Makerspace at the Newark Museum
Since its beginning, the Newark Museum has been an institution of art, science, technology and history. Within those areas the Museum has been guided by the philosophy of constructivist learning --a focus on self-guided, hands-on, and interactive learning through the use of art, science and technology tools. This is the very philosophy behind the Makerspace at the Newark Museum.
What is a Makerspace?
The name says it all. Makerspace is a place where young people make things that are inspired by their own interests and explorations. These things are made using low-cost everyday tools and materials, enhanced through access to state-of-the art technologies. Users of the Makerspace develop innovative designs and solutions—the focus is on ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY)—if you can think it, you can make it. Put simply, users learn by ‘making.’
Makerspace invites users to “build to think” by utilizing rapid fabrication equipment and materials. Equipment and supplies range from silk screens to sewing machines; microscopes to micro-controllers; Dremel tools to DC motors; soldering to soft-circuits; and 3-D software to 3-D printing robots. Cutting-edge technology in the Makerspace is accessible, but not always required. Art, craft, science, engineering and technology form the platform for discovery, creativity and collaboration.
These 21st century skills are not only developed in the Makerspace, but within the Museum’s galleries and collections. Participants are exposed to the vast object and intellectual resources the Museum has to offer, making Makerspace at the Newark Museum a truly unique learning place in the United States.
Maker Corps, Summer 2013
In 2013 the Newark Museum was chosen as one of 20 new Maker Corps pilot sites, which supports the Museum's continued presentation of Makerspace programming. Maker Corps is a program developed by Maker Education Initiative, whose founding sponsors include Cognizant, Intel, Maker Media and Pixar Animation Studios. Maker Corps mentors brought their own enthusiasm and knowledge about how to learn by doing to Camp Newark Museum, the Museum’s summer program for kids ages 3 to 17, and family drop-in summer programs. Maker Corps mentors engaged children in creative projects that develop problem-solving skills in ways that make connections between science, art and technology.
Partnership with Big Picture Schools, Newark 2012 & 2013
Makerspace at the Newark Museum launched its first pilot program with the support of Cognizant Corporations Making the Future initiative, in partnership with the Big Picture Schools in the Newark Public Schools and HTINK, an organization specializing in the ‘maker movement.’ Twelve high school students from Newark’s Innovation Academy participate in a 14-week class that supported the school’s curriculum. Student projects ranged from custom-designed and printed t-shirts to original video game design, complemented by the students designing and printing their own 3-D game controller along with programming and soldering the controller’s microprocessor. The skills included those applicable to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art and math.
Star Ledger Article, May 31, 2012
Art and science meet in Newark Museum laboratory
Makerspace at the Newark Museum is made possible through
Cognizant’s Making the Future Program.