The way we see it, you have four main tools at your disposal to keep your kits from devolving into chaos! They are: 1) Cultivating a culture of responsible kit use 2) implementing kit management practices 3) refilling your kits from the backup kit and 4) ordering replacement materials.
Cultivating a culture of responsible kit use
FUSE is different from other classes- if something gets damaged or goes missing it means that it might stop you or your friends from trying that challenge later. We recommend having a conversation with your class about this early on in FUSE. You can even brainstorm a list of classroom behaviors related to kit management. It's also not a bad idea to give a little tour of where the kits are, how they are organized, and review any kit management practices you've put in place (see below).
Implementing kit management practices
We've gathered a wide variety of ideas on this topic from facilitators around the country. Some work well in one school and not so well in another. Feel free to try out whatever sounds good to you:
- Clearly organized kit storage: Nothing says "I care about keeping these kits neat" like a well organized and clearly labeled kit storage system.
- Broken kit flagging system: as students are working on challenges they are likely to run into kits that they believe to have missing or broken pieces. Ask students to put a sticky note on these kits listing what is broken/missing along with their names and place the kits in separate pile. You can then check these kits at a later time and restock them as needed (see below).
- Designate supply managers: You can create a system of rotating studio jobs, one of which would be a material manager. The student with this job would be responsible for ensuring all the kits are put back neatly and spot checking kits to make sure all the items are inside. Special attention should be given to kits with pieces that frequently go missing: Coaster Boss, Laser Defender, Get in the Game, Design to Fly, and Friend Finder.
- FUSE Pro Club: Some of our partner schools run a special club for students who love FUSE. These students help maintain kits and do periodic inventory of kits. In return they beta test new challenges etc.
- Lost and found bin: You've probably had the experience of finding a random wire or button on the floor after your class ends. Rather than trying to figure out which kit it belongs to, out it in a Lost and Found bin and then you can check this bin for replacement parts when restocking kits.
Refilling your kits
Okay, so you've got a bunch of kits with missing pieces. What now? It's time to put your Backup Kit into action! The Backup Kit is a big bin that should have come with your initial material order. Inside is a bunch of extra items for your kits. So, if you notice a piece is missing from one of your kits, check out the backup kit to see if you've got an extra in there.
Ordering replacement materials
Your last line of defense is to order replacement items from FUSE HQ. To learn more about how to do this, check out this article.