Science 3D: Discovery, Design & Development through Makerspaces

The focus of this Ministry of Education (MoE)/Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) funded research is on developing and observing constructionist “maker pedagogies” that work to build capacity for investigating and affecting change and innovation in formal and informal education settings. The research investigates the impact of “makerspace” pedagogies that facilitate the discovery, design and development (3Ds) of digital and tangible products for teachers, their students and the school community. Thirty-three teachers from 11 school districts across Ontario with knowledge and skill in science and technology will collaboratively explore new avenues of thought in their practice. The research questions focus on how educators can use makerspace pedagogies to promote inquiry, play, imagination, innovation and design thinking, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. With the infusion of resources and custom-designed professional development, teachers will be introduced to innovative ideas and practices in makerspace or “critical making” pedagogies. They will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to establish and implement a makerspace in their classrooms/schools, where learners can congregate to design, engineer, and fabricate digitally enhanced products of all kinds, both digital and tangible, and explore the uses of digital technologies in general, including mobile devices, social media, apps and games, digital circuits, 3D printing, e-textiles, programmable robots and virtual/augmented reality.

For a quick preview of what our teachers experienced on their professional development day in the makerspace check out the following video:

The teachers participating in this project will be able to communicate through the  TeachOntario website. This tool will enable them to collaborate with each other throughout the project regardless of their location. It will also give them access to the research team throughout the duration of the study and implementation of their school’s makerspaces.

Here you can find the 2016 Horizon Report outlining emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning and creative inquiry in schools, which helped to inspire different aspects of this project.

To read the final report from year one click the following link: MOE Report_Makerspaces_Hughes2017 or on the image below.

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