STEM Learning While Making: All Lives Can't Matter Until Black Lives Matter

Sunday, July 1, 2018
Resource Type:
Research Case Study | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Making and Tinkering Programs
Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals
Engineering | General STEM | Mathematics | Social science and psychology | Technology
Access and Inclusion: 
Black/African American Communities
TERC Inc, Tufts, South End Technology Center

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). Making is an interdisciplinary endeavor that may involve mechanical and electrical engineering, digital literacies and programming, mathematics and any number of science disciplines depending on the topic of what one is making. At the same time, makers pay attention to aesthetics—the look, feel, and artistic dimensions of their projects—and to the messages or ideas they want to express. Messages in making are important, because they reflect what makers experience and care about.

Funding Program: 
Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 
Publication Name: 
TERC Hands On!
Spring/Summer 2018

Team Members

Brian GravelAuthor
Aditi WaghAditi WaghAuthor
Ada RenAda RenAuthor

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