TOMS RIVER – The 2018 Jersey Shore Makerfest continues the global “maker movement” with their 4th annual maker celebration later this month. On October 20, the RWJBarnabas Health Arena will transform into the largest hands-on experience in the area for thousands of attendees.
Artists, crafters, inventors, and educators will come together to share work from all sides of the maker spectrum.
“Makerfest is a 100 percent hands-on experience,” said co-founder Marc Natanagara, assistant superintendent of Toms River Regional Schools and Makerfest host. “Where else could you build an insect, trim a bonsai tree, and experience augmented reality in the same space on the same day?”
Over the past three years, Makerfest has grown in size and popularity, drawing in over 250 makers and 10,000 interested attendees. This year, the event will be expanding into two gyms, an outdoor patio and lawn, and a ball field.
Not only is Makerfest about sharing individual creations, but it also focuses on addressing real world problems.
“It’s more about having a ‘maker mindset,’ in which authentic issues are tackled with imagination and a wide variety of tools and materials. I’ve seen problems brilliantly addressed with cardboard and hot glue,” said co-founder and Ed Tech Supervisor Tiffany Lucey.
It highlights activities that can be easily replicated in the classroom. According to Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent David Healy, “Makerfest has been a catalyst for involving more of our classrooms in taking a problem-based and personalized approach to learning. It continues to highlight the ingenuity of educators.”
This year’s event will feature over 60 makers including Apple, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, Home Depot, Ocean County Modelers, Beachplum Quilters, and many more. There is something for everyone, from robotics competitions, flying drones, to live-streamed EdTalks.
The 2018 Jersey Shore Makerfest will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 20, at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena and High School North. Admission is free but online pre-registration is requested at jerseyshoremakerfest.org.