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Jersey Shore Makerfest

Jersey Shore Makerfest

Once again, thousands of people of all ages and from all walks of life attended Toms River Regional Schools’ third annual Jersey Shore Makerfest. The event was held on Saturday, October 14, at the district’s event arena and the on grounds and in classrooms at High School North in Toms River, NJ.

The event celebrates a larger phenomenon that has been building worldwide for the last decade. Its application in schools aligns with state standards in careers, technology, science, and engineering and improved understandings of student learning. It is closely related to STEAM, Active Learner, and Problem-Based Learning initiatives many districts have recently begun.

Organizer Marc Natanagara, Assistant Superintendent, has seen the maker movement as an opportunity to make learning more engaging. He has shared recent school initiatives at conferences and at the past two World Maker Faires in New York City, each of which drew over 100,000 attendees.

“The maker mindset is about both individuality and collaboration, and the role of creativity in learning,” said Dr. Natanagara. “Students always rise to the challenge and show they can tackle real world issues if given the chance.”

Makerfest has sparked dozens of partnerships and sponsorships that have helped improve classrooms and programs, and the maker/STEAM mindset has been at the root of the majority of $1.2 million in grants won over the past two years. Makerspaces have been and are being built in each of the district’s 18 schools, most through grants and donations. Three high school Career Academies debuted in September, each with a hands-on technology component. Teachers are creating more interactive, inquiry-based, and problem-oriented lessons. And new tech, coding, and robotics extracurricular programs are in high demand.

For more information, go to http://jerseyshoremakerfest.org

Help Support Computer Science Education in NJ

Help Support Computer Science Education in NJ

There are two bills still pending approval in New Jersey, and we need your help to get them across the finish line. A2873 (CS in every HS) and A3870 (CS Teaching Certification) have both passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year. Now, both bills are waiting for a final vote in the Assembly, and they must be voted on before the end of the year. We are so close.

In 2016, only 34% of NJ high schools offered AP Computer Science and less than 1% of NJ high school students (3,056) students took APCS A.

The Change.org petition for letting NJ Assembly Speaker Prieto know that computer science should be fundamental to New Jersey, is now closed. Thank you for all of your support.

All students should have the opportunity to learn Computer Science. Ensure New Jersey stays among the leaders in Computer Science Education.