JERSEYVILLE - Two Jersey Community High School seniors and twin brothers - Jack and Bernie Dohrn - finished creating a new “Maker Space” in the JCHS library in October. The space already includes lots of equipment for arts and crafts, and there’s more on the way for students and teachers to use in the future.

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Digital Coach Melanie Fessler, who helped coordinate this project, said it’s a space for students to “be creative” and use equipment from classes in the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program that they might not otherwise be able to use.

“It’s a place where students can go and be creative or maybe de-stress and do things when they have a little bit of extra time,” Fessler said. “We have some amazing things going on in our CTE here at the High School - like we have 3D printing and we have Auto, but not all kids can take all of those classes, so it’s a place where maybe you could do some of those things without having to take those classes.”

So far, the space contains a Silhouette Cameo machine for vinyl production, a space to create holiday cards and wreaths, coloring pages, puzzles, games, and more that have been donated by the Jersey County Arts Council. Items have also been donated by teachers at JCHS, who are also welcome to use the Maker Space.

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Jack and Bernie both want to make 3D printing available to everyone at JCHS, so Fessler said they’re currently in the process of ordering a 3D printer.

They began setting up the space at the start of this school year, and the space officially opened in October. Fessler said students are currently using it to create personalized, handmade cards which will be delivered to local nursing home residents this Christmas.

She added that since the space is in its own separate room in the library, it’s great for students to decompress during Finals Week.

“The goal is to have this outlet for people - like next week, we have finals. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed with finals, it’s just a nice place to go away and de-stress for a few minutes before you go back to studying,” Fessler said.

The Dohrn brothers also designed the “Maker Space” sign, as well as posts around the school inviting students to check out and use the new space. Fessler said both brothers have shown a lot of initiative around this project.

“I say, ‘Why don’t we do this?’ and they just go do it. They make it all happen,” she said. “Sometimes with students, you have to push them - like, ‘I asked you to do this,’ but I just say it and I know that it’s going to be done. They just have taken it on and done it themselves.”

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