New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The purpose of this NSF-funded study is to understand Young Makers in K-12 and how their knowledge, skills, and attitudes might prepare them to pursue advanced STEM education and careers. Makers are an emerging community of self-described DIY-enthusiasts, tinkerers and hobbyists. Popularized by the quarterly magazine MAKE and annual Maker Faire events, this work seeks to examine and better understand the context of their activities, particularly in informal engineering education and tinkering activities. Makers embolden characteristics from the Engineer of 2020, and in particular practical ingenuity, creativity, and propensity toward lifelong learning; making is of particular interest to the field of engineering and to engineering educators.
Using qualitative research methods of critical incident, artifact, and context elicitation interviews, we are developing a theory describing Young Makers and their engineering education pathways. Our primary research questions are: What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do Makers possess that could be related to engineering? and How do pathways of Makers intersect with engineering?
This study will advance the currently limited knowledge of the Young Maker community by developing theory characterizing Young Makers and their pathways through the lens of formal engineering education. The aim is to establish evidence as to how Makers embody specific attributes of the Engineer of 2020 and discover additional attributes of Young Makers that could define the engineer of the future and effects their pathways to STEM majors and related careers. The results of this study will transform the conversation of who Young Makers could become, linking Making with engineering in the same way that students who excel in science and math are pointed toward engineering by parents and career counselors. By sharing a diverse (by age, gender, and ethnicity) set of success profiles of Young Makers widely in the formal education system to students, K-12 school administrators, university leaders, admissions officers, and to Young Makers both online and at Young Maker community events, we aim to illuminate pathways for Young Makers to become the engineers of the future. In addition, this study could inform future innovation in formal K-12 STEM pedagogy based on successful attributes of informal engineering education and tinkering activities.
Lande, M., & Jordan, S. S. (2016, June), What Do Young Makers Learn? Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27191
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