Asee peer logo

Knowledge in the Making: What Engineering Students are Learning in Makerspaces

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 7: Learning and Research in Makerspaces

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33039

Download Count

9

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Louis Nadelson University of Central Arkansas

visit author page

Louis S. Nadelson has a BS from Colorado State University, a BA from the Evergreen State College, a MEd from Western Washington University, and a PhD in educational psychology from UNLV. His scholarly interests include all areas of STEM teaching and learning, inservice and preservice teacher professional development, program evaluation, multidisciplinary research, and conceptual change. Nadelson uses his over 20 years of high school and college math, science, computer science, and engineering teaching to frame his research on STEM teaching and learning. Nadelson brings a unique perspective of research, bridging experience with practice and theory to explore a range of interests in STEM teaching and learning.

visit author page

biography

Idalis Villanueva Utah State University

visit author page

Dr. Villanueva is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Education Department and an Adjunct Professor in the Bioengineering Department in Utah State University. Her multiple roles as an engineer, engineering educator, engineering educational researcher, and professional development mentor for underrepresented populations has aided her in the design and integration of educational and physiological technologies to research 'best practices' for student professional development and training. In addition, she is developing methodologies around hidden curriculum, academic emotions and physiology, and engineering makerspaces.

visit author page

biography

Jana Bouwma-Gearhart Oregon State University

visit author page

Jana L. Bouwma-Gearhart is an associate professor of STEM education at Oregon State University. Her research widely concerns improving education at research universities. Her earlier research explored enhancements to faculty motivation to improve undergraduate education. Her more recent research concerns organizational change towards postsecondary STEM education improvement at research universities, including the interactions of levers (people, organizations, policy, initiatives) of change and documenting the good, hard work required across disciplinary boundaries to achieve meaningful change in STEM education.

visit author page

biography

Sarah Lanci Colorado Mesa University

visit author page

Sarah Lanci is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado Mesa University. She received her B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan State University and her M.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. Following graduate school, Sarah worked as a part and process engineer at an investment casting facility, PCC Structurals, in Portland, OR for seven years before transitioning to her current position at CMU where she teaches introductory design, materials science, and manufacturing-focused courses. Sarah's research interests include aspects of project-based learning and enhancing 21st century skills in undergraduate engineering students.

visit author page

biography

Kate Youmans Utah State University

visit author page

Kate Youmans is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University. Kate earned her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and worked in the medical device industry designing surgical instruments before focusing on engineering outreach in MIT’s Office of Engineering Outreach Programs. After receiving her master's degree in Science Education from Boston University, Kate helped open the American International School of Utah, a K-12 charter school in Salt Lake City. In her role as STEM Director Kate developed the schools programs in Computer Science, Robotics and Design Thinking.

visit author page

biography

Cindy Ann Lenhart Oregon State University

visit author page

Cindy Lenhart is a graduate research assistant working on her Ph.D in Education at Oregon State University. During her first year, she was selected as a Provost’s Distinguished Graduate Fellow by the Graduate School of Education. Cindy previously served as the Vice President for Community College Relations for Achieving the Dream, Inc., managing the Working Students Success Network, Engaging Adjunct Faculty, and other funded initiatives as well as leading Achieving the Dream’s teaching and learning programs and network-engagement activities. Prior to joining Achieving the Dream, Cindy served for more than 20 years in community colleges as an associate vice president for instruction, a department chair, and a faculty member. Cindy began her career as a middle school and high school teacher.

visit author page

author page

Alexis K. Van Winkle University of Central Arkansas

Download Paper |

Abstract

Our research report details how student interactions in makerspaces may be influencing their development Increasing resources and support for the integration of makerspaces in undergraduate engineering programs provide warrant for examining what is taking place in the spaces. We have been researching several university engineering education programs in which a makerspace is embedded into the program and there are expectations for faculty members to integrate the use of the spaces into their courses to support student learning. This report is on one of the cases.

We maintain that there is a necessity to assess a range of variables to determine how and what students are learning in the spaces. Given the exploratory nature of our study we have been focusing in interviewing those working in the space, more specifically the students, faculty member, staff and directors.

In this paper, we report on one of our cases (an engineering education program at a large research university) and share data that details what students are learning and experiencing in the space. More specifically we report on our exploration of: 1) the social variables of belongingness and feeling on being included in makerspaces; 2) knowledge gained and applied from working in makerspaces; 3) the psychological variables of motivation and interest associated with working in makerspaces; and 4) the developmental of a professional identity.

We spent two and one half days in the makerspace and conducted many interviews of students, faculty members, staff, and space director. We transcribed the interviews and coded them for themes aligned with our primary constructs.

Our results of our analysis indicate that through their makerspace interactions students are learning some aspects of the processes of engineering such as design, prototype, and redesign, and working with provided criteria and constraints. We found that the makerspace fostered student development of an identity aligned with professionals. The space was inclusive and student perceived they belonged in the space. Also, the space was motivational for student learning. Time and safety were issues that emerged through our interviews.

In our report we include data representative of our findings and detail the learning that students are experiencing in the makerspaces. We use the results of our analysis to frame our discussion and recommendations for enhancing student learning in undergraduate engineering preparation programs through the integration of makerspace activities.

Nadelson, L., & Villanueva, I., & Bouwma-Gearhart, J., & Lanci, S., & Youmans, K., & Lenhart, C. A., & Van Winkle, A. K. (2019, June), Knowledge in the Making: What Engineering Students are Learning in Makerspaces Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33039

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015