June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
NSF Grantees Poster Session
26.1726.1 - 26.1726.8
What is Making? What is Engineering? Makers are an emerging community of self-described DIY-enthusiasts, tinkerersand hobbyists. Popularized by the quarterly magazine MAKE and annual Maker Faireevents, this work seeks to examine and better understand the context of their activities,particularly in informal engineering education and tinkering activities. Makers emboldencharacteristics from the Engineer of 2020, and in particular practical ingenuity, creativity,and propensity toward lifelong learning; making is of particular interest to the field ofengineering and to engineering educators. As part of an NSF-sponsored research project, we explore what it means to make.A review of definitions was undertaken via two methods. The first was convergent,relying on a literature review spanning several academic disciplines. The second meanswas divergent, collecting definitions via an ad-hoc, grounded, in-situ approach at tworecent Maker Faire events. Respondents were provided with post-it notes, posed with thequestions “What is Making?”, “What is engineering?”, and “Why are you attracted tomaking?”, and asked to contribute to a shared, public wall of multiple definitions. Bothapproaches yield information that can be used to characterize perceptions of making andcontribute to its definition. This analysis represents a second iteration and builds from acollection of post-its asking respondents to answer the question, “How do you defineMaking?”. Preliminary findings have shown several common terms and perceptions that canbe used to define making. Words such as maker, hacker and hobbyist appear in severalvarying contexts, from education to history, and in the context of the maker movement.The open-ended question activity also had interesting trends. Many responses describedbuilding or making of something from a creative viewpoint. These methods helped to characterize making in a manner that can be useful to alarger study investigating the educational pathways of Makers. Using qualitative researchmethods of critical incident, artifact, and context elicitation interviews, we are developinga theory describing Makers and their engineering education pathways. Our primaryresearch questions are: What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do Makers possess that couldbe related to engineering? and How do pathways of Makers intersect with engineering? Thestudy will advance the currently limited knowledge of the Maker community bydeveloping theory characterizing Makers and their pathways through the lens of formalengineering education. The aim is to establish evidence as to how Makers embodyspecific attributes of the Engineer of 2020 and discover additional attributes of Makersthat could define the engineer of the future.
Heiman, A. M., & Lande, M., & Jordan, S. S. (2015, June), What is Making? What is Engineering? Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25062
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: © 2015 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