Technology Enabled Leading and Learning Institute – OPC – Toronto, ON – August 17&18, 2017

250 Principals and Vice Principals made their way to Toronto, Ontario for August 17th and 18th to attend the Technology Enabled Leading and Learning Institute put on by the Ontario Principals Council. Armed with a variety of our Makerspace technology, and an excitement for discussing Maker pedagogy, we made our way to the institute to provide the oppurtunity for these Principals and Vice Principals to interact with Makerspace equipment.

First on the agenda was Dr. Janette Hughes’ talk that discussed the, “Considerations for Leading the Maker Movement in your School”. Janette’s presentation got all participants in the mood to engage with Maker tools, and to see which tools would best fit into each Principals/Vice Principals school. The second portion of Janette’s presentation was set up as a gallery walk. Our Makerspace technologies were set out in the room in a way that encouraged the participants to try out the technologies for themselves in a hands-on environment. At each station one of our STEAM 3D Maker Lab researchers or research assistants offered themselves up to field various questions about the specific technologies, and where they fit in terms of the curriculum/learning for both elementary and high school grades. The room was buzzing with curious Principals and Vice Principals who were eager to start the Maker Movement as an initiative in their own schools.

What really showed us that these Principals and Vice Principals were serious about infusing technology into their classrooms, was when multiple individuals come up to us later in the day to show us proof that they had purchased the very tech they were engaging with. Many said that they wanted to learn more about the technology they were interested in before bringing it to their teachers. We are looking forward to see what the schools involved come up with in terms of creating a Maker mentality during this new school year. We are extremely happy to see the Maker Movement taking off all across Ontario. Institutes/Conferences such as the TELL Institute, really demonstrate to us that not only teachers, but administrators are passionate about brining this kind of learning to their students.

Highlights from Janette’s presentation

Highlights from Janette’s presentation

OPC’s Cam Fraser and our Keynote speak, Janette Hughes

OPC’s Cam Fraser and our Keynote speak, Janette Hughes

Break out session stations

Break out session stations

The STEAM 3D Maker Lab team!

The STEAM 3D Maker Lab team!

Janette Hughes starting off her talk

Janette Hughes starting off her talk















Science Odyssey, “How to Start a Makerspace” – May 16, 2017

Picture this, different Makerspace technologies set up in a room for educators to come in and get their hands on, to tinker with and play with and to ask questions. That is exactly how the STEAM 3D Maker Lab’s Science Odyssey evening on May 16, played out. The Lab hosted a, “How to Start a Makerspace” session to support the Science Odyssey campaign that is Canada’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Educators from the Kawartha Pine Ridge (KPR) District School Board in the east, all the way to educators from the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) in the west, and educators from Boards in-between, came into the Lab to partake in this Makerspace session.

Each hour long session began with a large group conversation. Educators were provided with tips and tricks from Janette Hughes when going about starting their own Makerspace. From there, educators were encouraged to travel around the Lab and gravitate to the technology that peaked their interest the most. Stations were set up that offered the educators information on the specific technology, grade level activities, curriculum connections and the best way to present the technology into a lesson. Stations that were presented were; Programmable Robots, 3D Printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Arduino Uno, Green Screen and Circuits.

It was clear that the educators involved all had a passion for Makerspace pedagogy. The beauty of the evening was that there were educators that had been instilling Makerspace practices into their classrooms for the duration of the year, and educators that were eager to start doing so. From every corner of the Lab, you were able to hear educators offering each other knowledge of the technologies that they had experience using and questions that were directed at our Lab staff, all of which centred around making the learning more engaging for the students by incorporating technology into the learning process. The evening proved that the Makerspace way of thinking is starting to ingrain itself in schools around Ontario. We are so excited to see how each of the educators involved take the knowledge they learned from our Science Odyssey session, and incorporate it into their everyday teaching!

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Janette Hughes getting the evening started


Laura Dobos teaching how to get started with Arduino Uno


Augmented Reality expert Melanie Maas


Maya Staresinic sharing the connections that can be made with math using Sphero


Laura Morrison showing educators the versatility of papertronics

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Lauren Fridman discussing how to incorporate 3D Printing into everyday learning

Make a Difference Event at West Lynde – May 3, 2017

On the evening of May 3rd, in West Lynde Public School’s gymnasium, curious minds filled the space! West Lynde played host for DDSB’s 2017 Make a Difference event, and it was an absolute hit. Students and their families, from the community, attended the 2 hour long event and gained knowledge in an array of areas from healthy eating, all the way to how technology can help the learner grow. The Make a Difference campaign dates back to September of 2013 when the initiative was launched as a pilot project in select Oshawa elementary schools. The goal of the “Make a Difference” program is to ensure that young children in DDSB schools in Oshawa have access to programs and opportunities that can address the impacts of poverty on students’ development and long term success (DDSB). Since then, the campaign has expanded to include those students living in the Whitby area.

The UOIT STEAM 3D Maker Lab was contacted about the possibility of partnering with the DDSB for the event and we jumped at the oppurtunity! Our staff, Maya Staresinic and Laura Dobos, gathered all of the necessary materials and technology to provide students with the oppurtunity to play and tinker with technology that they may never have seen before. Included were 8 Ozobots, with markers, and 1 3D Maker Bot Mini (the miniature version of our large desktop 3D printers). The UOIT STEAM 3D Maker Lab table was set up, and the students and families started to file into the gymnasium. Faces (of both students and parents) lit up when they saw what the Ozobots and 3D printer were capable of doing. Many were eager to get their hands on the Ozobot markers to create intricate mazes for the Ozobot to follow. Eyes widened as they saw the Maker Bot Mini work its magic and create a 3D printed object out of plastic filament. The energy displayed by the students when it came to technology was incredible to see. Some even shared how their families are fostering a Maker mindset in their own homes. Some were well aware that they were doing it, while other’s were extremely excited by the fact that they had been doing it for months unknowingly! Wherever we go, the Maker mindset seems to be ever present.

The evening was a great one, and the STEAM 3D Maker Lab was blown away by the want the students displayed about incorporating technology in their learning journey.

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STEAM 3D Maker Lab staff ready to go!

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Hands at work, ready to tinker with Ozobot

Connect 2017 – Canada’s Learning and Technology Conference, April 27 – 28, 2018

During April 25 – 28, 2017, Niagara Falls hosted the Connect 2017 Conference. Educators from all across Ontario came to the Conference to “share best practices and expand our horizons of education technology in an ever increasing global and digital economy” (Connect 2017). The 4 day event was an incredible experience where educators, leaders, presenters, directors of education, and so many more, came together to share in the wealth of knowledge that surrounds learning and technology. On Friday, April 28, our very own Janette Hughes kick started our day with her presentation on Make and Tell: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Maker PedagogiesIt was great to see all of those in attendance who share a passion of Makerspace and how maker pedagogies can promote a sense of connecting, reflecting and sharing within our students.

Once the presentation was over, participants filed into the lobby where the STEAM 3D Maker team was set up with various technologies for participants to get their hands on. The team answered questions, discussed with teachers what they are doing in their classrooms when it comes to Makerspace, and shared resources and knowledge that centred around what technologies best suit specific grade levels/subjects. Participants were engaged and excited for the opportunity to tinker around with various technologies that enhance student learning and inquiry.

The Conference was great for the fact that it really demonstrated that the Maker mentality is a driving force in todays education, and is being practiced in classrooms and schools throughout the province.


The team!

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Laura Dobos getting ready for Green Screen and Arduino

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Janette Hughes in her element

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Robotics table ready to go

Rosebank Public School STEM Community Night, April 12, 2017

On April 12, 2017, Rosebank Public Elementary School, located in Pickering, hosted their STEM CommScreen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.50.20 PMunity Night. Parents and students were invited to attend the event that offered participants the opportunity to engage in different hands-on activities that all centered around STEM learning. From 6pm – 8pm, Rosebank’s gymnasium was full of eager parents and students that had a want for gaining knowledge about STEM learning and ways to incorporate STEM thinking into activities outside of the classroom.

Our STEAM 3D Maker Lab was so excited when we got the call, asking us if we wanted to participate. Right
away, we jumped at the chance and began discussing with the Rosebank coordinator what sort of technologies she wanted us to bring along on the night of the event.Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.50.27 PM

We were given a section of the gymnasium that was referred to as the “Makerspace corner”, where our 3D Printer, Augment Reality tools and Chibitronics (circuits) were set up, waiting for parents and students to come explore. The evening was filled with STEM questions (from both the parents and students) directed at our staff, inquiry activities, and wide-eyed participants that has a blast making and tinkering with the technologies.

The othScreen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.50.37 PMer stations that were open for the participants to explore were set up by the incredible Rosebank staff and student volunteers (yes, student volunteers were helping run this event…amazing!). These stations offered hands-on learning with Sphero robots, opportunities to engage in a catapult contest, a microscopy section and booth where participants could explore the concept of density using (and making) lava lamps.

The evening was an incredible experience to have been a part of and we have to thank Rosebank P.S. for extending the invitation to us. This event offered insight into just how important STEM knowledge and learning is for this school, and we cannot wait to see what else Rosebank does!

Online Maker Modules and Technology Certificate Courses 

Whether you’re an educator, parent, student or maker at heart, UOIT’s Online Maker Modules will help you explore Makerspace tools that will expand any maker’s knowledge of how to create and/or engage in rich learning opportunities. Participants will gain a deep understanding of various Maker tools and the pedagogy and best practices that go hand in hand with using these tools. If you’re interested in learning more (even if you’re not an educator) please see link to find out more information.

In addition to the Maker Modules, we are offering Technology Certificate Courses. These courses allow you to gain professional development in areas of Makerspaces, how to integrate technology into the classroom and how to enhance the writing process using technology tools. Take 1 course or take all 3 to broaden your understanding of Makerspace pedagogy and how it can be used in the classroom. Please see links below for more information on these certificate courses.

Tech Tool for the Writing Process – 

Tech Tool of Educators – 

The Digital Leader –

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Science Odyssey, coming soon! (May 16, 2017)

You may besciod-05-17-en asking yourself, “what is Science Odyssey”? Sounds pretty interesting right? Well it is more than just interesting, it’s innovative, exciting and coming to our STEAM 3D Maker Lab on Tuesday, May 16! Science Odyssey is national campaign that spans over 10 days (May 12 – 21) across Canada that involves discovery and innovation. With science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the forefront of education, Science Odyssey celebrates Canada’s accomplishments in STEM by bringing together hundreds of events and science leaders who bring awareness to the STEM movement in fun, inspiring and engaging activities to Canadians of all ages.

Now that you have a little bit of information on what Science Odyssey is, here is what you can expect , “Events include science-to-the-street celebrations, labs opening their doors to the public, science fairs, talks and conferences, school field trips, encounters with researchers and scientists, visits to museums and science centres, community organizations hosting scientific events, online activities, and much more”.

The STEAM 3D Maker Lab is inviting participants to join us in the Lab for our presentation centred around the theme of, “How to Start a Makerspace” on May 16 from 4pm – 6pm. We will be holding 2 sessions (4-5pm and 5-6pm) where participants can come in and explore the Lab and the tools within it, and gain knowledge on how to start their own Makerspace. Come prepared with your what, how, why questions!

If you are interested in attending and would like more information on the session and registration, please contact (space is limited!).

UOIT Faculty of Education Open House on Saturday, March 4, 2017

This past Saturday (March 4, 2017) we had the luxury of speaking to perspective UOIT teacher candidates at the UOIT Faculty of Education Open House. Many bright eyed and open minded students came walking through our STEAM 3D Maker Lab doors with parents, siblings, and fellow applicants, filled with questions and curiosity surrounding Makerspace pedagogy. We were able to speak with many students and explain what we do in the STEAM 3D Maker Lab, as well as gave them the oppurtunity to try out and explore the great technologies that can be found within the Lab. Students left with new knowledge surrounding the Makerspace mindset and a drive to continue to explore such an amazing part of 21st century education, before officially starting their program at the UOIT Faculty of Education.

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Trying out our PlayStation VR

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PlayStation VR

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PlayStation VR putting you right into the game

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Student exploring the capabilities of Argument Reality

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Looking at elements through Augmented Reality

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Dr. Janette Hughes

Assistant Deputy Minister of Education, Martyn Beckett Visits the Lab

On Friday January 13, 2017, the STEAM 3D lab was visited by the Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ontario Ministry of Education, Martyn Beckett. The lab team walked ADM Beckett through a variety of tools including 3D printing technology, programmable robots, virtual and augmented reality, and coding with Makey Makey, amongst other tools. Along with some other staff at UOIT and a visitor from the DDSB, ADM Beckett was able to tinker, explore and learn about the ways in which makerspaces and making (both digitally and tangibly) are remixing what we consider education.


Exploring Augmented Reality and Literacy


Coding with the Lab’s new BeeBot


ADM Beckett Travelling the World from the Comfort of the lab!

York Catholic District School Board’s (YCDSB) Principal’s Conference

Dr. Hughes, Lauren Fridman and Melanie Maas recently attended the YCDSB’s principal’s conference at the Hockley Valley Resort on November 24th and 25th, 2016. On the first evening, they were able to see George Couros, the author of The Innovator’s Mindset present a keynote address.


On Friday morning, Dr. Hughes presented her keynote address on the topic of makerspace pedagogies and their relevance to schools. Following the presentation, the principals and vice principals were able to tinker with augmented and virtual reality tools, Makey Makey, 3D printing and programmable robots (sphero and BB8). After a brief break Lauren and Melanie took the group through two sessions based off of Janette’s book The Digital Principal.



Exploring Virtual Reality through a Viewmaster


Looking at Augmented Reality on Mobile Phones


Exploring Augmented Reality through Literacy


Playing Pacman Using Makey Makey

Lauren discussed how to “Flip Your Staff Meeting” and discussed the use of a variety of online freeware to help move away from the “sage on the stage” to a more interactive and collaborative meeting style. The principals and VPs were able to explore tools like Prezi, Slack, Padlet, NearPod, Google Suite and Storify. Melanie ran a session entitled “Creating a Strong Digital Footprint” where she went through social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and blogging tools. Here the staff was able to pick up some new tips and tricks on how to leverage social media for their schools and create school accounts.


Lauren’s session on “Flipping Your Staff Meeting”


Melanie’s session on “Creating a Strong Digital Footprint”

Dr. Hughes Presents Keynote Address at DDSB’s Technology for Learning and Life Expo

Dr. Hughes is asked to present the keynote address “Technology, Equity & the Digital Divide” at the Durham District School Board’s Technology for Learning and Life Expo on November 19th, 2016. The expo attempt to bring parents and guardians up to speed with the technology tools being employed by teachers within the classroom. Through the sessions, participants are given the opportunity to engage with the tools themselves and learn to better navigate the hardwares and softwares that are currently in use.

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Lauren attended with Janette and they presented a workshop entitled “Activism vs. Slacktivism: Using the Internet to Take Social Action.” This workshop offers insight into ways that students can get involved through social networking and other related online tools. They include a brief history of what has been does so far with regards to online activism and ways that students can become actively involved in causes that are important to them, rather than fall victims to slacktivism.


This event was featured on, for the full article click the image below


Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) Conference: Connect. Explore. Create.

On November 11th 2016, Dr. Hughes and her STEAM 3D Makerspace Team attended the STAO conference at the International Plaza Hotel Toronto Airport. The team facilitated professional development sessions for teachers across the province of Ontario using a variety of emerging makerspace technology tools. Dr. Hughes began the morning by delivering a keynote address before the teachers were able to explore a few different makerspace sessions led by Graduate Students and Teacher Candidates. These sessions included 3D Printing and TinkerCAD, Scratch 2.0 and Makey Makey, Programmable Robots (including Sphero and BB8), and Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Below are some photos from the event.

Makerspace Team

The STEAM 3D Makerspace Team

Makey Makey

Makey Makey

3D Printing / TinkerCAD

3D Printing / TinkerCAD Question and Answer Period


MakerBot Mini Replicator

The MakerBot Mini Replicator in Action


Exploring Virtual Reality


Exploring Augmented Reality

STAO 2016

The STAO 2016 Teacher Participants

Creative Collisions 

The STEAM3D Lab lead social services partners in the Durham District through a full-morning session on Digital Literacies, the need to promote these in various education, social and economic spheres, and various digital and makerspace tools. The goal of the meeting was to connect with and develop local community partnerships and to provide the community with various digital tools for personal and professional use.

Below are the presentations we used during this teaching and learning session.

Creative Collisions


3d Printing and Infographics

Infographics – Creative Collisions


Chibitronics and E-textiles – Creative Collisions 2