Maker Fest Brought Drones, Rockets and Jedi to Bell Works

Go make your own fun. That’s the message of the Maker Fest at Bell Works.

On Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, Bell Works held the 2nd Annual Maker Festival hosted by Building S.T.E.A.M. Maker Fest was full of exploration, inspiration, and fun, attracting more than 300 makers of all ages. Building S.T.E.A.M designed the Maker Festival to bring together the maker community, schools and industry to illustrate innovation and creativity in a hands-on immersive environment of learning and exploration.

(Pictured Right) Joel Auerbach showing the mechanics of his drone. At Bell Works we are big fans of the drone; last year we hosted ESPN’s Drone League for a race in this exact spot within the building.

Joel Auerbach, the man behind the Building S.T.E.A.M. Maker Festival went to college to become an applied technology teacher. His passion for designing and building tech gadgets brewed at a young age. After retiring from his teaching job, Joel could not contain his innovative ideas and founded a series of maker festivals. 

Inspired by the maker movement, Building S.T.E.A.M. was born. Joel noticed shop classes were being taken out of schools. “A lot of guys my age say, ‘You know, I have something I made in shop class 40 years ago.’ I wanted people to attend Maker Fest and be able to take one of their creations home and keep it for memories.” 

The organizers invited professionals and amateurs, enthusiasts and hobbyists, innovators and entrepreneurs, tinkerers and craftsmen to exhibit, demonstrate and provide educational immersive experiences for all ages. Hundreds came out to make, eat and fly their way through the Bell Works atrium. 

Here are just a few of the highlights from the action packed weekend.

Here are a few highlights:

AJH Entertainment designed an escape room to bring together families to solve a puzzle and find their way out.

Girl Scouts from Junior Troop 862 and Brownie from Troop 20 created custom sun catchers from recycled materials.

Chocolate Legends gave attendees the opportunity to make roses out of chocolate clay.

The community had fun working on this Stick Together masterpiece, “Every Sticker Counts!” which took shape over the course of the weekend as attendees added their own sticker pixels.

Randy (left) and Aaron (right) of 501st Legion created costumes and armor of the “bad guys” from their favorite movies. 

The Power Racing Series zipped through Maker Fest on vehicles retrofitted for racing.

Cora enjoyed Pendulum Painting, creating a unicorn headband and designing a kaleidoscope with her parents, Jason and Mary Kate of Marlboro, NJ. 

Jedi training in the atrium. Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi?

These three boys had a ‘blast’ building rockets out of recycled materials and launching them on Auerbach’s hand crafted rocket launcher. Elijah, 8, of South Amboy, NJ (red shirt), Josiah, 6, of South Amboy (white shirt, red sleeves) and Michael-Elias, 6, of Jersey City, NJ (navy t-shirt).

Bell Works was honored to host the 2nd Annual Maker Festival, where the community came together to learn, interact and explore creatively engineered new technologies as it once did as Bell Labs. Maker Fest joins a long list of unique, large-scale events held here including a hackathon, drone racing, eclipse viewing, film festival and living art installations. Events like these are how we #liveinspired in the metroburb.

SEE MORE: Covered Events & Happenings, Featured