Voyagers’ Community School, Eatontown, NJ held its first annual Maker EXPO on Saturday, December 10, 11-4pm.
Over three hundred people attended and interacted with over thirty exhibits. Opportunities to build with unconventional materials, interface with inventor/creators, and experience cutting edge activities such as robot battles, drone flights, and digital art were at the center of the day’s experience. Voyagers’ Founder and Director said, “This Expo is a living demonstration of what is at the heart of Voyagers’ Community School mission and vision.”
Maker EXPO Director, Allison Milgrom said, “The magic of this event was the engagement and inspiration of learners of all ages, and the bringing together of the wider community. The vibe in the rooms was electric.” She explained how the term STEAM evolves from STEM, in that it now includes art— Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The cross-collaborating, cross-curricular educational demonstration included, for example, a representative from Bloxels, who taught game design through the creation of a piece of art using small colored blocks and then, with the aid of an iPad, designing a video game on the spot. The Tesla Science Foundation brought a Tesla coil, which demonstrated how electrical current can illuminate a light wirelessly.They also provided Virtual Reality experiences. Other exhibiters included potters, veterinarians, doll makers, mosaic artists, robotics demonstrations, and a 3-D printing company that printed pancakes that attendees ate on the spot!
Giuffre’ said that this Expo really demonstrated the importance of fun hands-on project learning and engagement. She said, “It’s a place to see your ideas come to life using current and emerging technologies, such as 3D printing. We are grateful to our attendees, sponsors, exhibitors and staff for taking part in our vision to provide access to engaging learning experiences for all.”
At the event, Senator Jennifer Beck presented a framed joint legislative resolution from the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey signed by the President of Assembly Stephen Sweeney and Speaker of the General Assembly, Vincent Prieto. Senator Beck said of the school, “This school has really grown and expanded because of your great success and your commitment to our children. …And due to the dedication and hard work that the administration, teachers and most importantly students and families have put into insuring our young people are well versed and leaders in math and science.”
In addition to the Resolution being presented at the event, two Voyagers’ students were also awarded Certificates of Recognition as innovators by the Tesla Science Foundation for projects they had constructed. One student, Julian Jaffe, built a Slayer Exciter, a form of Tesla Coil, and another student, Max Polonet, built a Rail gun, which is also based on Tesla technology. Julian said, “The Expo provided opportunities for people to be inspired by art and science.” Max said of his experience that he “hopes to inspire others to be maker and scientists,” and wants “people to be curious and to invent things.”
Voyagers’ parent, Jennnifer Marmaroto said, “My daughter, Mahala, was completely entranced…and advanced her skills in stop motion animation. This sure was a day to remember.” Look for details and updates about the Spring Maker Expo scheduled for June 3, 2017.