Home EB Sentinel EB Sentinel News Creativity, innovation are part of Monroe library’s Makerfest

Creativity, innovation are part of Monroe library’s Makerfest

PK's Kreations' themed jewelry display at the second annual Chocolate & Wine Event held at Branches Catering in Long Branch on January 30.

By KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

MONROE — The annual Makerfest held at the Monroe Township Public Library last month proved the event is for all ages.

Steve Hrubes, Studio M coordinator, and Lynnette Fucci, youth services librarian, attended the Township Council meeting on April 4 to share the success of the annual event.

The library held its Makerfest on March 19 in conjunction with New Jersey Makers Day, a statewide celebration of the Do-It-Yourselfer. The event had more than 500 attendees ranging from infants to seniors.

“We had more than last year and we did not see a lull in the day,” Hrubes said.

The annual Makerfest, run by some 45 volunteers, gave the public the opportunity to meet with local makers and inspire attendees to start making makers of their own.

“Our exhibitors were hobbyists and businesses, and for our maker exhibitors we wanted them to promote themselves and get exposure for their businesses, clubs and projects,” he said.

The event showcased more than 20 adult maker exhibitors that included robotics, electronic projects, stained glass, woodcarving, rug hooking, jewelry making, art, ceramics, needlework and science experiments.

“[The exhibitions were] very broad in [their] scope,” said Hrubes.

The event also featured over a dozen children’s exhibits ranging from robotics and electronics to cupcake decorating and balloon animals.

“We had two robotics clubs that showed up and showed off what they did,” he said.

The library partnered with Home Depot, which donated 175 wooden kits. Also donated were 200 electronic LED flowers. Both ran out early, said Hrubes.

The Makerfest was also a chance for the library to showcase what it has to offer the community — a 3-D printer, sewing classes, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programming, button maker software, portable green screen training and a teen building club.

Sridhar Alathur even displayed a vortex cannon exhibit with his two nephews.

“[The Makerfest] was a great opportunity [for the kids] to not only learn how [the cannon] works and operates, [but] the kids actually fired the cannon,” he said. “The Monroe library can have the distinction of letting a band of pirates fire a cannon. … It’s not just science, you are able to dress up to make it fun.”

Alathur said personally, when he thinks of the greatest companies in the world, the common theme is innovation.

“The library has made this a center point encouraging innovation and creativity among the community and children especially. It was amazing. Diversity was fantastic. We had all people from every race and every age, parents and the senior community,” he said.

Some members of the senior community exhibited their jewelry making and told the council they enjoyed showcasing their crafts as well as seeing the other displays.

Council Vice President Stephen Dalina said what he liked about the second annual Makerfest was seeing a lot more people from Monroe showcasing their inventions.

For more information, visit www.monroetwplibrary.org.

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