MORRIS COUNTY — The maker movement in the United States isn’t just a hobby; it’s having a significant impact on school curriculum development and growing local economies. To celebrate making and maker culture, residents throughout New Jersey will come together on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, in libraries, schools, museums, colleges, makerspaces, businesses, and other community locations.
NJ Makers Day is designed to be a statewide event that celebrates, promotes, and in many cases may introduce maker culture, as well as the values associated with making, tinkering and STEM-based learning. In 2017, NJ Makers Day drew over 85,000 individual attendees to more than 300 participating sites across all 21 counties in the state. Participating locations included schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and other educational organizations.
Makerspaces across the state are having a significant impact on education and job skills development by providing access to people, information, resources, and tools that facilitate making to a wide variety of skill levels. NJ Makers Day allows communities to share hands-on programming opportunities, demonstrations and displays, and the expertise of the individuals and organizations that make, create, and develop right in their own backyards.
“We are ecstatic to be able to bring this type of programming to the Morris County community,” said Mark Sutherland, Manager of Morris County Park Commission Historic Sites. “We are committed to finding ways to help people learn new skills and to work collaboratively on exciting hands-on projects.” Cooper Gristmill in Chester Township and Historic Speedwell in Morristown are proud to be participating sites for New Jersey Makers Day on March 22 at the Cooper Gristmill, and March 23, 2019 at Historic Speedwell! Community members of all ages are invited to attend for two exciting days filled with activities focusing on maker culture.
At both sites, visitors will have the opportunity to use their critical thinking and decision making skills to bring their bright idea to the real world. At Historic Speedwell, participants will be given startup (fake) money to buy resources to make their invention, as well as create marketing for it.
At Cooper Gristmill, participants will have a similar experience, however, instead of marketing, they will complete a patent for their invention based on the current US Patent Office application requirements. Using Legos, Lincoln Logs, K’nex, pipe cleaners, and other building supplies, participants can form whatever idea they wish to bring to life!
For more information, please contact Maressa McFarlane at (973) 285-6537 or visit www.morrisparks.net. Cooper Gristmill is located at 66 Route 24, Chester. Historic Speedwell is located at 333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown.