Welcome to the STEAM-3D Maker Lab!

(Been here before and want to see what’s new? Click here!)

The STEAM-3D Maker Lab is where Dr. Janette Hughes, Canada Research Chair in Technology and Pedagogy, and her research team:

  • Develop and evaluate constructionist “production pedagogies” that work to build students’ ‘performative’ competencies in digital literacies, and investigate whether and how they promote civic engagement, service learning, and social justice particularly among marginalized students;
  • Observe and evaluate the impact of “maker cultures” that facilitate the discovery, design, and development (3Ds) of digital “products” for students of all ages, their teachers, and the community; and
  • Build capacity for investigating and affecting change and innovation in formal and informal education settings in the use of emerging digital media and interactive tools.

What is a Makerspace?

A makerspace is a collaborative, learner-centered and constructionist-pedagogy-focused learning environment where individuals come together to tinker, build and create.

In a makerspace, emphasis is on problem-solving, collaborating with others, failing, developing grit and resiliency, and finally, creating something to solve a real-world problem using both digital and physical materials.

Tour the STEAM-3D Maker Lab:

Can’t get into the lab to check it out? Use your mouse to navigate the 360º tour below! Click this link to view the tour in fullscreen or to load the tour on your mobile device for viewing in Google Cardboard or another virtual reality headset!

Why a Makerspace at the Faculty of Education at Ontario Tech University?

New digital technologies that existed on the fringe only a few short years ago, such as 3D
printing, are quickly moving beyond the domains of business and manufacturing to the homes and studios of everyday citizens where localized and personalized production is becoming more common, especially in association with DIY culture. Education spheres need to keep pace in order to align with our students’ real-world and lived experiences and to reflect 21st-century teaching and learning practices that predominate non-institutionalized learning environments.


Our Makerspace Goals Include: 

  • Developing and evaluating constructionist “production pedagogies”;
  • Building students‘‘performative’ competencies in digital literacies;
  • Making for change: Promoting civic engagement and social justice;
  • Facilitating the discovery, design and development (3Ds) of digital ‘products’ for students, teachers, parents, community;
  • Building capacity for investigating and affecting change and innovation in formal and informal education settings in the use of emerging digital media and interactive tools;
  • Promoting greater interest in STEM through literacy and the arts.

For More Information on Dr. Hughes: 

Check out her website at www.janettehughes.ca.

Here you can find information regarding her research (including publications), teaching, and advising. Additionally, there is more information regarding the STEAM 3D Maker Lab and accompanying online Maker Modules.

NEW! STEAM-3D Maker Lab Hosts “Best Practices in Online & Blended Learning” Workshop Sessions

During mid-August, the STEAM-3D Maker Lab was invited to host interactive virtual making sessions at Ontario Tech University’s first “Best Practices in Online & Blended Learning” conference. Our workshops were aimed at providing K-8 educators with tools to facilitate digital making in online, hybrid, or face-to-face contexts. Click here to read more!

Revisit: Virtual Professional Learning Network (VPLN) Sessions

From March to June 2020, the Maker Lab hosted a variety of online learning sessions for both teachers and students in response to the COVID-19 school shutdown.

Many of these sessions were recorded (with participants’ consent) so that educators could benefit in the future. To revisit these sessions (or request your own), click here.