Makers from across New Jersey participate in NJ Makers Day to celebrate and share maker culture. Commercial and public makerspaces host a wide variety of events and presenters, while other locations -- such as select public libraries -- also host makerspaces for the day(s). In each location, NJ Makers Day attracts entrepreneurs, small business owners and young professionals, as well as children, teens and parents from across the state to share their enthusiasm for and interest in the culture of making and creating.
The ultimate goal of NJ Makers Day is to enhance community engagement and develop connections among New Jersey residents by collaborating with libraries, museums, schools, colleges/universities, small businesses and others to promote and explore new opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation and hands-on learning experiences.
There are many types of activities you can plan and execute that would constitute a 'making' program, but most have some of the following in common:
- Participants create something either physical or digital (coding, visual arts, film, etc.)
- Participants have the ability and freedom to deviate from instructions, test new ideas, and use materials in new ways
- Number of participants is usually between 5-15
- There is usually at least one program leader or facilitator (and maybe an assistant)
- Participants can keep what they make (whether physical or digital), or work together or independently to create pieces that be put together to form a single complete entity
First and foremost we want your participants and community to have fun! This event is designed to be a flexible celebration of all the great making, tinkering, creating, innovating and learning that takes place in our state. We have only really one requirement: Plan some type of making program or activity on the the date(s) of the event. Reach out to the NJMD Planning Committee to find out more about planning your event! In addition, we also ask that sites document all the making at your location on the day of your planned event, and share, share, share! When promoting or sharing on social media outlets, please use #njmakersday. You can also email pictures from your event to email@example.com. The team can help to share your images (with permission) on our various social media accounts. We know that keeping track of how many participants you have throughout your NJMD event may not be easy in all cases, but if at all possible, we would appreciate you gathering whatever statistics you can. What we really want to do is document the story of NJ Makers Day!
Your site is only responsible for promoting your location's event in your local community. The NJMD Planning Committee will be conduct statewide promotion. We will provide posters and other materials to many site locations to use for promotion at the local level. Find more useful tools for promotion in the Press Kit!
Yes! Follow us, share us, like us, love us! Please see the following links to our established social media accounts and use the official NJ Makers Day hashtag: #njmakersday
We certainly hope so! Webinars and meeting opportunities will be coordinated so that registered site representatives can network, receive training, and remain connected with the NJ Makers Day Planning Committee and each other. When sites register, there is an opportunity to sign up to be a mentor or for new sites to be partnered with a mentor. We highly encourage site representatives to get to know each other, share ideas, come up with awesome collaborations.
If you are a registered site to participate in NJ Makers Day, you will receive regular communication from the NJMD Committee. You will be alerted of any professional development opportunities available with plenty of time to register. All PD opportunities offered by the committee are free of charge, with a thank you to our sponsors. Online gatherings are hosted periodically leading up to NJ Makers Day, allowing for professional networking. There is also a NJMD Facebook Group set up to share PD workshops and to network.
- Assistance with planning, developing, and executing programs and events at your location
- Assistance with identifying potential local funding sources to support your programming for this event
- Providing mentor opportunities for participating locations to collaborate
- Assistance identifying potential community partners
- Coordinate free professional development opportunities
- Provide free promotional materials to use to market the event including a press kit and other marketing items
- Identifying and placing vendors, artisans, or educators at selected sites to conduct talks, programs, or demos
Not needed! This is not all about technology or being inclined toward technology. There are many types of making, DIY, STEM-based activities and materials to work with that have absolutely no basis in 'techie' technology! We want your community to participate in whatever way makes the most sense for your location. Contact us or see our Resources page for more ideas for low- or no-tech programs.
It takes only one interested and committed individual on staff to make a really successful making program. If you feel that you can't do it alone, we encourage you to contact us about our mentor program, where we can pair up newbie locations with one more experienced with NJMD event planning. You can also reach out to local businesses, schools, or community organizations to ask for volunteers, individuals to run STEM programming, or just additional resources; take a look at our Resources Page for partnership or programming ideas. Please reach out to the NJMD Planning Committee so that we can assist you in your planning a successful day!
Most making programs only require a table and some chairs in a small space to get started! If you do not have a designated programming space, consider hosting your event program in a public area where other visitors have an opportunity to stumble on the event. You can reach out to area organizations (schools, churches, community centers, restaurant, businesses) and ask to partner and host the event in their space. This could lead to future mutually-beneficial collaborations or an added bonus of additional business! Reach out to the NJMD Planning Committee or take a look at our Reources Page for some more ideas.
We are cognizant that funding for anything new or different can be hard to come by. We will be more than happy to work with you on developing a program or event that is low-to-no cost. Yes, you can participate, do a great making program, for free! Contact us.
There are many things that an individual can do to assist with ensuring the success of NJ Makers Day on a statewide level. Contact us for more information!
- Volunteer to help with logistics of the statewide event
- Be a site mentor. Are you doing making already but some sites nearby are not? Put yourself out there and help fellow site in the local area on a more personal level!
- Contact your local politicians and invite them to your event. We HIGHLY encourage all sites to do this if you can. Use some of the resources on this website to provide talking points you can use to make a compelling case for community involvement.
- Share your contacts for makers, artisans and any organizations interested in NJ Makers Day in your local community. Help us make and compile those connections!
- Share any local press or media coverage you may receive leading up to, or on the day of the event (and take a look at past and current featured media coverage around NJ).
- Just reach out to us and tell us you want to do more!
If you do not receive a response from our Contact Form, feel free to reach out to any of the following members of the NJ Makers Day Planning Committee:
For most site-related general inquiries:
For general inquiries from the press or media:
For inquiries regarding maker programs (ideas, planning, development):
- Doug Baldwin - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave Franz - email@example.com
- Ralph Bingham - firstname.lastname@example.org
For inquiries regarding advocacy, community partnerships and sponsorships, and collaborations:
For site inquiries regarding traditional and social media outreach: