Eli’s Story

Eli, age 11, is a member of the SPARK! Creator Studio. The Creator Studio is our one-year old technology lab that has seen enrollment continually grow. Today there are 60 student members working on unique passion projects in more than 14 classes.

In the Creator Studio, children have access to instructors, equipment, and materials ranging from sewing machines, robotics, 3D pens and printers to CNC carving machines, computers, woodworking and more. By making these technologies accessible to all kids, we enable them to explore their interests and develop their skills. These experiences build self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills and instill a desire to learn.

Eli (pictured above) lives near SPARK! and is a weekly participant in the Creator Studio program. Eli approaches his time in the Creator Studio with a gusto not typically seen in children his age. When the studio hours changed from summer to fall semester, Eli arrived on a day that the studio was closed. Terribly disappointed, Eli shared with staff that he had “work” to do and asked if he could be permitted inside to continue with one of his projects! How’s that for dedication?

Creator Studio instructors maintain a progress tracker enabling them to keep up with the members and their individual projects. With three projects in the works at present, Eli is one of the most active members.

  • Eli has been learning design with Adobe Paint Pen and learning to use the sewing machine to make a dress for his mom using a variety of textiles.
  • Eli is designing a train set utilizing multiple disciplines including 3D printing, CNC wood carving, power tools and the Cricut Vinyl Cutter for the train graphics (pictured above with an electric sander).
  • Finally, Eli is busy making a unique pair of shoes from plastic. Starting at the bottom and working his way up, he’s completed the soles and is moving on to the heels.

Eli’s experiences in the Creator Studio facilitate his engagement in the creative process, build his problem-solving skills, raise his self-esteem and increase his desire to learn.