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Maker Space

Welcome to the Elgin Local Schools
Digital Media Center!
Digital Media Center Maker Space

The goal back in the 2017-18 school year was to transform the Digital Media Center into a makerspace, a hub of exploration and creativity.  “Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education. “ ( Makerspaces allow for personalized learning as students design, create, prototype, invent, and learn.  Since the projects are self-directed, students will take control of their own learning.


The goal is for students at all levels from K-12 to experience the excitement of creative play. According to Miss Swanger, Digital Media Specialist, the time in the DMC makerspace will be recess for the brain.  “My hope is for students to be engaged in projects that challenge them to go beyond their conceived capabilities.”  Beyond the initial projects, the desire is for students to collaborate with each other and build communication skills as they listen and learn to ask good questions.  The objective is to convert information into intelligence.  We want our students to develop iteration and innovation to drive transformation; we want them to realize that failure is a design opportunity.  Our ultimate dream is that students internalize these lessons and transform them into career assets.


Supporting Ideas Behind the Maker Space

Learn by doing
  • students learn better when learning is part of doing something they find really interesting
  • students learn best of all when they use what they learn to make something they really want
Technology as building material
  • if students can use technology to make things they can make a lot more interesting things
Hard fun
  • students learn best and they work best if they enjoy what they are doing 
  • the best fun is hard fun
Learning to learn 
  • nobody can teach students everything they need to know
  • students have to take charge of their own learning
Taking time – the proper time for the job 
  • to do anything important students have to learn to manage time for themselves
  • this is the hardest lesson for many students
Students can’t get it right without getting it wrong
  • nothing important works the first time
  • the only way to get it right is to look carefully at what happened when it went wrong
  • to succeed students need the freedom to error
Do unto ourselves (teachers) what we do unto our students
  • we are learning all the time
  • we enjoy what we are doing but we expect it to be hard
  • we expect to take the time we need to get this right
  • every difficulty we run into is an opportunity to learn
  • the best lesson we can give our students is to let them see us struggle to learn
We are entering a digital world where knowing about digital technology is as important as reading and writing
  • so learning about computers is essential for our students’ futures
  • BUT the most important purpose is using them NOW to learn about everything else

(adapted from Dr. Seymour Papert and “The Story of the Constructionist Learning Laboratory” as documented in Gary Stager’s doctoral dissertation, An Investigation of Constructionism in the Maine Youth Center. [Stager, 2006])



Elgin West Card Catalog

Online Catalog


Research Database


Research Process






Creating Final Products




Video Tutorials