Nonprofit museums at National Historic Landmark site to increase offerings in 2nd year
March 1, 2023–
Last March, InfoAge Science and History Museums in Wall Township joined over 200 libraries, schools, museums, parks, and makerspaces across the state to celebrate the annual NJ Makers Day for the first time. The event returns to InfoAge bigger and better the weekend of March 25-26.
Emerging from the pandemic in 2022, visitors flocked to the former Camp Evans army base to partake in free activities set up in the historic Marconi Hotel banquet hall. Volunteers from Garden State Central Railroads, the Military Technology Museum, NJ Antique Radio Club, Vintage Computer Society, and other Infoage leaders offered over a dozen hands-on challenges enjoyed by all ages.
That year included laser cutting, balsa wood planes, train layouts, cartesian divers, gardening, soldering, crypto coding, origami, circuit building, and programming and printing on 1970s-1980s era computers. More is being added for 2023, including MakerTalks, where student and adult innovators will share their work and stories.
“Last year was the first time in InfoAge’s almost twenty year existence that nearly all of our organizations worked together in the same space,” said organizer Marc Natanagara, a 36-year educator. “Visitors always tell us they can’t believe we have such a storied history and rare artifacts here. Makers Day lets them experience innovation and not just read about it.”
As a nonprofit, InfoAge relies largely on public support and grants for its work, which includes renovating historic spaces, acquiring and restoring artifacts for display, and hosting lectures, events and activities. This year, the PhRMA Foundation is providing $3000 in seed money for tools and materials, which has allowed event planners to expand its weekend offerings to the community.
Free Makers Day activities will run from 12 noon to 4 PM in the Marconi Hotel at 2201 Marconi Road. In addition, many museums will offer additional STEM projects in their spaces, included in the price of discounted admission for families with children participating in Makers Day weekend. All twenty museums and exhibits across the 47 acre campus will be open both days for regular operating hours from noon to 5 pm.