July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 1
Pre-College Engineering Education
With increasing interest in and recognition of the value of technology-rich maker-based informal learning experiences, there is a need to study how to design efficient and effective ways to expand these programs to diverse settings. Furthermore, it is important to find effective ways to evaluate the impact of such programs. In this paper, we present findings on the impact of maker-based learning experiences set up in three diverse informal learning settings for urban youth.
Over the past three years, we have designed, developed, and deployed a multi-phase maker-based training program that includes makerspace setup, educator training, and youth program deployment. The program gradually introduces youth to increasingly complex topics in digital fabrication, programming, design, and web development. The educator training is designed for individuals with little or no prior experience with making and can be conducted either in person, virtually, or in a hybrid mode combing both. We implemented the program at three sites for approximately nine months. We analyzed interview data from 9 educators and administrators and survey data from 30 youth.
We found that the programs generated considerable interest in the youth and resulted in positive shifts in their career aspirations as well as social and technical skills. Educators emphasized the importance of connecting curriculum to youth's specific interests, for example as it relates to the entrepreneurial possibilities of digital design and fabrication. They also observed challenges with youth attitudes towards program assessments and suggested ways forward for developing alternative ways to evaluate youth experiences and provide feedback.
Hamidi, F., & Coy, A., & Freeland, A. L. (2021, July), Planting Seeds: Implementing Maker-Based Learning Programs for Urban Youth (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37583
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