Debugging open-ended designs: High school students’ perceptions of failure and success in an electronic textiles design activity

Research on productive failure has examined the dimensions which are most beneficial for students’ learning of well-defined canonical problems in math and science. But failure plays an equally important role in solving open-ended, or ill-defined, design problems that have become prominent in many STEM-oriented maker activities. In understanding the role of failure in openended design tasks, we draw on Kapur’s conceptualization of productive failure and connect it to research on the role of construction in learning.


Connecting Space and Narrative in Culturally Responsive Making in ARIS with Indigenous Youth

Attending to issues of equity in making demands that we work closely with communities, focusing on what it is made, how it is made, for whom, and in what contexts. Rather than exploring making exclusively as a pathway to STEM learning, we examine how Indigenous youth learned about and documented community-based making using the Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling (ARIS) platform. Drawing on a range of qualitative data, we asked: (1) What did youth learn about makers, materials, and cultural meanings in their community?


All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter

This is a story about learning STEM content and practices while making objects. It is also a story about how that learning is contextualized in one young man’s disruption of racism simply by trying to learn how gears work. Our project, Investigating STEM Literacies in MakerSpaces (STEMLiMS), focuses on how adults and youth use representations to accomplish tasks in STEM disciplines in formal and informal making spaces (Tucker-Raymond, Gravel, Kohberger, & Browne, 2017).


MakEval: Tools to Evaluate Maker Programs with Youth

The MakEval team is creating suites of tools—including surveys, assessments, and observation protocols—that provide educators, researchers and program administrators with information to evaluate maker programs/experiences with youth. MakEval identified a set of five key targets for evaluation, based on formal and informal maker educators’ survey and interview data, that include: creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, agency/independence, and involvement in STEM practices, and development of interest and identity in STEM/making.


Seeking out Math in Making Experiences

Negative attitudes about mathematics and the poor performance of U.S. adults and students on measures of mathematical reasoning are well-documented problems that limit many people’s identities and career aspirations. At the same time, the last decade has seen a proliferation of out-of-school environments that foster making and tinkering activities. Enthusiastic participants in these activities are often engaging in mathematical reasoning without realizing it—and thus do not consider themselves competent mathematical thinkers.


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

In December of 2018, nearly 60 NSF EAGER project PIs were invited to meet for two days and explore topics of interest to NSF and the Maker community. The event was designed to:

Unlimited slots left.

Computational Thinking for Youth

The ITEST Small Working Group on Computational Thinking (CT) has completed its White Paper titled: Computational Thinking for Youth.  The paper aims to describe what computational thinking looks like when practiced by youth in ITEST and other NSF funded programs and how educators can support growth in computational thinking.  It shares examples of CT as observed in middle school projects.  It also shares observations in the form of a model that describes three stages that youth