The Makerspace Movement: Sites of Possibilities for Equitable Opportunities to Engage Underrepresented Youth in STEM

Date: 
Monday, March 6, 2017
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Community Outreach Programs, Making and Tinkering Programs
Audience: 
Middle School Children (11-13) | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
Discipline: 
Art, music, and theater | Engineering | General STEM | Technology
Access and Inclusion: 
Ethnic/Racial
Black/African American Communities
Hispanic/Latinx Communities
Organization:
Michigan State University
Description: 

Large gaps in achievement and interest in science and engineering [STEM] persist for youth growing up in poverty, and in particular for African American and Latino youth. Within the informal community, the recently evolving “maker movement” has evoked interest for its potential role in breaking down longstanding barriers to learning and attainment in STEM, with advocates arguing for its “democratizing effects.” What remains unclear is how minoritized newcomers to a makerspace can access and engage in makerspaces in robust and equitably consequential ways.

This paper describes how and why youth engage in making in an after-school, youth-focused, community-based makerspace program “Making 4 Change.” Four in-depth stories of engagement are shared. Using a mobilities of learning framework, we discuss how youth appropriated and repurposed the process of making, and unpack how the program attempted to value and negotiate youths’ ways of making from an equity-oriented perspective.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1421116
Publication Name: 
Teachers College Record
Volume: 
119
Number: 
7

Team Members

Edna TanEdna TanAuthor

Request to Edit a Resource

If you would like to edit a resource, please use this form to submit your request.