From pencils, paper and paints to activity kits, lessons and professional development.
RAFT leverages community donations and bulk purchasing to offer a wide range of low-cost materials, hands-on teaching tools, and school supplies at our educator resource centers. Our online resources include content to help in the classroom meeting the needs for a wide variety of subjects, standards and curriculum. What are you looking for today?
Our resource center is equipped with a variety of materials and tools to meet your needs. One such resource is the Green Room, a creative workspace providing RAFT members with equipment, ideas, and expert assistance as well as an opportunity to collaborate and share experience and expertise. Please note that food and drinks are not permitted in the Green Room or Makerspace, and for safety reasons children under 12 are not allowed in the Green Room.
What’s in the Green Room?
- Large collection of Ellison dies
- Paper cutters
- Embossing and crimping tools
- Book binding equipment
- Button Maker
- Computer with printer
Adjacent to the Green Room is our Makerspace, equipped with a Universal Laser Systems VLS4.60 Platform. This laser system is a versatile device that can cut, etch, or raster a variety of materials, from plastics and glass to more natural products such as wood, leather, and paper. Educators must complete RAFT’s Laser Engraving Introductory Workshop before using the laser system. See our Calendar for the next available Laser Workshop.
Professional Development for Schools and Organizations
RAFT offers a series of professional development workshops for school and organizations. Each workshop utilizes our warehouse of bulk materials and learning activities to explore STEM/STEAM topics and design challenges, addressing grade level standards and best practices. All of our workshops are hands-on and participants leave with plenty of ideas and/or materials for implementation in the classroom. See descriptions and prices below.
Take a field trip to RAFT! We have two classrooms and a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse that can accommodate your next staff training. Come experience the magic of our warehouse full of bulk materials and be fully engaged in a workshop facilitated by our Learning Engineers. Can’t make it to RAFT? Our Learning Engineers can travel to you and bring the joy of hands-on learning to your staff. NOTE: Prices listed below are for workshops held at RAFT. Workshops held offsite may be subject to additional fees.
If you are looking for a unique workshop, half or full day staff event, or a series of workshops, we are happy to customize the training to fit the needs of your team. For more information, email Eric Welker (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Diana Phuong (email@example.com).
Mini Design Challenges: 60-90 minutes
Foster creativity with interesting recyclable materials! Short design challenges can be a great way to engage students, foster creativity, assess understanding and build collaborative skills without a huge investment in planning time. In this workshop we engage in short challenges, explore materials, their attributes and uses, while discussing the “maker moves” that ensure successful student-led learning experiences. $250
Integrated STEAM Education: 2-3 hours
This workshop focuses on integrating design challenges into existing or emerging lesson plans so that students will be able to potentially develop solutions to Global Challenges. Participants engage in a sample NGSS-aligned design challenge and then review key design challenge components using RAFT’s lesson planning resources, after which they dive into planning. With workshop participants as a forum, we brainstorm ideas, explore materials and share initial plans for feedback. $350 – $450
STEM Learning Activities: 2-3 hours
Prepackaged STEM activity kits are a great way to design a hands-on lesson, while investigating unpacked science standards (NGSS). With limited planning, RAFT kits can easily be modified or extended for any learner. Explore how our kits can become effective engineering challenges, encourage problem solving, creativity, and application of learning. This is a great way to integrate student-led instruction without exhaustive planning. $350 – $450
Found Engineering and Materials Management: 1-2 hours
This workshop focuses on organization systems and creative reuse of materials. This is a great foundation training for any team looking to learn how to use inexpensive common objects to create robust and meaningful hands-on projects. In addition to exploring material attributes and how to manipulate common materials, we review how to organize and manage materials in the classroom to avoid excessive clutter and clean-up time. $250 – $350
Create Your Own
Customize the above or contact RAFT to discuss other options including developing maker mindsets, planning STEAM showcases, and community engagement events.
Workshops for Individuals
RAFT offers workshops for individuals that focus on current best practices in hands-on education that directly support teachers and informal educators. The workshops can accommodate a wide range of grades and personal and professional interests. We use various materials, kits, and other teaching tools to enhance the learning experience. Participants leave the workshops with items they make, relevant handouts and supporting documents, and a certificate verifying attendance. RAFT workshops earn training hours that can be applied towards continuing education units issued through San Jose State University. See below for workshop descriptions.
Workshop Descriptions: September 28 – December 15, 2019 (Fall Term)
Laser Engraving: Introductory Course (3 hours)
Laser engravers, also known as laser cutters, help to create many customized items by using laser technology to etch, engrave, and cut through a wide variety of materials. For example, laser engravers can mark, engrave, and cut woods, fabrics, paper products, metals, and even glass! Laser engravers can create teaching tools, puzzles, graphic designs, and other useful items that would otherwise be expensive to procure. This beginning course gives participants the knowledge and practice required to safely operate the machine on their own and provides an understanding of the different pieces of hardware and basic design fundamentals through hands-on experience. Participants will learn to clean, calibrate, and configure the machine for different tasks and materials and also learn to troubleshoot common issues that can occur during use. RAFT members who complete this workshop will be able to reserve the machine for additional practice and/or working on projects. Click date for more information: September 28 | October 12
Laser Engraving: The Rotary Fixture (3 hours)
Laser engraving provides a unique way for people to explore creativity and innovation through designing and processing materials using laser technology. This workshop teaches the skills and techniques required to use the rotary fixture, which allows users to engrave and mark a variety of cylindrical objects such as wine glasses, mugs, cups, paper tubes, and more! Participants will learn how to install, adjust and calibrate the rotary fixture, load materials for processing, change the engraving field, and determine graphic placement. Prerequisites: Laser Engraving Introductory Course, current RAFT membership. Click date for more information: November 9
Preschool Math & Science Activities (3 hours)
This workshop will provide the skills and strategies necessary to leverage many science and math RAFT activities in a preschool setting. Participants will engage in activities involving rolling objects, light, magnets, foam, containers, and other interesting materials to teach science and math concepts. Concerns, challenges, and solutions will be discussed and shared as well as best practices for working with preschool-age children. Examples of math and science topics addressed include counting, number sense, patterns, magnetic phenomena, properties of light, pushes and pulls, cause and effect, animal attributes, and scientific investigations. Click date for more information: November 23
Science for the Non-Scientist (4 hours)
Are you intrigued by science but also intimidated by it? Have you been asked to teach science for the first time but do not have the background? Do you want to explore more science topics with your own children? Perhaps you need a brief science refresher course. This workshop is designed to help educators unfamiliar with science teaching to develop the confidence and skills required to teach basic but relevant science concepts and practices. Participants learn how to do simple science activities using common materials such as straws, bottles, magnets, UV light, dry ice, and much more! As a participant you will explore Newton’s Laws, tinker with air pressure, investigate the properties of magnets, conduct simple experiments on energy, and learn how to facilitate other cool activities that are sure to give kids that “wow” factor. This workshop is ideal for K-5 teachers, homeschooling parents, scout leaders, summer or after-school program staff, and anyone interested in making science more accessible to students. Click date for more information: December 14
Visit our San Jose location to shop in store!
A RAFT membership is required in order to shop at our resource center.
No Time to Shop In Store?
No problem. Check out our online store and get the supplies you need at a price you can manage now.
RAFT San Jose
1355 Ridder Park Drive
San Jose, CA 95131
Tuesday: 10:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 10:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday: 10:30am – 5:30pm
Friday: 10:30am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Phone & Email
General Questions: (408) 451-1420, firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership: (408) 213-7216, email@example.com
Workshops: (408) 451-1421, firstname.lastname@example.org
Material Donations: email@example.com
Retail: (408) 451-3853