Summertime is here, and it’s time to get creative! If you’re looking for an engaging way to enjoy some hands-on fun during the summer season, the New Jersey State Museum’s Maker Space program is certain to please.

Beginning on July 5th, the New Jersey State Museum will officially kick off its Maker Space program for the 2023 season. Each Wednesday throughout the season, the NJSM invites creatives of all skill levels to participate in a free hands-on project. Guests are welcome to drop by any time between 11am and 2pm. The scheduled crafts and projects will typically take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. This year’s schedule includes a whole host of exciting projects, including:

  • Fly Like a Bird (July 5th): Visitors will make their own feathers and wings while learning about the functionality of different feathers and wing types of various birds.
  • Make a Straw Rocket (July 12th): Visitors will build a rocket that is propelled by blowing into a straw. Learn about air pressure, propulsion, and aerodynamics. Test your rockets and see if you can improve the design to travel further.
  • Robo Color Wheel (July 19th): NJSM’s Fine Art collection, American Perspectives, is full of bright colors and vibrant designs. Learn about how just three colors make up the whole spectrum of the rainbow while building and designing your very own moving wind-up wheel to take home. Explore momentum and engineering, combining art and science in a creative way.
  • Wind Mill Magic (July 26th): Visitors will decorate and make a paper windmill. Explore wind energy and learn about modern wind farms.
  • Make a Cardboard Rover (August 2nd): Visitors will design a rover that is propelled using energy stored in rubber bands. This activity is best for older children and adults. Test your rover and see if you can improve the design to travel further.
  • Kinetic Sculpture (August 9th): Make your very own moving sculpture! NJSM’s Fine Art collection, American Perspectives, features many different sculptures, even ones that move on their own. Learn about these artists, how these sculptures work, and create and decorate your own to take home This activity explores kinetic energy to show how artists combine art and science to create amazing things.
  • Visualize Your DNA (August 16th): Visitors will make a DNA spiral out of pipe cleaners and beads to represent the backbone and bases. Each color bead will represent one of the four bases. Learn about the history and composition of DNA while you work.
  • Space Origami – Make Your Own Starshade (August 23rd): Test out origami techniques to learn how scientists use origami concepts to fold up large objects to send to space, then unfurl them in space. Explore the technology necessary for future generations of telescopes designed to discover planets around stars other than the Sun.

Whether you’re interested in the arts, science, history, or more, you’re guaranteed to find a project you’ll love. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the upcoming program, you can contact the New Jersey State Museum at or (609) 292-6464 for additional assistance. Don’t be afraid to get hands-on this summer, be sure to swing by the Maker Space sessions and bring your next great creation to life!

About Author