Funding can be one of the biggest challenges in creating a makerspace and supporting innovative education endeavors. Below is a collection of inspiring grant foundations that support projects of all shapes and sizes!
AAEF Classroom Grant - These grants are available to all full-time educators who have not received a scholarship or grant from AAE in the past
AAUW Gender Equity Grant Program - AAUW provides funding towards individuals and organizations for programs that promote "education and equity" for women and girls.
AASL Innovative Reading Grant- Supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for K-9th learners which motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.
AWA STEM Grant - American Water Association Charitable Foundation awards grants for Water and Environment, Workforce Readiness and STEM Education.
Bauder Fund - This fund awards up to $2,500 towards supporting innovation and special activities in the areas of Physics Education.
Bayer Fund - Bayer Fund awards grants for projects focused on our three priority giving areas: Food & Nutrition, STEM Education, and Health & Wellness.
BirdBrain Technologies Loan Program - BirdBrain Technologies has been supporting growth in robotics and computer science education by loaning their incredibly capable kits to schools for real-world activities and authentic learning.
Bosch Community Fund - This Program prioritizes teacher support and efficacy, hands-on and project-based learning, equity, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability
Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Community Grant - A grant foundation that is working to serve those who serve the "frontlines" of education.
Calm Room for Schools - Focusing on SEL, this grant works to support student needs through awareness towards mental health, emotions, and physical well being.
Captain Planet Foundation - This organization offers annual grants towards solution-based programs that embrace STEM learning and empower youth to become local & global environmental change-makers.
Chichester DuPont Foundation Grants - These two grants offer funding towards programs that are working to enhance the quality of life for American's and their environment.
Computers for Learning - Schools and educators serving economically disadvantaged communities can apply for computers and technology resources to support their learning communities.
Connect for Success - Mobile Beacon provides ongoing and rolling grants to communities in need to ensure students have access to technology and internet in order to foster greater success.
Cutler-Bell Prize - Open to seniors studying Computer Science, this scholarship may award $10,000 towards a college / university of choice to up to four students based on innovative projects and designs.
Dollar General Summer Literacy Grant - Schools can utilize this grant to design and implement a summer program for their students, available to schools, librarians, and non-profits supporting K-12 Students.
Donor's Choose - This crowdfunding organization allows for teachers to raise funding for projects that range from classroom resources to lesson activities and more.
Edthena Innovation Fund - Supports teacher observation and collaboration initiatives as we work to support greater student achievement and success.
Educators of America MicroGrants - Over the years, Educators of American have partnered with corporate sponsors to provide grants that span educational needs.
Farm to School Grant - This grant provides funding to schools looking to expand in agricultural learning opporuntities for their students.
Honda Community Grant - This BIG grant is available to schools looking to achieve leaps in innovation through developing their STEM spaces or additional instructional technology that supports student needs.
Kids Spark Education - Available to all US-based public elementary, preschool, and head-start programs serving Title 1 communities looking to enhance their facilities, curriculum, and professional development training for STEM education.
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation - This organization works to support educators who directly serve or impact children or youth from urban low-income communities in the areas of education, health, and family economic stability
Naiku’s Innovative Educator Grants - Support K-12 classroom teachers in public or private schools seeking to facilitate differentiated and data-driven instruction within teacher teams and/or personalize learning with learner-centric assessment strategies.
NASA NSPIRES - Project and funding opportunities that support research in science and technology.
NEA Leadership & Learning Grant - This grant supports educators as they continue to develop skills and abilities through professional development that provide greater opporuntities to their students and learning communities.
Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program - Provides funding to institutions of higher education to provide scholarships, stipends, and programmatic support to recruit and prepare STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers.
NSF Research Funding - NSF is one of the largest collections of funding opportunities for college and professional research across the STEM disciplines.
NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 Grant - This grant is designed to support PreK-12 education programs through edTech and STEM projects and endeavors.
NSTA Teacher Awards - This organization accepts nominations for inspiring and innovative educators in both formal and informal educational settings.
Rural Tech Fund - Provides funding towards educators working to spark student interest in technology-based careers like computer science, computer engineering, information technology, programming, cyber security, robotics, or similar areas.
Snapdragon Book Foundation - Supporting schools and libraries in need, this organization provides annual grant opporuntities to promote literacy and reading the in the K-12 environments.
Sony's Grants for Education - Sony focuses the majority of its charitable giving on art, culture, technology and the environment, with a particular emphasis on education in each of those areas.
STEM Fund by AdoptAClassroom - Teachers can receive specialized crowdfunding towards their classroom and instructional spaces through this incredible community.
Toshiba America Foundation - Open to educators who serve grades 6-12 looking to bring an innovative project into their own classroom.
US Department of Education - The DOE offers a wide range of grants that span K-12 enviornments and applications. In additional to nationally available grants, look into your local communities for specialized grants available to your learning community.
Walmart Local Communities - Working to support the needs of local classrooms, Walmart offers funding for classroom resources and general instructional supplies.
Competitions & Challenges
Offering opportunities to compete under real-world specifications and constraints can offer opportunities for new innovations and collaboration! Check out some awesome student design challenges and competitions below:
3M Young Scientists Challenge - Open to middle schoolers, this challenge allows us to solve problems through prototype design and development
Aerial Drone Competition - Students are challenged to program the CoDrone EDU by Robolink through a collaborative competition within the REC organization! Nation-wide and geared towards middle and high school students.
Chowdhury STEM Innovation Challenge (SAE) - Open to elementary and middle school students, this challenge allows us to provide STEM skills to create solutions to real-world problems.
CoderZ League - This online virtual coding experience is a challenge for all students through an engaging and interactive environment! Based on the CoderZ platform, students can engage with robotics education from anywhere, any device, in a variety of languages!
Conrad Challenge - With a focus on aviation, flight, and space, the Conrad challenge allows for incredible innovation and problem solving as we design prototype solutions to solve problems.
Do your bit by Micro:Bit - Put your coding skills to the test by created computer science solutions that improve the world by addressing Global Goals.
eCYBERMISSION - A web-based coding challenge open to students in grades 6-9 that are challenged to improve our world by creating better cyber security systems!
FIRST Robotics - FIRST Robotics offers exciting opportunities for students to research, learn and collaborate through an engaging competition environment. FIRST is open to students in grades PK-University!
Future Problem Solving Program - Students from all over the globe in grades 4-12 can compete by applying critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems.
Hour of AI - By Amazon Future Engineer, hour of AI uses Alexa to teach students about computer science and real-world artificial intelligence challenges.
Hour of Code - Hostly annually, the Hour of Code challenges students to learn computer science through fun and engaging programming-oriented games.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Challenge - Geared towards high school students, this challenge requires students to design an efficient hydrogen-powered racer!
Imagine Cup by Microsoft - This challenge is open to students who are 16 and older. Students are challenged to create an innovative and unique technology system through the utilization of a design process.
Instructables Contests - Documenting and publishing our creations supports learning, collaboration, and growth....and few sites do this better than instructables! Instructables contests are themed with huge variety and often are geared towards students with awesome prizes to be won!
The James Dyson Award - Students are challenged to improve our world by creating innovative and creative prototype solutions!
MakeCode Game Jam - Learn to code through this fun video game design challenge and competition!
MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge - High school students can use their mathematics skills to solve real-world problems and improve our everyday lives.
Modeling the Future Challenge - Through this research-based project, high school students can apply mathematics and data analytics skills to solve real-world problems.
NASA eClips Spotlites Video Design Challenge - This multimedia contest challenges students to create videos that "debunk" space and science myths and misconceptions.
NJSBA STEAM Think Tank - Open to K-12 Schools in New Jersey, this challenge requires teams of students to research, design, develop, and present a prototype solution to solve a real-world problem!
Onshape Design Competition - Annually, Onshape hosts a CAD design compeition with multiple criteria for designers of varying levels
REC Online Challenges - "Learn beyond the field" - these online challenges are for students looking to test their real-world skills in computer science, CAD, robotics, and more!
Robotics Education Competition (REC) - The REC is an engaging robotics competition to challenge students to work collaboratively and solve problems with robots! The REC offers opportunities for students in grades 4-University.
Regeneron International Science Fair - This pre-college competition showcases student innovation and collaboration.
Regeneron Science Talent Search - This prestigious challenge is open to high school seniors striving to enter a career in the STEM fields.
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest - This challenge tasks students to take junk and everyday objects and turn them into something spectacular.
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow - This incredible design challenge tasks students to consider what technology can be created to improve our world to create a better tomorrow!
SeaPerch - This unique applications blends areas of STEM as students are challenged to build aquatic capable robots.
Shell Eco-Marathon - This difficult challenge is for students interest in energy and mechanics as we design efficient vehicles for the future.
Technology Student Association (TSA) - This huge association is open to students in grades 6-12 and provides opportunities for problem solving, collaboration, presentation, and innovation!
Tinkercad Challenges - Tinkercad isn't just for 3D printing, and these challenges reflect that. Challenge yourself to create complex models, scenes, and creations!
Thomas Edison Pitch Contest - This contest challenges students in grades 4-12 to think of creative solutions to real-world problems in order to support our future in the STEM fields!
US Congressional App Challenge - Hosted by the US Congress, this challenge tasks young programmers to create a unique app that solves problems and improves our lives.
Zero Robotics Tournaments - In collaboration with MIT and NASA, students are challenged to design robotic solutions for space!
Vendors and Materials
Ordering supplies for schools can often be a challenge, especially when attempting to navigate approved vendors and bids. The following are Mr.E's recommended vendors for any classroom makerspace:
Adorama - Resource for photography, videography, and other broadcasting needs
Allegheny Educational - Vendor specializing in technology and engineering equipment, supplies, and furniture solutions
B&H Photo - Resource for photography, videography, and other broadcasting needs
Beacon Graphics - Specialists for graphic design, including vinyl cutting and sign making
Blick - Art supply superstore
Carolina - Specialized science vendor for labs and activities
Cascade - General classroom supplies and resources
CDW-G - informational and multimedia technology equipment
Costal Business Supply - Specialized for dye sublimation printing and graphic production
Delvie's Plastics - Plastic sheet stock vendor
Demco - Library furniture and equipment supplier
Education Solutions Enterprise - ESE provides quality manufacturing and furniture resources, in addition to equipment setup and training to makerspaces and industrial programs along the east coast.
Erdreich Innovations LLC - Mr.E's own brand, Erdreich Innovations provides professional training and consulting services to organizations big and small including all supplies needed for success
FAME3D (Lulzbot) - Creators of LulzBot 3D printers, and also a great source for 3D printing filament, parts, and tools
FESTO Automation Solutions - FESTO provides professional quality pneumatic and robotic systems solutions to industry and the industrial classroom!
Fisher Scientific - Science kit, equipment, and supply vendor
Grainger - Warehouse superstore for all tools, storage, and equipment needs
Inventables - In addition to selling CNC machines, this is also a great resource for carving bits and consumables
Johnson Plastics Plus - Supplier of a huge range of sheet stock for milling and engraving and printing methods
Kelvin - STEM kits, consumables, and resources specializing in electronics
K-Log - Furniture vendor with a large assortment suited for the makerspace environment
LEGO Education - Vendor for LEGO products for the classroom
MakeDo - A kid safe invention kit with infinite possibilites, MakeDo provides tools and fasteners for cardboard and recycled material prototyping and construction.
Midwest Technologies - They have just about any tool, furniture, storage, and supply need you could image for your makerspace
Nasco - A blend of STEAM supplies and resources
Parallax - Robotics and electronics vendor
Patchr - More than your typical vendor, Patchr offers instructional resources from lessons, to software, kits, and guides for a unique learning experience in electronics and hardware design.
Paxton Patterson - Technology and Engineering supply, equipment, and furniture vendor
PicoSolutions - Creator of STEM kits, curriculum, and PD for teachers
Pitsco - Technology and Engineering kits and consumables
Rockler - Woodworking supplies
School Specialty - General classroom supplies and resources
SEPA-UAS - Mr.E's own brand, SEPA-UAS provides training, resources, and supplies for education and public safety applications when working with Drones and other UAS technologies
Smith Sytems - Innovative and flexible furniture solutions
SparkFun - Robotics and electronics vendor
Staples - Office Supplies
STEMfinity - STEMfinity offers a huge collection of kits, materials, and resources for all aspect of the STEM Fields
Tormach - In addition to selling CNC machines, also a vendor for end mills, accessories, and material stock
ULine - Bins and other storage solutions and packing supplies
VEX - Vendor for VEX products for the classroom
WhyMaker - STEM supplies, kits, and PD for teachers
Part Files & Design Templates
The following are public 3D models, part files, and design templates used in Mr. E's Digital Classroom and tutorial videos:
3D Models and Part Files
Low rolling resistance spool spindle for LulzBot TAZ printers
Hygrometer Gauge holder for Simple 3D Printer Filament Storage Boxes
Vector Design Templates - Generic (.svg)
Vector Design Templates - Adobe Illustrator (.ait)
Portrait Large Print Media 13" x 19" Template for Illustrator
Universal Laser 24"x12" Engraver Profile for Adobe Illustrator
Universal Laser 32"x18" Engraver Profile for Adobe Illustrator