MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The third annual Makers Madness event, sponsored by the Achieve Foundation, was held at Columbia High School on Saturday, April 29. There were over 25 hands-on STEAM activities from crafting to coding to choose from in the cafeteria and outdoors, all geared towards students in grades K to 12.
The range of activities included drawing, making a cardboard hand (which demonstrated how tendons, ligaments, and muscles function), sewing, and building out of straws.There were also stations where students could experience video production, screen printing, control robots, and fly paper airplanes by launching them with a robot built by students. In the hallways behind the cafeteria, participants could take a ride on the hovercraft.
Activities outdoors included a miniature golf course, constructed out of cardboard, and clubs, which were assembled from blocks of wood and dowels. There were also opportunities to fly a drone, which was built by students.
Scott Sinkler, who volunteered at Makers Madness with his two daughters, Maia and Sasha, thinks Maker Madness provides an amazing opportunity for young people to both create, and dismantle things. As Sinkler explained, "three years ago I thought it might be worthwhile to give kids a chance to take things apart as I did as a kid. Now the ‘Teardowns’ station is one of the most popular at Maker Madness. Hundreds of kids have enjoyed it. Some will sit in one position for hours, removing every screw and bolt to completely disassemble a computer, a stereo or even a lawnmower."