New MakerSpace at Sandburg Combines Creativity, Technology

  Aaron Frey
  Wednesday, December 5, 2018 10:18 AM
  Campus News

Galesburg, IL

Carl Sandburg College now has a place where students and community members alike can create an ornament, produce a scale version of Tyrannosaurus rex skull and even take apart a computer.

The College’s new MakerSpace, located in the library on the Main Campus in Galesburg, provides a place that is dedicated to creating, building and idea generating through the use of technology. The MakerSpace opened this year, and the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce held an official ribbon-cutting for the room Thursday afternoon.

The repurposed classroom is available to the public in addition to being an ideal space for students to push the limits of their creativity.

“It’s taking advantage of many things that we have that were awesome but were not living up to their full potential in serving our students.” said Claire Ehrlich, coordinator of library instructional services and librarian. “We had a lot of stuff that we really wanted people to use more. It was repackaging that stuff and adding a few new cool toys to really give students a space to work on collaborative projects.”

The MakerSpace still doubles as a classroom as it houses a teacher station, smartboard, projector and desks, but the machines that line its walls are what make it unlike any other learning area on campus.

A silhouette printer cuts shapes and text out of cardstock, vinyl and other surfaces to make things such as stickers, posters and greeting cards. A laser cutter allows users to make detailed cuts or engravements on materials like paper, plastic, wood, metal and glass using a web-based program. The room also has two 3-D printers that can be used to make objects both decorative and practical.

Use of the silhouette printer and laser printer is free. Items made with the 3-D printers cost $2 plus an additional 10 cents per gram. Sites such as YouTube, Pinterest and Thingiverse provide a treasure trove of ideas on what to create with the machines.

The MakerSpace also includes a “Breaker Space” where old computers that were to be recycled can be taken apart to see how they are made and work. Parts from them can even be used to repair broken computers.

The room also has supplies such as glue, tape, scissors, paper and more that students can use for class projects. The MakerSpace also has whiteboard surfaces on its desks and tables, and the windows for the room have writable glass, making it a useful area for collaborative projects.

“This is a wonderful space because it combines a lot of great things: first of all, the technology and second of all, the tactile engagement,” President Dr. Seamus Reilly said. “We know young people are very creative and want to use their hands. This gives them an opportunity to do that and see how things are made, but then for them to use really high-level technology to do it, it’s the best of both worlds.”

For more information about the MakerSpace, visit or contact the Sandburg Library at 309.341.5257 or

MakerSpace ribbon cutting

Members of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting for the new Carl Sandburg College MakerSpace on Thursday in the Sandburg Library. Cutting the ribbon was Claire Ehrlich, coordinator of library instructional services/librarian. 

Makerspace live stream 

Carl Sandburg College web programmer Eric Thatcher conducts a tour of the new MakerSpace for a Facebook livestream posted by the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. The repurposed classroom includes a silhouette printer, laser printer and two 3-D printers, all of which are available for public use.

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Aaron Frey