Makerspaces and Making Culture

Making Culture, a report released by the ExCITe (Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies) Center at Drexel University is the first in-depth examination of K-12 education makerspaces nationwide.   Making Culture is the product of a year-long investigation visiting 30 K-12 education makerspaces across 12 metropolitan regions conducted through in-depth interviews with students, instructors, and leadership alongside observation and study of each space and its programs.

This report reveals the significance of cultural aspects of making (student interests, real world relevance, and community collaboration) that enable learning. The research highlights how makerspaces foster a range of positive student learning outcomes, but also reflect some of the gaps in inclusion common in the STEM fields.

The report found several variables that had a profound effect on what the authors call “makerspace culture,” including curriculum, project choice, whether competitions or showcases were preferred and the number of after school or out-of-class opportunities available. The culture of a given space was found to greatly impact student participation, the mindsets they develop and how they collaborate and share information with others.  Read more.

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