It is daunting to start a new exploration station. A major concern is finding the proper materials to complete your project while ensuring that it is durable, can be stored and transported, and cost-effective. While you should include materials and supplies in your BI budget, please recognize that there is no need to purchase everything yourself! Use this post to show you what you have available!
The outreach office in the basement of the Discovery Building has a massive collection known as the ‘art ‘carts’ that have common craft supplies like craft paper and fabric, paints, cutting utensils and other miscellaneous items like marbles and fluff balls, UV lights, and clay. Many of these items are great to simply prototype with to get a feel for what you want to have your station participants do.
The BID Team also has access to some power tools and personal protective equipment (and a fume hood) for any prep work that requires you to use something like a foam cutter. In this same area, we have more carts carrying blocks (like Legos and K’NEX) and similar construction kits along with many kits and parts for any kind of circuitry or electronics projects. The BID Team and the Discovery Building outreach office can also purchase supplies if asked, no matter how silly the request may sound. Of course, please be sure to give yourself enough time for orders to come in and prototype!
We occasionally have prototyping sessions, where you can come to our Orchard View room in the Discovery Building (3rd floor) and use our space and materials to work on your project. It is a way to make scheduling in time to work on your outreach activity a little easier.