Strongsville City Schools

Holistic Approach to Makerspaces at Strongsville City School

Strongsville City Schools   |   Strongsville, Ohio

While many school districts are implementing some form of makerspace in their high schools, Strongsville City School District in Strongsville, Ohio has installed makerspaces in all of its schools.

Vicki Turner, Director of Instructional Technology for Strongsville City Schools, and her colleagues did a lot of research before approaching their school board with their recommendations. Today, their technology includes a digital embroidery machine, a laser engraver, a 3D printer, several smaller Cutera machines, a Roland DG SOLJET® large format printer/cutter, a Roland DG MODELA MDX-50 benchtop milling machine and Roland DG’s Project Based Learning software. 

Hands-on Learning
Turner has found that letting students name their school’s makerspace helps them feel more connected to the program.  She and her colleagues use the Roland DG SOLJET to print full-color banners for each elementary school’s “Tinker Space” as well as stickers for each station.  “When the equipment is there and students get some instruction – they just take off with it,” said Turner.

"Students really enjoy the fact that they can actually create something.”

At the district level, the SOLJET printer has been used to produce banners and signage for a wide variety of school events and programs. Other projects include decals, small signs, and magnets for athletic lockers.  

Another successful visual is a donated dune buggy that students customized with decals.  The dune buggy and a large printed banner travel around the district.  “It’s a huge attractor for our makerspace initiatives,” said Turner.

Upper Level Career Tech Training 
At the high school, drafting and architectural design classes use the Roland DG MDX-50 benchtop milling machine and Project Based Learning software to create a variety of milled projects including baseball bats, yoyos, and even Harry Potter wands. The students also add logos and then market and sell the yoyos.  

“Just like in the real world, learning to design your project is part of the process,” noted drafting instructor Dan Hogan. “Students really enjoy the fact that they can actually create something.”