Spring Grove, MN EDA and School District Partner to Fund Makerspace

Article by: Courtney Bergey

  1. A lawn mower engine.
  2. A decorative wood burning tool.
  3. A 3-D printer.
What do these items have in common? You will find all of them in the Spring Grove School District’s new Makerspace, an interactive, individualized-learning classroom that empowers students to follow their passions and curiosities. The Makerspace was established in the fall of 2017, and is looking to expand its impact on the community and its students.
The Spring Grove Economic Development Authority, led by CEDA team members Courtney Bergey and Bryce Lange, recently partnered with the Spring Grove School District to author a successful $10,000 Small Town Grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; this grant award will help build capacity for the project by providing necessary tools, equipment and supplies for Spring Grove’s Makerspace students to apply their skills to community challenges.
“We are constantly having conversations about topics like housing, walkability, public art, attracting workers, and downtown businesses, but we often overlook a major sector of talent: our young people,” said Bergey. “With this program, we aim to turn the discussion over to the students and support their creative solutions to community challenges.” The program will bring students outside of the classroom and into local business and government environments.
The Spring Grove EDA will be working with the school to create new Makerspace initiatives focused on community development, including hosting local entrepreneurs and makers in the classroom, pairing students with projects in both the public and private sector, and helping to develop new ideas for the community to pursue.
To learn more about SMIF’s Small Town Grants program, visit https://smifoundation.org/smalltowngrants/about.html