WARREN, NJ - On Saturday, March 21, the 10 branches of Somerset County Library System of New Jersey celebrated the first annual NJ Makers Day. Hundreds of residents of all ages participated in maker-themed programs - ranging from robotics demonstrations to topiary making - throughout the day. The Warren Township Library hosted a Mini Maker Fair highlighting maker-themed activities for the whole family.
 
NJ Makers Day is designed to be a statewide single-day event that celebrates, promotes, and in many cases may introduce maker culture, as well as the values associated with making, tinkering and STEM-based learning. The maker movement in the United States isn’t just a hobby; it’s having a significant impact on school curriculum development and growing local economies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment in occupations related to STEM is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022. That’s an increase of about 1 million jobs."
 
 
Maker spaces across the state are having a significant impact on education and job skills development by providing access to people, information, resources, and tools that facilitate making to a wide variety of skill levels. Popular equipment in some maker spaces might include 3D printers, single board microcontrollers like Arduino and Raspberry Pi, robotics, digital media production, computer programming, textile and handicrafts, and more.
 
 

Demonstrations  included: basket weaving, knitting reusable gift bags, rug hooking, stenciling, 3D printing, and using Arduinos and Raspberry Pi's for home DIY applications. Make your own button and  get hands on time with MaKey MaKeys to turn everyday objects into touchpads and connect to the internet and saw Ozobots and Finch in action. Children worked with magnetic building tiles and Crystal Climbers and even made a paper robot. 
 
You can view more photographs from SCLSNJ's NJ Makers Day activities at all 10 library branches - including many from the Warren Township Library branch. A direct link to SCLSNJ's NJ Makers Day photo album: