Site Updates for November 18

Professional Development

As in the past, we and our training partners are able to provide a variety of workshops in the areas of STEAM, making and hands-on learning. There are some great workshops already scheduled for registered sites, and we have some additional promising ones in the works. Registration is OPEN for the following FREE workshops.

Toms River School District

The following workshops are provided by the Toms River School District. You may register for as many as you like by completing the registration form for each workshop you are prepared to attend. Please only register if you are committed and know you can attend.

Understanding the Maker Mindset

Date: Monday, November 20, 4-5:30 PM | Live Stream at:

Location: East Dover Elementary School (725 Vaughn Avenue, Toms River NJ 08753)
Description: Activities will help participants understand the relationship of the maker mindset to PBL, STEAM, active learning, etc; how it addresses NJ learning standards and learning theory; and how to adapt previous activities and create new ones to be more problem based and rigorous.

Maker Tools on a Budget

Date: Tuesday, December 12, 4-5:30 PM | Live Stream at: [TBA]
Location: Toms River Intermediate East Innovation Station (1519 Hooper Avenue)
Description: Experience the maker merging of traditional hand tools with low and high tech like Makey Makey and Scratch, Arduino, cardboard VR kits, simple circuits (copper tape, conductive pens, sewn circuits) in a problem-based model. Ten 5-minute presentations followed by choice of stations.

Developing Problem-Based Learning (PBL) lessons/activities

Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2:30-4 PM (secondary) and 4-5:30 PM (elementary) | Live Stream at: [TBA]
Location: High School North ELA Active Learning Center (1245 Old Freehold Road)
Description: Understand the difference between a Problem v. Project-based mindset; brainstorm cross-curricular unit plans; understand how to assess this kind of learning and program.

Planning, Running, and Participating in Maker Events

Date: Tuesday, February 13, 4-5:30 PM | Live Stream at: [TBA]
Location: High School East Makerspace (1225 Raider Way)
Description: Connect community stakeholders by developing plans and sample activities for hands-on staff training days, community nights, fests, EdCamps, and, of course, NJ Makers Day.

NJ Makers Day

Date: Friday, March 9 (periodically throughout the day)
Location: All 18 TRRSD schools + preschool learning center
Description: You’re not on your own! We’ll be streaming via YouTube Live all day. Live stream [TBA]

Woodworking! The Original STEAM

Maplewoodshop is an award-winning STEAM program that provides 21st century skills via traditional woodworking using your current staff, tables, and rooms. This portable program includes hand tools, a custom tool chest, custom tabletop jigs, curriculum and training. Using only hand tools, our projects make it easy to incorporate art, math, science, social studies — anything educators can think of — to bring hands-on learning to kids. To register, please visit:

Date: Wednesday, December 13
Time: 10am-12pm (depending on # of registrants an additional session may be added)
Location: Maplewood Memorial Library (Main Branch, 51 Baker St, Maplewood)
Description: Learn how to implement hand tool woodworking in your STEAM space. This two-hour session will cover safety, class management, and how to use essential hand tools while working on a simple project.

NJ Makers Day Meet-Up

Date: Sunday, December 3
Time: 1:30pm-4pm
Location: Piscataway Public Library (Kennedy Branch, 500 Hoes Lane)
Description: Meet and network with fellow NJMD site facilitators, work out ideas, share projects, open hack and more! This will be an informal gathering of NJMD participants for the opportunity to work collaboratively to brainstorm ideas or try out projects. This event will be self-facilitated, so we ask those interested in coming to bring at least one idea or project they would like to try out and share. Attendees should be prepared to bring their own supplies or tools for anything hands-on they would like to work on. This is time to meet, connect and dedicate to working on ideas. We will provide access to wireless internet and power/outlets as well as have a limited number of laptops.
Registration: Feel free to stop in anytime from 1:30-4 and stay as long between those hours as you would like. To register, visit:

Site Meetings

Our monthly virtual site meetings are an additional way registered site representatives to connect and share ideas, ask questions and receive updates regarding NJ Makers Day. This year, site meetings will be held in December, January and February. You do not any separate login to attend — use the link provided below to attend ANY of the site meetings and login as a guest. For those unable to attend meetings, all meetings will be recorded and those recordings will be sent to you after each meeting.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 10:00 AM
Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 4:00 PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 2:00 PM

To login to virtual site meetings, visit:

Mini Grants

The deadline to submit an NJMD mini grant application is Friday, Dec 1 at 5pm. Mini grant applications will be accepted from any site that registered for NJMD by the early-bird registration deadline of Nov 3. Applications can be submitted for amounts between $50 and $500. For those in school, library or other types of systems or districts, EACH physical location registered to be hosting an event within a district or system is eligible to apply for a grant individually (for instance individual libraries within a library county system, or individual schools within a given school district).

Application review will take place in December, with award announcements to be made by early January.


As in prior years, we are happy to be able to coordinate with partners to host various contests in conjunction with NJ Makers Day! This is a fun way to engage in making while providing some great prizes. Our first contest this year is a 2018 Scratch Challenge courtesy of WeMake 4H group of Edison, NJ. This contest is open to all elementary and middle school age children in the state of New Jersey.

Details regarding the Annual BuildTak 3D Design Challenge are coming soon.

Other Information

We would like to remind all of our sites that you can join us on social media through the following channels

If you are not already connect to the NJ Makers group, please also feel free to join in via email listserv and FB page. Completely separate from NJ Makers Day, NJ Makers is a group of passionate formal and informal maker educators sharing advise, information and ideas year-round. In the past this group has organized maker meetups as well as the first NJ Makers Summit, which took place last summer in partnership with NJ Makers Day. Articles, resources and questions are posted via the email list and Facebook page fairly often. All are welcome!

Doug Baldwin is President and Co-Founder of New Jersey Makers Day, and Head of Technology at Piscataway Public Library.