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‘Making’ an Impact: An Ethnographic Approach to University Maker Spaces

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Maker Spaces within the University

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/p.26226

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26226

Download Count

54

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Paper Authors

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Meredith Frances Penney James Madison University

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James Deverell Watkins

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Bryan Levy Georgia Institute of Technology

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Julie S Linsey Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Julie S. Linsey is an Assistant Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technological. Dr. Linsey received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas. Her research area is design cognition including systematic methods and tools for innovative design with a particular focus on concept generation and design-by-analogy. Her research seeks to understand designers’ cognitive processes with the goal of creating better tools and approaches to enhance engineering design. She has authored over 100 technical publications including twenty-three journal papers, five book chapters, and she holds two patents.

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Robert L. Nagel James Madison University

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Dr. Robert Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Nagel joined the James Madison University after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. He has a B.S. from Trine University and a M.S. from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, both in mechanical engineering. Since joining James Madison University, Nagel has helped to develop and teach the six course engineering design sequence which represents the spine of the curriculum for the Department of Engineering. The research and teaching interests of Dr. Nagel tend to revolve around engineering design and engineering design education, and in particular, the design conceptualization phase of the design process. He has performed research with the US Army Chemical Corps, General Motors Research and Development Center, and the US Air Force Academy, and he has received grants from the NSF, the EPA, and General Motors Corporation.

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Wendy C Newstetter Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr Wendy C. Newstetter is the Director of Educational Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.

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Kimberly Grau Talley P.E. Texas State University, San Marcos Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6235-0706

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Dr. Kimberly G. Talley is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Senior Research Fellow and Maker Space Co-Director for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University, and a licensed Professional Engineer. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin in Structural Engineering. Her undergraduate degrees in History and in Construction Engineering and Management are from North Carolina State University. Dr. Talley teaches courses in the Construction Science and Management Program, and her research focus is in student engagement and retention in engineering and engineering technology education. Contact: kgt5@txstate.edu

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Shaunna Fultz Smith Texas State University, San Marcos

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Dr. Shaunna Smith is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University. She holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on technology integration and art education. Her teaching and research explore how the hands-on use of design-based technologies (e.g. digital fabrication, 3D modeling and printing, computer programming, and DIY robotics) can impact multidisciplinary learning that transcends traditional content contexts (e.g. arts-based STEM integration). At her free mobile makerspace for K-12 students and teachers, The MAKE Lab (http://themakelab.wp.txstate.edu), she is currently researching how recurring experiences within these design-based technologies impact self-efficacy and positive attitudes toward failure.

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Abstract

‘Making’ an Impact: An Ethnographic Approach to University Maker Spaces

In recent years, more and more attention has been given to the maker movement and the potential therein. To get a more complete understanding of maker spaces and their impact on students, it is necessary to take a closer look at the intricacies of the spaces. It is important to learn the underlying motivation behind the creation of these spaces and how the spaces are being used by the students. The research in this paper presents the first efforts to reach a deeper understanding of maker spaces and, in particular, university maker spaces. In order to reach this understanding, the research team employed ethnographic techniques to study the spaces, their users, and their owners. This paper reports preliminary results from an ethnographic study performed primarily at James Madison University during the fall of 2015. Students as ethnographers have observed university maker spaces from their unique point of view, and in this way, the students were able to gain key insights of how the maker spaces work and some possible modes of improvement not seen by those already invested in the spaces. By knowing what drives the start of these spaces and what works in the current spaces, the research team hopes to be able to uncover the underlying practices that make for a successful space in order to share this knowledge with current and developing university maker spaces.

Penney, M. F., & Watkins, J. D., & Levy, B., & Linsey, J. S., & Nagel, R. L., & Newstetter, W. C., & Talley, K. G., & Smith, S. F. (2016, June), ‘Making’ an Impact: An Ethnographic Approach to University Maker Spaces Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26226

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