PISCATAWAY – Each year, more than 80,000 residents come together at hundreds of public, school, and academic libraries throughout the State for New Jersey Makers Day, an annual celebration of STEM and maker culture.
According to a release, while the event will look different this year given public health restrictions in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the event’s organizers are planning a variety of engaging, family-friendly virtual activities for STEM enthusiasts of all ages.
The Seventh Annual New Jersey Makers Day will be March 19-20 and feature a variety of inspiring, family-friendly events, including Joylette Hylick, mathematician, author, and daughter of Katherine Johnson, profiled in “Hidden Figures;” Kathy Ceceri, award-winning writer and instructional designer; Dr. Madiha Jafri, systems engineer and STEM advocate; and Mike Carroll, elementary school teacher, entrepreneur and children’s author.
Events will also feature hands-on workshops on a variety of topics, like hacking origami, building bee abodes to conserve native pollinators, engineering with paper to make your own arcade-style game, and learning game design.
“When we are able to participate in hands-on creation and hear from real people about their experiences as innovators in business and education, it inspires us to learn and grow our own skills,” shares Kate Jaggers, president of the New Jersey Makers Day nonprofit organization and director of Highland Park Public Library.
“We’re so proud that New Jersey Makers Day events reach so many people statewide, and that more families and young people are able to explore new ways to engage with science, technology, engineering, math and the arts.”
There is a critical need for new workers in the STEM economy.
“The fast pace and growth of manufacturing technology has created a skill gap,” says Ted Toth, senior technical advisor for Rosenberger North America. “Supporting STEM helps to close some of the gaps.”
New Jersey Makers Day hopes to address this skills gap by inspiring the next generation of STEM students and professionals.
“STEM education and the practice of making are of paramount importance and are complementary in forming a strong basis for thought and problem solving,” says Daniel Brateris, director of Experiential Learning, New Jersey Institute of Technology.
“The STEM disciplines teach us to understand and model the world around us.”
New Jersey Makers Day events are free and open to all New Jersey residents statewide. The events will be live-streamed on njmakersday.org, YouTube, and Facebook Live. For more information, visit njmakersday.org/njmd-live.
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