FUSE Launch Guide
Ready to get FUSE up and running? Explore our launch resources here. Don’t forget to reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any questions!
1:1 computers are required for FUSE
FUSE is compatible with both laptops and desktops. Macs, PC’s, and Chromebooks are all supported in FUSE!
If using Chromebooks, please be sure your devices have 4GB RAM. (2GB Chromebooks are not recommended for FUSE).
If you’re launching FUSE at the Create or Innovate level, you will also need to identify at least two computers that can support installed software (used in select challenges, including 3D printing).
Fast Internet connection (at least 5mbps download/1mbps upload). This ensures all students will be able to access the FUSE website and instructional materials efficiently.
Robust IT support for software installation and tech troubleshooting. At the Create and Innovate level, FUSE utilizes installed software. It is helpful if your school has a dedicated IT point of contact to ensure everything is set up correctly.
Studio Space Requirements
Table and floor space for students to move freely
While students will refer to the FUSE website for step-by-step directions, it’s helpful to have ample tinkering space. Students will often collaborate in both small and larger groups, so ideally your room will encourage freedom of movement.
Cabinets or shelving for FUSE kits
It’s important to come up with a clear storage plan for your FUSE materials: if students know where the kits belong, they can be responsible for helping to keep everything organized!
Our Planning For FUSE article has more detailed information about kit storage.
Tables for technologies
While most FUSE materials are flexible and movable, the 3D printers and vinyl cutter should have a more permanent set up. If possible, plan to locate your 3D printers away from radiators, windows, and AC vents.
Plan Your Implementation
Part of our on-boarding process includes providing ongoing support as you develop your implementation plans. FUSE is intentionally designed to be flexible, and every FUSE partner has a unique approach to offering FUSE. That being said, based on our research, we recommend the following:
Assign FUSE a dedicated space in your school
FUSE has been housed in a wide variety of rooms, including elementary classrooms, middle school science rooms, converted computer labs, and libraries. Wherever you house FUSE, it’s important to have one central location for all the materials and equipment, that different classes can visit in turn.
Plan to engage in FUSE regularly
As students try different FUSE Challenges, they will encounter a wide range of technologies. To maintain momentum, we recommend a schedule that allows students to engage in FUSE at least once per week.
Provide students enough time to work
A full class period (40-60 minutes) is required for set up, studio time, and clean up. If you work with a block schedule, your students will appreciate having more time in FUSE! We have seen partners attempt to fit FUSE into a 30 minute period, but we do not recommend it: just when students get into “the zone”, they have to stop for the day.
Offer FUSE as a required class for a given grade or grade band
FUSE is designed to provide STEAM onramps for all students. By requiring everyone in a grade or grade band to engage in FUSE, you are providing an equitable opportunity for deeper STEAM learning that includes everyone (not just students who are already into STEAM). Our research shows that students in FUSE identify new interests: you never know who will emerge as your coding or 3D printing expert!
FUSE can be included in your schedule in a variety of ways. We have seen FUSE successfully embedded into both technology and science classes. We’ve also seen FUSE offered as part of a Specials rotation (as a STEM or Makerspace class). FUSE fits well within IB Engineering and Design curriculum. It’s quite common for schools to expand access to FUSE through after school and summer programming.
Curious about how to fit FUSE into your particular schedule? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk it through!
Our training helps educators implement the FUSE approach. We support you, from the philosophical to the practical. You do not need to be a STEM expert to run a FUSE studio! While we have partnered with science and STEM teachers, we’ve also worked with art teachers, grade level instructors, instructional coaches, and educators from a variety of backgrounds.
Over two days we cover everything you need to know about implementing FUSE.
This includes learning what student success looks like in FUSE, recommendations and strategies for effective implementations, and of course getting to know our challenges and technologies (including the 3D printers)!
Trainings are held periodically at Northwestern University.
Our trainings typically take place over the summer, on site in Evanston, IL. By arrangement, off-site or virtual training may be available. Please contact us at email@example.com for details.
Most schools contact us between October - March, to plan for implementations beginning the following academic year. FUSE works with a US-based supplier to source all the materials and equipment for our program. A typical timeline looks like this:
- March: School signs program agreement, FUSE orders materials
- May: Introductory call with school administrator, facilitator, and FUSE team
- Summer: two-day PD training (CPDU’s are available for IL educators); FUSE materials ship
- August/September: FUSE program launches
FUSE is offered at three levels, or packages. The primary difference between the packages is the number and type of available Challenges. In the event that you adopt FUSE at one level, and then decide to upgrade later on, we can definitely support you.
Most of our partners adopt FUSE at the INNOVATE level. This comprehensive package provides complete access to the full range of FUSE’s 33 STEAM Challenges, resulting in the greatest range and flexibility for implementation. Students in Innovate schools typically engage in FUSE for multiple academic years, and in a variety of settings (in-school, after-school, and summer programs). Partners at the Innovate level automatically receive access to all new Challenges as part of their annual subscription (Challenge kits may cost extra.)
Our CREATE package is designed for partners who are interested in expanding their STEAM offerings but are not yet ready for the Innovate package. Create includes a wide selection of 27 Challenges, as well as advanced STEM equipment (two 3D printers and a vinyl cutter). Students in Create schools typically engage in FUSE during their school day, for a single academic year. Partners at the Create level may receive access to new Challenges as part of their annual subscription.
Our DISCOVER package is designed specifically for short-term engagements, or as an introduction to FUSE and STEAM learning. Discover includes a selection of 12 Challenges designed to pique students' interest, including a variety of digital and hands-on Challenges. Students in Discover typically engage in FUSE as part of a short-term, limited duration program, like an after-school club or a summer camp. Partners at the Discover level may receive access to new Challenges as part of their annual subscription.
Request a Quote
Ready to get started? Request a Quote
Please fill out our quote form and we’ll be happy to get in touch with a quote that includes shipping and sales tax. If you’re located in IL and already have an E99 tax exempt number, you will not be charged sales tax. If you’re located outside of IL, you can apply for tax-exempt status, and sales tax will be waived.
Here is more info on sales tax and FUSE.
Schools fund FUSE through a variety of creative resources! Over the years, our school partners have identified different means of funding the program, and we’re happy to share these resources. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss any of the strategies shared below, or if you’d like to request a quote.
Through the generous support of our partners, FUSE offers annual grant opportunities to a limited number of schools. When available, these opportunities typically open in January. Please join our mailing list to be notified about FUSE grant opportunities. You can learn more about our corporate partnerships here.
School or District Level Funding
Many schools build the cost for FUSE into their annual budgets; most of our district-level partnerships use district funding to equitably support their FUSE implementations.
Many of our partner schools have engaged in local fundraising to raise money to launch FUSE. This can include PTO campaigns as well as securing donations from local small businesses. Even asking a local business to sponsor your 3D printers for FUSE could save you $2500.
Is your community home to any major corporations? Many companies, both big and small, have foundations or grant programs that your school can apply to. Even better, we’ve found that a lot of companies have identified STEM education as a philanthropic priority. We encourage you to research what local resources can be leveraged to fund your studio.