What’s Right With Our Schools: Maker Space at Heritage Elementary

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – What we use to call a library is now a 21st Century Media Center at Heritage Elementary in Macon.

Students in Macon are learning engineering skills through creative, affordable projects.

Media Specialist Sarah Chancellor started raising funds for ‘Maker Space.’

"It’s an area where students can come and explore. They can create. They can use their engineering skills," says Chancellor.

Donors raised more than $6,500 using DonorsChoose.org, a website that provide teachers an online resource to submit projects they are interested in using for their classroom, according to Chancellor.

 "The imagination is limitless, and this has really opened it up for kids to just have a little bit more freedom."

The idea of Maker Space stems from Chancellor who wanted to give kids an outlet to build, create and explore several engineering projects at a time.

Located inside the library, students of all ages and grade levels can participate in Maker Space’s puppetry, arts and crafts, printing, graphic design and broadcast journalism sections.

Tyler Hopkins, 5th grader at Heritage Elementary, enjoys using his Maker Space pass to build projects with his younger brother who also attends the school.

"Sometimes you can be sad or mad, and you know, your friends or family member can invite you just to come play with them." 

Even though 5th grader Willow Ascencio is taking advance classes this year, the program gives her the ability to work with all students.

"I like the maker spaces, because you don’t have to be in advance classes to actually be able to do the maker spaces," says Ascencio.

It is a trend giving teachers more of what they needed.

"Collaboration,” says Chancellor, “As teachers…it just has made our bond even tighter."

She adds it is an opportunity to see the impact volunteers, teachers and community members have made on the school.

With the program, makers now have the space to learn skills they would not be able to behind a desk or in between classroom walls.

"I have learned that there are so many businesses out there, so many families, so many individuals in the schools that want to help and they may just not know how.”

But now, it is getting a lot easier to contribute to the next generation.

“When you put a project out there and say this is what I want to do, this is how it’s going to benefit the kids, then people donate," says Chancellor.

Click here to learn more about DonorsChoose.org.