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.

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.

What’s New with the Maker Lab?

New scholarship honours crime victim Kimberley Black

Inspired by Kimberley Black’s positive outlook following a horrific and senseless act of violence, Dr. Janette Hughes launched a virtual 5-kilometre run to fundraise for a graduate scholarship in Black’s name at Ontario Tech University. (Learn more here)

Dr. Janette Hughes Featured in Ontario Tech University’s Virtual Speaker Series

On March 1st, Dr. Hughes opened the #PiDayOfGiving Virtual Speaker Series, sharing her work on making and global competencies. Read more (and watch the recording of her presentation) here.

STEAM-3D Maker Lab Hosts “Cosmic Poetry” Sessions with Dr. Cornelia Hoogland

Last month, the STEAM-3D Maker Lab partnered with Dr. Cornelia Hoogland (University of Western Ontario) to host “Cosmic Poetry” sessions for students in Rainy River District School Board. Click here to learn more.

“Education’s Next Act” Article on Innovation.ca

The work of Dr. Hughes and the STEAM-3D Maker Lab team in providing support for educators during the transition to online teaching and learning has been highlighted in an article on the Canada Foundation for Innovation website. Click here to read more!