Local Learning Unlimited school joins the 'Maker Movement'

West Milford. Students that are part of the Learning Unlimited program showed off their inventions skills at Marshall Hill Elementary School April 4.

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  • Catherine Coyle turned a remote-control car into a Drink and Snack Server. Photos courtesy Ken Greenberg

  • Peyton Greenberg’s Rain Sensor used a drop of water to complete a simple circuit and sound an alarm.

  • Proud inventor Michael Ray shows off his “Night Writer” illuminated pen.

The term “Maker Movement” has been bandied about a lot in the past couple of years, but just what is the Maker Movement anyway?

The Maker Movement has become an umbrella term for a recent wave independent inventors, designers and tinkerers.

When the participants converge, they have what is known as a Maker Faire, a collection of DYIers who are prone to building things like robots, drones, computers and other tekkie stuff that push the limits of imagination.

The 3rd and 4th grade students at Learning Unlimited were tasked with creating their own inventions, much the same way, while employing a well-planned design process, and engaging in STEAM challenges (Science, Technology Arts & Math).

Along the way, students were asked to document their project in detail, including recording mistakes, mishaps and do-overs -- enhancing the understanding of concepts such as discovery and trial and error.

The Learning Unlimited program continues to benefit from the tutelage and guidance of Director Julie Cheshire.

On its April 4 Project Night, the students held their very own Maker Faire, each displaying and demonstrating their inventions to parents, students and anyone else in attendance on what turned out to be a crowded auditorium at Marshall Hill Elementary School.

An impressive array of inventions was on display for the big night including and automated pet feeder, a pet treat dispenser, a ukulele karaoke kit, paint brushes with built-in paint, a couple of very high-tech dog leashes and more.

Learning Unlimited provides additional enrichment to students requiring a greater challenge. Classes are offered as a supplement to a student’s regular studies, and promote an environment that encourages concepts such as teamwork, creative thinking and analysis.

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