By Meredith Williams
Ina is a quiet 9-year-old who has been through a lot. Home-schooled due to recent health issues, she’s very shy and doesn’t get many opportunities to try out new activities. She is innately creative and loves to experiment with music.
“Ina has a hard time in a structured setting,” said Sarah, Ina’s mother. “We tried violin lessons, but that was a little too overwhelming for her, and she has always been very creative, but she’s not very confident outside.”
Finding activities that allow Ina to comfortably explore her creative instincts was a challenge for her mom. After trying some other maker labs without much success, Sarah heard about our Makerspace
, and brought Ina in to try out the 3D printers. There, she met Library Assistant Xander Marquez and a relationship quickly blossomed.
“Xander is so special. He is very patient and kind with Ina,” said Sarah. “She’s even learning about the engineering aspect of recording music, and there really aren’t that many opportunities for kids her age to learn skills like that. This is the perfect one-on-one environment for her to be creative and experiment. We can make everything here and she can try anything that she wants.”
Sarah has been bringing Ina to SPL’s Makerspace for nearly a year. During that time, she’s recorded her own music, used the 3D printers and simply enjoyed being a creative kid, without the worry of rules or social constructs. She is completely free to explore, with the help of her friend Xander.
“Ina has really good musical instincts,” said Xander. “She’s created about six songs that have this really cool, ambient sound. Her favorite is the keyboard and she’s a natural at 3D printing. She also made a little ‘World’s Best Mom’ figurine.”