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  1. Keith Trahan
  2. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  3. University of Pittsburgh
  1. Everett Herman
  2. http://www.ceac.pitt.edu
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Pittsburgh CEAC, University of Pittsburgh
  1. Cynthia Tananis
  2. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  3. University of Pittsburgh

EAGER: MAKER: Researching a School District’s Integration of the Maker Moveme...

NSF Awards: 1623431

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

EAGER: MAKER: Researching a School District’s Integration of the Maker Movement into its Middle and High SchoolThe beginning of the 21st century saw the rise of Maker Spaces or informal community workshops where people of all ages engage in a variety of creative design and fabrication activities with materials and equipment that would otherwise be out of reach for the average person. Given its power to engage learners, grades K‐12 educators and school leaders are considering how the Maker Movement might be integrated into formal school settings. This research project uses case study methodology to articulate how the Elizabeth Forward School District (EFSD) integrates the Maker movement into its secondary schools. Since 2013, EFSD has used a variety of Making tools and approaches to promote a project‐based curriculum that integrates art, technology education, and computer science at the middle and high school levels. Using mixed methods, Year 1 of the project articulates and tracks EFSD’s internal efforts and processes, and collaborations with various external partners. Year 2 of the project focuses more specifically on teacher and student outcomes, exploring how introducing Maker activities into formal STEM education impacts instruction, engagement, learning, and community involvement. Intellectually, the project is important because it examines the intersection of formal and informal learning environments, offering insight into whether and how the essence of Making is modified by its inclusion into formal settings. Practically, the research will offer other school districts a timely example of the rewards and challenges involved in Maker integration.

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