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Scaling Informal Technology Education through Maker Spaces

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Design

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

7

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35178

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35178

Download Count

360

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Paper Authors

biography

Foad Hamidi University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Dr. Foad Hamidi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). His research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Participatory
Design and Assistive Technology.

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Shawn Grimes

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Shawn Grimes has nearly 20 years of experience as a technologist in a variety of fields including mobile app development, cyber security, and software engineering. Through his passion for working with and serving youth, he served as the Director of Technology at the Digital Harbor Foundation where their work focused on teaching technology and maker skills to youth.

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Stephanie Grimes

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Steph Grimes served as the Director of Programs & Education at Digital Harbor Foundation in Baltimore, MD from 2012-2019, where she lead a team in managing and creating out-of-school programs for youth, and professional development workshops for educators, focused on maker and technology education.

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Adena Moulton Digital Harbor Foundation

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Adena Moulton manages Digital Harbor Foundation’s research initiatives, program evaluation processes, grant development, and fundraising initiatives. Adena formerly worked as a Researcher for the WomanStats Project studying violence against women, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars studying the 2011 Arab Uprisings, and Brigham Young University’s Political Science Department studying marriage and family practices of the Middle East. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Brigham Young University where she received the Middle East Studies/Arabic Student Research Award in April 2017.

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Andrew Coy Digital Harbor Foundation

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Andrew is the founder and current Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation. He also served as a senior advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration and currently advises national technology education nonprofits including the Computer Science for All and Nation of Makers. Andrew was also the lead author on the Maryland Access Task Force report to Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan. His work has been recognized by Baltimore Business Journal, The Daily Record, Forbes Magazine, Baltimore Sun, Education Week, and K12 Magazine.

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Abstract

Maker education models provide multiple points of entry for youth to gain exposure, interest, and skill-building in high-growth technology skills. Research has shown that maker-based programs can engage underrepresented audiences, including minorities and females, in technology career pathways. While maker education principles and approaches have transformative potential across both formal and informal learning environments, the agility and flexibility of informal learning environments like afterschool programs, make them especially amenable to the iterative, experimental, ethos of making and provide the needed flexibility to experiment with systemic changes to youth-centered learning approaches. Resources and guides on how to establish and run a makerspace are increasingly becoming available; however, research is needed to understand what are effective ways to create these resources and how to best support educators who want to create and run maker learning programs for the first time.

In this NSF-funded project (Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings division), we are studying how to expand maker-based educational programs across three different sites. We used three professional development models, comprising of (1) online training, (2) face-to-face training at the site, and (3) face-to-face remote training. During the trainings, we worked with educators who had not delivered a maker-based program to design their space, familiarize them with maker concepts and technologies, and train them in an established maker curriculum. Results to date show that a hybrid online and face-to-face training offers the most promising approach and that building in flexibility and customizability in the curriculum may increase educator and youth engagement.

Hamidi, F., & Grimes, S., & Grimes, S., & Moulton, A., & Coy, A. (2020, June), Scaling Informal Technology Education through Maker Spaces Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35178

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