ABILENE — The sights and sounds of Christmas filled the Maker Space at The LIFT most of the day Saturday as more than 200 families and their elementary-age students enjoyed the first Santa’s Maker Space event.

The LIFT helped families in the city get into the Christmas spirit with a day full of ornament-making, Christmas movies and music and hot chocolate at the facility that houses ATEMS and most of the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. Each child who attendee the event was able to make a one-of-a-kind Christmas ornament in the facility’s Maker Space lab under the direction of more than 25 high school students who use the Maker Space at The LIFT each day.

Each ornament cost $10 and all of the proceeds will go back into the Maker Space for use in buying more equipment and making the experience for students throughout the district even better.

“Ultimately we wanted families to come out and see The LIFT and see the great things that our students and teachers are doing here,” said Jay Ashby, the Director of The LIFT.  “One of the great things that happening out here is the Maker Space and what we can do in that area. The students that are helping the younger kids use it every day, and we want to be able to give money back to that area to be able to do even more than we’re doing right now.”

The day began at 10 a.m. with three two-hour shifts through 4 p.m. The LIFT cafeteria seats 200 people and in the first shift, Ashby reported that the cafeteria was almost full of children creating ornaments. While the kids were getting into the Christmas spirit, their parents were asking questions about the 124,000-square foot facility that cost almost $40 million to build.

“We got a lot of questions about the facility,” Ashby said. “A lot of parents were very impressed with The LIFT and were asking how students can come out here. That’s the great thing about an event like this: the opportunity educate the community on the opportunities we have at The LIFT and how easy it is for their children to sign up for classes out here once they get into high school.”