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PHOTOS & VIDEO: Achieve’s Maker Madness Draws More Than 1,000


The following is from the Achieve Foundation: 

Families were gathered at the door at 10 AM sharp on Saturday, April 30, to be the first to experience the Achieve Foundation’s 2016 Maker Madness event. Over 1,000 kids and parents filled the CHS cafeteria for more than six hours to be mesmerized by a kinetic sculpture; race marbles down a track of Lucite pipes; watch the mechanical “animals” in the robot zoo; learn woodworking by building benches and robot toys; design, build and paint a cardboard town; wave mechanical hands they made out of cardboard, straws and string; learn computer coding; launch green rockets made of recycled materials; make prints out of fruits and vegetables; incorporate traditional crafts like sewing and embroidery with electronics; make videos, voice recordings and so much more. The activity that drew the largest crowd was the teardown station, where kids took apart old computers, lawn mowers, printers, etc. to see what was inside and how they work.

The excitement was palpable throughout the day at this free event that welcomed students and adults to discover the world of STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) by offering more than 30 demonstrations and hands-on activities. Inquiring on Achieve’s Facebook page about making a donation, a parent commented, “One of coolest, best hands on, interactive, fun science art, craft, math fairs we’ve ever been too! Spent hours there with 6 kids ages ranging from 4-10 and could’ve spent more time!”

Maker Madness made clear that everybody can learn to do almost anything by trying it out themselves. The Achieve Foundation hosts the event to draw attention to and promote STEAM education in the South Orange and Maplewood Schools. Adrianna Compagnoni, Achieve STEAM committee member and computer science professor at Stevens Institute said, “ I had a blast. There was an atmosphere of happiness and freedom to try new things. I had kids and grown-ups alike try Hour of Code. Many asked for more to do at home, and were pleased to find out that the resources are all free and available online. I also learned to solder :-)”

Achieve thanks event sponsors and partners including Maplewoodshop, Scholastic, Sparkhouse Toys, Stryker and the Vanessa Pollock Realty Team, as well as Claudia Meyers, Cynthia Neides, Alex Thompson, the Maplewood Library, Robot Revolution and generous families from the community. Event organizers, Larry Boyer, Aileen Nicoletti and Mike Schloff salute over 60 volunteers and makers who contributed their time and expertise to Maker Madness.

You can support Maker Madness and the Achieve Foundation by clicking here: https://achievefoundation.org/donate/.

See our photo gallery below; all photos credit Franck Goldberg. Click on any photo to begin.

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