Science 3-D: Discovery, Design & Development Through Makerspaces

Read about our two-year maker research project — a partnership between UOIT, the Ontario Ministry of Education and CODE (the Council of Ontario Directors of Education).


Researchers Receive New Support to Further Studies in Digital Literacy, Motor Skills and Hate Crime 

Canadians come face-to-face with challenges and opportunities in their daily lives, and it is research that is at the heart of understanding these challenges and opportunities. The Government of Canada, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), recently announced a $265 million investment in hundreds of social sciences and humanities research projects at post-secondary institutions across the country, including three projects at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. To read more about the projects taking place at UOIT, click the picture.

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 11.53.06 AM

Coding Kids: Windsor School Uses Universal Computer Language to Break Down Barriers 

Prince Edward Public School (one of our MOE schools!) from the Greater Essex Country DSB in Windsor, views coding/making as a universal language that breaks down barriers. To read the article, click on the picture below.

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 8.02.00 PM

Meaningful Making: Establishing a Makerspace in Your School or Classroom  – By: Dr. Janette Hughes 

A document posted onto the Ontario Ministry of Education website, written by Dr. Janette Hughes, discussing what educators need to know and understand about Maker pedagogies  and how these pedagogues support student learning across subject areas. Click on the picture below to read the full document.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 1.37.49 PM

How to Help Kids Innovate From an Early Age – By: Dr. Janette Hughes

An article written by Janette Hughes that looks at how Makerspaces help to improve student behavior, help develop students skills, and how they are interdisciplinary spaces aimed to promote the ever important educational principles. Click on the picture below to read to full article.

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 9.14.50 AM

Mobile lab bringing maker spaces to Durham schools

To read more about how making (tinkering, building, hacking, un-making) encourages the development of 21st Century skills for students, click on the image below for full access to the article.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.04.39 PM

Bridging the Digital Divide: University Takes Do-It-Yourself “Maker” Learning Lab on the Road

The STEAM 3D Maker Lab is committed to bringing new approaches to learning into the classroom that benefit all students, especially those are who marginalized. To read more about how the Maker Lab is bridging the digital divide that is apparent in schools, click on the picture below.


St. Joseph Catholic School in Uxbridge – Makerfaire 

On May 4th, our Ministry of Education (MoE) team made its way to St. Joseph Catholic School in Uxbridge to attend and participate in the schools Makerfaire. Students from the school displayed and showed off their incredible projects and creations to the rest of the school and to the community. To read more, please click on the image below.Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 1.40.01 PM

March Break Maker Camp 2017!

This was the STEAM3D lab’s second successful March Break maker camp. To read all about the activities, tools, successes and foci click here or on the image below!

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.49.59 PM

UOIT Awards Dr. Hughes with the Teaching Excellence Award

On December 6th, 2016, Dr. Hughes was recognized by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with a Teaching Excellence award. We as students are very lucky to have the support and guidance that Dr. Hughes provides us, and this award reflects the great work she does both as an instructor and supervisor in the Faculty of Education.

To see the other recipients from the UOIT awards ceremony please click on the image below.

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.00.43 PM

The STEAM 3D Team Moves Forward with Ministry of Education and Council of Ontario Directors of Education funded Makerspace Project

The STEAM 3D Makerspace Team participates in a Ministry of Education and Council of Ontario Directors of Education funded Makerspace Project!

Click the image below to read all about it!

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.04.51 PM

March Break Maker Camp 2016!

The STEAM3D held its first-ever March Break maker camp this year and it was a huge success! To read all about what we did at the camp, the fun tools we used (with links to the tools’ websites) and participant testimonials, click on the image below!

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.55.54 AM


Dr. Hughes Awarded Canada Research Chair in Technology and Pedagogy 

Dr. Janette Hughes is awarded the Canada Research Chair in Technology and Pedagogy!

Click the image below to read all about it!

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.08.26 PM

You can also visit the UOIT archives here for more information.

Digital Making in the UOIT STEAM-3D Maker Lab

The STEAM-3D Lab is where Dr. Janette Hughes, Canada Research Chair in Technology and Pedagogy,  and her research team: 1) 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; 2) 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 3) 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.

Making with Preservice Teacher Candidates

At the beginning of this new B.Ed. year — the first of the new two-year program in Ontario — we wanted to introduce the teacher candidates to a new way of teaching and learning early on as part of our effort to emphasize inquiry-based, digital learnMaking with Makey Makeying. As a result, our STEAM-3D lab collaborated with other faculty members to organize a Makerspace Day for I/S and P/J students. The sessions included: Making with Makey Makey where teacher candidates created tangible controllers for Scratch games and animations; e-textiles & circuits, where students were given materials such as conductive thread, fabric, sewing materials, copper-wire tape and LEDs, a brief intro to circuits and tutorials guiding them on what they could possible create. Within the half-hour session, many students were able to create (with limited, or no background in circuits or e-textiles), Construction with LED lightsLED-embedded bracelets, mini, LED-embedded stuffed animals and LED-embedded paper-based art pieces; 3D printing where students learned Tinker and printed small 3-D objects and tangible construction where students planned/designed an object, like a car or bridge, and constructed it using wood and glue in the session. Many students then took what they created in this session and embellished their pieces in the circuits session with LED lights (such as a car with headlights). Makerspace pedagogies encourage and promote perseverance, resiliency, problem-solving and an approach that supports learning from “failure”.  Before and during the sessions we emphasized process work through reflection and collaboration and tried to de-emphasize final products.

After the Makerspace Day, we developed Online Maker Modules for the purpose of in-service and pre-service teacher professional development. The modules include: Digital Making theory; Circuits; Wearables; 3-D printing; Coding,Gaming & Programmable

STEAM website screencapRobots. Within each of the modules students are asked to complete: research articles, self-directed learning walkthroughs and tutorials, additional media to support learning and differentiated assignment options. To view the online modules see: Currently, selected B.Ed. and M.Ed. students are working through the modules at their own pace and come into the lab at designated times to work with the maker tools, learn collaboratively and possibly complete one of the various field activities attached to the modules.

Current Research in Digital Making

In addition to the Maker Modules pilot study, we are working with a local, high-needs elementary school to create a Makerspace Club.  This project, part of a SSHRC-funded partnership development grant, focuses on the use of makerspace pedagogies to address school-community issues, including an anti-bullying initiative led by Dr. JenniferVU iPad charging station Laffier. Included in the project is the creation of a school-based anti-bullying team that is student-led. The idea behind the initiative is for students in the maker club to become the ‘agents of change’ amongst their peer groups and to demonstrate their leadership and agency through the creation of different digital projects related to bullying prevention (ie. light-up LED bracelets, infographics, anti-bullying videogames using Scratch and Makey Makey). In Part II of the club, math professor Dr. Ami Mamolo will VU makerspace student at workbe guiding the students in understanding the math/numbers behind infographics — how to critically read and understand an infographic and how to create one. In this context, the students will create infographics connected to the statistics and data they gather on bullying in their immediate classroom, school environment and Canada in general.

Upcoming Projects

We are now in the process of planning for a STEAM Makerspace Camp, which we will be offering this March Break to local students. The camp will run for the five days of the March Break (Mon. March 14 – Friday March 18) and will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions, where the mornings will concentrate more heavily on math and the afternoons — on literacy (all in relation to makerspace environments, pedagogies and tools). In the math and coding morning sessions participants will learn to code and toSTEAM Lab MBC brochure create their own video games and animations. This will be run by a visiting math and coding expert, Iain Brodie, and is co-sponsored by The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. The afternoon sessions will have a literacy and arts focus where participants will learn how to use various makerspace tools like circuits, 3-D printers and e-textiles and they will use these tools to create unique projects connected to an exploration of the self and “positive power”. Students will make, for example, infographics to explain who they are, they will use Scratch and Makey Makey to represent individual strengths and paper circuit creations using Chibitronics to represent positive power. LilyPad and LittleBits will also be used to demonstrate friendship and connection and 3-D printed symbols will be created at the end of the week to represent learning over the course of the week. Embedded and emphasized in the whole learning/creation process: collaborative learning, troubleshooting/problem-solving and reflective practice. Students will be asked to complete periodic self check-ins recorded in journals or in audio and/or video interviews where they reflect back on the process in order to fix problem areas (related to task process work and also inter- and intrapersonal process work).