How to Fund a Makerspace using ESSER II

How to Fund a Makerspace using ESSER II

In many schools, the makerspace is a place where students go to collaborate, solve problems, and experience a concept on paper coming to life for the first time.  In a year where so many students are experiencing high stress levels, what if makerspaces could be more than just place where academic learning happens?

A carefully designed makerspace can create a space where students feel safe to share, create, and express what they are feeling. We know that the arts are an amazing form of creative expression. What if we extended that to STEM through making? When students are making, they forget about the stress and anxiety they are feeling and can focus in on a specific problem that they are trying to solve.

The new CARES Act, ESSER II (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II), can provide the funding to design a makerspace that supports your local innovation and SEL goals. This federal funding that will be allocated by the Indiana Department of Education to local school districts, including charter schools, can be used for all expenses that are allowable under Title IV, Part A. This includes STEM, technology infrastructure, and social emotional learning supports. IDOE has priorities four key areas for the ESSER II Funds: Innovation, Addressing Learning Loss, Supporting Educators, and Updating Tech and Other Infrastructure. Innovation, Addressing Learning Loss, and Updating Tech and other Infrastructure can all be used to justify a makerspace. Additionally, these funds can be used for both new construction and renovation, which is rare for federal dollars.

Making doesn’t have to only take place in a physical space. 1st Maker Space offers a variety of STEM Take-Out Kits that will allow students to experience the joy of making if they are virtual or hybrid learners. These kits come fully equipped with lesson plans for the educators implementing them as well.

1st Maker Space will partner with any district interested in allocating ESSER II Funds towards a makerspace, STEM lab, or innovation space or related activities. Our team will create a custom proposal for you and consult on the grant writing process – for free.  Contact us today at to set up your free consultation.

Learn more about ESSER II here:

Slides from the ESSER II Presentation Hosted by IDOE can be accessed here.  

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