NSF EAGER Maker Summit


NSF EAGER Maker Summit: Charting the Future of Making in STEM Education

Holiday Inn Alexandria at Carlyle

2460 Eisenhower Avenue

Alexandria, VA 22314 December 10 - 11, 2018



In December, nearly 60 NSF EAGER project PIs were invited to meet for two days and spent time exploring topics of interest to NSF and the Maker community. The event was designed to:

  • Connect PIs with colleagues to share ideas and resources, and discuss potential collaborations
  • Identify current issues in the Maker movement with respect to education
  • Identify important research issues and trends
  • Discuss NSF’s investments in the Maker movement
  • Recommend future directions for NSF research and development

All attendees were encouraged to read the report, “Envisioning the Future of the Maker Movement,” the result of a request from The White House Office of Science and Technology that NSF organize and fund a summit of key representatives of the Maker movement to develop recommendations for moving the movement forward.

The EAGER Maker Summit tackled similar themes over the course of two days, moving from synthesis of the current state of Making, to envisioning the future. Groups then set to work developing a “Call to Action,” to be shared with the broader Making community in a series of webinars. 

Use the tabs below to navigate to the meeting themes, conference materials, and resource library.

Summit Information

This resource library was initiated by the NSF EAGER Maker Summit (http://stelar.edc.org/nsf-eager-maker-summit). A goal of the Summit was to compile a comprehensive bibliography of resources in the Maker field.

Please share your resources! The resource library will remain open to additional submissions from your own body of work, or something that you feel would be important to share with the Maker community. If you have a Maker resource to share you can upload this via the following link: https://go.edc.org/maker-resources

Resource Titlesort descending Abstract/Description Resource Type
Growing Designs with biomakerlab in High School Classrooms

We report on the development and implementation of biomakerlab, a wetlab starter kit for synthetic biology activities in K-12. In synthetic biology, participants make their own DNA—gene by gene—and then grow their designs into real applications by inserting them into microorganisms to develop different traits and characteristics provided by the genes. High school students worked with biomakerlab to make logo designs using microorganisms they manipulated to produce differently colored pigments. Our analysis focuses on student engagement with production activities and design challenges in... more

How Time Gets Used in Afterschool Maker Programs

Makerspaces are situated in diverse settings and engage in differing projects. Consequently, it appears that there is variation in what activities are engaged in and how time is spent in makerspaces. To date, the time-use of these activities within makerspaces has yet to be explored. The present paper identifies seven primary activity categories and discusses how time is devoted to these activities across three maker camps.

Learning from the parallel pathways of Makers to broaden pathways to engineering

Background: Makers are a growing community of STEM-minded people who bridge technical and non-technical backgrounds to imagine, build and fabricate engineering systems. Some have engineering training, some do not. This paper presents a study to explore the educational pathways of adult Makers and how they intersect with engineering. This research is guided by the following research questions: (1) What can we learn about the educational pathways of adult Makers through the lens of constructivist grounded theory? and (2... more

Lessons Learned Creating Youth Jobs in an Afterschool Maker Space

Real-world problem solving through Making is a popular technique to engage youth in STEM education. Since it is often difficult to infuse Maker curriculum into students’ school schedules, this frequently occurs in after-school programs. Unfortunately, not all youth are able to participate in these enriching after-school activities due to financial pressures. Due to the lack of variety of youth jobs, findings a technical job may be difficult and youth may instead take jobs in non-technical fields such as food service or retail. These... more

Liberatory Methodologies: Participatory Action Research Strategies for Discovering Inclusive Maker Space Practices

In this Research Work in Progress paper, we describe the methods chosen for a project exploring best practices of inclusion in maker spaces serving diverse populations. Maker spaces provide communities access to innovation tools in startup settings that are shaped by the participating members. In our study, these include not only hacker spaces that involve computing, electronic activities, and three-dimensional printing capabilities, but also sites focusing on traditional arts and crafts. Sites selected represent sustainable examples of the values embedded in maker space missions: to... more