Article

Youth’s Engagement as Scientists and Engineers in an Afterschool Making and Tinkering Program

Shifting Expectations: Understanding Youth Employees’ Handoffs in a 3D Print Shop

As digital fabrication technology has become mainstream, the increased demand for 3D printed objects has created a new market for professional outsourcing. Given that most of this work does not require advanced training, and is an appropriate entry-level manufacturing job, there is an exciting opportunity to employ youth already skilled in "making" and interested in technology to do this work as an after-school job. The combination of this new technology and workforce calls for new workflows that streamline client-driven digital manufacturing.

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Exploring I-poems to Explore the Identity of Underrepresented Engineering Student Makers

This Work in Progress Paper presents an NSF funded study focused on understanding the role that makerspaces play in the identity development of engineering students from underrepresented groups (URGs). In recent years, makerspaces have become a popular addition to universities, with an implicit assumption that makerspaces will increase students choosing to major in STEM disciplines.

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Measuring Electrodermal Activity to Capture Engagement in an Afterschool Maker Program

In this paper, we describe a new approach for exploring individual participants’ engagement in youth maker activities. Participants were outfitted with wearable first person point-of-view still-image cameras and wrist-based electrodermal sensors. The researchers analyzed the recorded electrodermal data stream for surges in skin conductivity and compared them with the corresponding photographs based on their time-stamp. In following with prior work, these surges were interpreted as moments of engagement.

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Fabricating Engagement: Benefits and Challenges of Using 3D Printing to Engage Underrepresented Students in STEM Learning

Lessons Learned Creating Youth Jobs in an Afterschool Maker Space

Failing to learn: The impact of failures during making activities

Making is a recent educational phenomenon that is increasingly occurring in schools and informal learning spaces around the world. In this paper we explore data from maker educators about their experiences with failure. We surveyed maker educators about how they view failure happening with youth in their formal and informal programs and how they respond. The results reveal some concrete strategies that seem to show promise for helping educators increase the likelihood that failure experiences for youth can lead to gains in learning and persistence.

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Source Code and a Screwdriver: STEM Literacy Practices in Fabricating Activities Among Experienced Adult Makers

This article presents results from developing and applying an initial analytic frame for observing and explaining literacy practices in making activities. It describes literacy-related themes that emerged when the framework was applied. These themes are discussed within the making process of fabrication, one of a number of goal-directed stages of making. Findings indicate that literacy practices in fabrication are openly shared, networked, and often oriented toward interfacing between physical and digital worlds. Results come from interviews with 14 adult makers.
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Math in the Making: Reflections for the Field

In September 2015, with support from the National Science Foundation (DRL-1514726), TERC and the Institute for Learning Innovation launched the Math in the Making project to engage the field in discussions about the relationships between mathematics and making and, in particular, to consider how integrating the two might both enrich making experiences and support mathematical learning and interest development for children and adults.

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Making It Social: Considering the Purpose of Literacy to Support Participation in Making and Engineering

Digital literacies for disciplinary learning explores intersections of digital and disciplinary literacies across learning contexts such as community makerspaces and schools and examines learning across disciplines including the arts, engineering, science, social studies, language arts, and math. Columns will address work with both youth and adults, both in school and out of school. Digital enhancements will encourage interactivity with readers and will provoke questions, comments, and connections.

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