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

The Summit engaged participants in discussions around the themes listed below, with each session exploring the following topics:

Future of Making

Broadening Participation: NSF is committed to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. This session will examine barriers to access and issues of equity specific to the creation culturally relevant makerspaces that are diverse and inclusive. 

Partnerships: Makerspaces are inherently community-based by design. In this session we will explore what impacts these spaces have on communities, and ways that making can contribute to the social and cultural vibrancy of a community.   

Process and Pedagogy: This session will discuss the characteristics, pedagogies and experiences, of makerspaces. 

Research & Evaluation: During this session we will examine the challenges in designing assessments and measuring cognitive and non-cognitive learning outcomes in a maker-based project. 

Workforce Development: As we look to the future of work, how can making help to build the foundational skills needed for success at the human-technology frontier? This session will focus on making with youth and adults and look at both STEM professional and skilled technical workforce applications.   

Day 1 of the EAGER Maker Summit kicked off with a warm welcome by STELAR staff, followed by opening remarks from Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Director of Education & Human Resources Directorate. Andrew Coy then provided an engaging keynote on the “State of the State on Maker Education.

Participants then moved into Synthesis sessions focused on each of the five subject areas (see themes tab). Each group learned about their colleagues’ connections to making and engaged in discussions on the innovations and challenges that currently exist in Making projects, as well as their dreams and aspirations for the future of making.

Day 1 closed with a reception and Project Expo, during which projects presented posters and technology demonstrations, a selection of which can be viewed at the link below:

Project Expo

Day 2 of the Summit opened with a recap and discussion of the day one sessions, followed by a panel presentation on “Innovations, Challenges and the Future of Making,” featuring Liza Manfred from the KID Museum, Erick Jones from the University of Texas at Arlington, Andee Rubin from TERC, and Monya Ruffin from the National Science Foundation.

Participants again formed into groups around the five themes, this time in Envisioning Sessions designed to explore the following questions:

  • How do we get from where we are now to where we want to go?
  • How can NSF support Making projects in working towards these goals?
  • Where are there gaps in the current body of research?

Groups then set to work developing a “Call to Action,” to be shared with the broader Making community in a series of webinars.

At the close of day two, each group provided a report-out to an NSF panel featuring Evan Heit, the director of the Division of Research on Learning (DRL), and NSF Program Directors Ellen McCallie and Robert Russell.


This resource library was initiated by the NSF EAGER Maker Summit (/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