Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom
Resources mentioned in Chapter 15 – Making the Case
Makeology – This two volume series offers research and authoritative articles from top researchers around the world on makerspaces as learning environments and makers as learners.
Flipping the Flipped Classroom – This study found that students who were allowed unstructured time with a scientific simulation before reading the textbook or watching explanatory videos did better on tests than students who read the texts or watched the videos before exploring. (B. Schneider & Blikstein, 2016)
Teaching teachers to integrate design and PBL into math and science – An action research project following elementary teachers who were learning how to integrate design and project-based learning into math and science found significant results: “Their students became active learners and problem solvers. Indeed, their critical thinking skills, as evidenced by their ability to pose problems, seek answers, and test solutions, expanded and extended to other curriculum units. Their confidence increased, as they had to take responsibility for their own learning, becoming capable of researching, and finding answers to questions they posed for themselves. The questions became more complex and interrelated. No longer were curriculum areas isolated; mathematics, reading, writing and science are connected through design. One of the most significant results from units centered on design is the benefit it has for inclusion students or students with special needs. All of the teachers who found that their inclusion students benefited from the experience, in ways they had not from traditional classroom learning activities, realized that the design process enfranchises a variety of learning styles, from the traditional academic instruction to the creative and eclectic.” (Koch & Burghardt, 2002)
Project 2061 – This is a research and development initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It offers curriculum, teaching guides, research, and other resources to advance a modern vision of science education for all.
The Art and Craft of Science – Creativity was the theme for the February 2013 issue of Educational Leadership magazine. This article provides numerous examples and research supporting the integral nature of the arts in developing scientific skills. (Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein, 2013)
A Passion for Objects – Scientists’ early experiences with invention shape their interest in careers in STEM. (Turkle, 2008)
Making Culture – An examination of K-12 education makerspaces nationwide from the ExCITe Center’s Learning Innovation initiative at Drexel School of Education. The report reveals the significance of cultural aspects of making (student interests, real world relevance, and community collaboration) that enable learning. The research highlights how makerspaces foster a range of positive student learning outcomes, but also reflects some of the gaps in inclusion common in STEM courses and careers. (Kim et al., 2018)
Fulfilling the Maker Promise – This annual report from two organizations, Maker Ed and Digital Promise, features analysis of surveys from American educators about maker education. It includes progress integrating maker activities into curriculum, needs, and identifies areas for growth. (Fulfilling the Maker Promise: Year Two, 2018)
Making and Tinkering: A Review of the Literature – Shirin Vossoughi and Bronwyn Bevan consider “1) what is known about the impact of tinkering and making experiences on school-aged children’s learning (interest in, engagement with and understanding of STEM in particular) 2) the emerging design principles and pedagogies that characterize tinkering and making programs and 3) the specific tensions and possibilities within this movement for equity-oriented teaching and learning.” (Vossoughi & Bevan, 2014)
Edutopia’s roundup of PBL research – “Studies comparing learning outcomes for students taught via project-based learning versus traditional instruction show that when implemented well, PBL increases long-term retention of content, helps students perform as well as or better than traditional learners in high-stakes tests, improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and improves students’ attitudes towards learning.”(Vega, 2012)
Performance of Students in Project Based Science Classroom – PBL and inquiry-based strategies have been shown to raise student science and math achievement, as in this study of a hands-on science curriculum called Problem-based Science (PBS). “PBS students outscored the national sample on 44% of NAEP test items. This study shows that students participating in a PBS curriculum were prepared for this type of testing. Educators should be encouraged to use inquiry-based approaches such as PBS to implement reform in their schools.” (R. M. Schneider, Krajcik, Marx, & Soloway, 2002)