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Focusing on developing maker-identities, especially for historically marginalized students in the computational field, can empower them to recognize and take ownership of their space in the field. Drawing from identity related literature in maker and computing related fields we identified seven factors of maker-identity - interest and motivation, competence and performance, confidence and self-efficacy, recognition, utility value and meaningfulness, perceptions of community, and external factors. Using this, we analyzed semi-structured interviews of students who participated in our summer makerspace camp to understand how these identity factors manifested in their reflections of the camp. We tie back our findings of positive impacts on maker-identity structures to the design structures of our makerspace such as co-design of the space, use-modify-create strategies, and open-ended design projects.more » « lessFree, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
There has been a large push in education over the last decade to drive STEM learning interest during the formative years of adolescence through the usage of engaging computer science related initiatives such as computational makerspaces that allow students to design and build a wide array of personally connected artifacts. But for these initiatives to work, students must be interested in the journey, and the curricula that drive many of these programs are not often designed to be culturally relevant to many of the students they are aimed at motivating. This paper investigated how computational making curricula can be designed in a reflexive and culturally supportive manner by following the trajectory and tensions faced by a black middle school student as he makes his way through the first iteration of such a space.more » « lessFree, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
Maker activities help students connect to STEAM content through hands-on activities that emphasize the roles of mentors, peers, and in-person interaction with physical artifacts. Despite the positive affordances of these activities, they do not translate well to online settings. Without immediate in-person feedback mechanisms, unstructured making activities may lead to frustration and decreased engagement. How do communities help students develop identities as future engineers if local help and mentorship is not available? The proposed study aims to address challenges of scaffolding collaboration during remote maker sessions through investigation of a novel projection device that allows users to talk & share gestures around a common physical artifact while in separate locations.more » « less