'MakerSpace' areas in libraries give students opportunities to create

A female PHS student uses recording equipment in the PHS MakerSpace area.

If there’s a way to give a school project some artistic flair, you can count on Poudre High School senior Kacey Murphy-Brandt to find it. 

And the PHS library has the perfect place for her to do that. Across the district, libraries have created “MakerSpace” areas, places equipped with tools such as 3-D printers and craft supplies. At Poudre High School, the MakerSpace area has sewing machines, power tools, audio recording equipment and yes, 3-D printers. 

Kacey spent one of her recent free periods sewing a doll for one of her German class projects. She carefully sketched out the outline for Oskar, her doll designed to look like the protagonist in a book her class recently read. He will be the star of her upcoming presentation. A student decorates fabric with magic markers in the PHS MakerSpace area.

“I’m kind of crafty,” she said, as she cut her fabric. 

PHS Media Specialist Matt Benson has been curating items for the MakerSpace for years, and has put an emphasis on making the space a place teachers can bring their students to bring lessons to life. One of the school’s science classes built a weather balloon. Students studying dystopian literature are using the 3-D printers to design and create objects they imagine might be found in a dystopic society. Benson said he has one student who comes in regularly to use the recording studio to record songs he’s learned on his banjo. 

“My goal is to be a creative library, where kids don’t aren’t just coming in to consume information,” he said. “I’m trying to (make it) a space where kids can create.”