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HS Science teacher, low income area. I was wondering if their was a listing of low cost or budget instructables? Answered



7 years ago

Thanks for the feedback. I have been very busy with a grad project and have not been tuning in here as of late.
An example of what I am looking for would be a 2 liter soda bottle rocket using water/air pressure that I build with both my Earth Science and Physical Science students. With the exception of tape most of the items going into this are free or very low cost.
I teach HS by the way, about 180 students per year. My supply budget is $400. I used up most of that just buying a couple of sets of class pack mini solar car kits.
Again thanks for all the info and I will look down the various avenues that have been pointed out.

Hi jwhit,

I'm a middle school (7th grade) science teacher in the Nogales, Arizona area. We're less than 10 miles from the Arizona-Mexican border.

Our earth science standards include astronomy, life sciences geology/earthquakes, etc. I took a few end-of-the-year surveys from my students and the overriding theme, was that we needed to do more projects.

I've had good success with students bringing in materials for projects or simply completing them at home. I provide alternate assignments out of the textbook, for students that can't or won't do hands-on activities.

Some of our projects included making a "planetarium” out of a Pringles® can; building an earthquake-resistant building out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti; and making origami frogs out of green 3x5 cards, then using them to teach the “capture and release” method for counting wildlife.

Most of these activities were paid for by the generosity of my students’ parents. If you present your need, most of those that can help, will help.


When Instructables are submitted, there is an option to set a value for both cost and difficulty, but I am not aware of any view or search parameter that uses this information. One of Robot's minions could probably generate this kind of thing very easily, but I don't believe that the general public has access to it.

Of course, setting the Cost & Difficulty parameters is also both optional and subjective, so the value of the data is questionable anyway.

I've always wondered about the Cost and Difficulty sliders. I mean they're gathering this data, but what are they doing with it? Maybe something? Maybe nothing? Who knows? But I guess that's just part of the mystique. It'd be boring if everything that happens here made sense.

Science covers a lot of areas, what grade level and standard are you trying to teach? If you haven't checked out the Federal Dept. of Ed's website, teachers resources, you may want to. They have a portal with lesson plans, ideas and projects on just about every subject and grade level.

You would do better to put together a list of the experiments or demonstrations you would like to do, and then asking for low-cost alternatives.

What RMS said. Because those "selectors" aren't tied to searches or filters, I am not sure how many Instrutables authors actually try to set them accurately.

If you're looking for classroom demos or student projects, there have been a few Guides made; the most recent, from Kiteman, is on Kitchen Chemistry. There is also the Classroom Group which has student-appropriate I'bles.

You might want to get in touch with Christy Canida at I'bles <canida {at} instructables {dot} com> about using Instructables in your classroom.

If people want to PM me suggestions to answer jwhit's question, I will happily put together the guides he wants.

.  I nominate jwhit to put together a "Low-Budget (And No-Budget) Ibles For School Kids Guide". Maybe split it up into Elementary, Jr High, and High School guides.

What kind of suject areas were you thinking of covering ?

Don't know, but I second the suggestion that this would be worthwhile.

Of course for many of these cost depends on what you can scrounge or already have on hand, but even a rough guide could be helpful

(BTW, because not enough people say it: THANK YOU. A good -- or bad -- teacher can make a world of difference to a kid; I had experience with both. It really is an undervalued profession.)