Organization Highlight: M.A.D, Inc.

Wole Ajala, a Health Sciences Professor and dedicated mathematics/Physics teacher with a passion for woodworking, founded M.A.D, Inc. (Math Arts Designs) STEAM Makerspace in Dallas, TX originally. From the organization’s infancy, Wole Ajala’s mission was to demonstrate the practical applications of mathematical theory to his students. He saw how geometry and algebra could come alive through woodworking, translating theory into tangible creations.

In 2008, Ajala moved to Greensboro, NC, where he continued his mission, introducing children to arts and crafts through mathematics. Students could use the Pythagorean theorem when creating functional wooden toys, racing cars, and big trucks, blending academic learning with hands-on application. Recognizing the need for support outside the classroom, Wole Ajala expanded his initiative, which initially stood for “Make and Donate.” His students crafted unique wooden pieces, keeping one for themselves and donating another to underprivileged families, totaling an annual donation of about 5,000 toys to Triad’s local organizations and Toys for Tots.

In 2019, MAD, Inc. was officially incorporated, allowing for further impact. The organization partnered with local entities like Greensboro Parks and Recreation Centers and Creative Greensboro, which provided spaces for their monthly First Friday programs and Summer Camps. The Arts Council of Greater Greensboro also played a crucial role, offering grant funding through Grassroots support and professional development via the Accel Arts cohort.

MAD, Inc. offers several types of after-school STEAM Makerspace programs designed to engage students creatively and practically. Every Saturday until Christmas, they host a weekly woodworking camp at the High Point Library parking lot from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm, where children and their families come together to paint woodworking pieces.

The organization also collaborates with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater High Point, bringing middle and high school students to The Forge in Greensboro, and young adults from NCWorks to teach practical hands-on skills in bike maintenance and woodworking to students aged 18-24. This approach ensures that participants gain relevant and employable skills, preparing them for future opportunities.

A unique aspect of MAD, Inc. is its portable 18ft Solar-Powered climate-controlled woodworking trailer. This trailer serves a dual purpose: a mobile faith congregation for half the week and as a woodworking space for homeless individuals for the other half. People experiencing homelessness can create wooden items, which are then sold at a MAD, Inc. booth at the flea market, with all proceeds going directly to the creators.

Currently, MAD, Inc. is seeking a permanent Makerspace building for young children. This dedicated building would allow the organization to further its mission of blending math, art, and design to foster creativity and practical skills.

Anyone with available building/space is encouraged to contact M.A.D, Inc. through:

Wole Ajala, PhDc, MPhil, MSc., 336-689-7643