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.

STEAM-3D Maker Lab Virtual Tour

While we’d love for you to visit us in person, this virtual tour will give you a peek into our physical space. Click on the orange Play button to get started. Click here to view the tour in a new browser tab.

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?

STEAM for Young Children: Critical T(h)inkering Conference 

The STEAM for Young Children: Critical T(h)inkering virtual conference will be hosted on April 29th and 30th.

To learn more about this conference, submit a presentation proposal, or register, click here!

New Resource: Using Green Screen to Support ELL Students

We just uploaded a new resource from one of our fabulous interns on using green screen technology to support English Language Learners. Click here to see it!

New Publication: “What Makes a Maker Teacher?”

The latest publication from our SSHRC-funded project, Making Minds: Digital Maker Education for Literacies Learning with Marginalized Youth, is now available through the International Journal of Educational Research (Open).

The paper, What Makes a Maker Teacher? Examining Key Characteristics of Two Maker Educators, explores several overlapping characteristics supporting two teachers’ transition into maker educators, including identification with maker values, proficiency with interdisciplinary program planning, and access to a multidimensional maker culture.

Read the article here!

Make to Connect On Social Media


This challenge is for students (individually) or teachers (with their class of  students) between the ages of 13 and 18 who are interested in using social media to create positive social change. Participate in our #WeStopScrolling social media challenge (in partnership with Tech for Good Canada) to spread the word about a cause you’re passionate about and potentially win a gift card to Indigo or Decathlon Canada!

Visit our #WeStopScrolling page under our Research Tab to Learn more about this research and get involved!

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)