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?

Women in Academia – Cuppa Research

Ontario Tech University – STEAM 3D Maker Lab
Wednesday, October 25th, 2023 – 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Join Dr. Janette Hughes in our first gathering for women in academia! These sessions will focus on providing mentorship to women who are early scholars in their field. Join us in talks about women in academia, the challenges, mentorship, and advice.

Coffee & tea provided ☕

Register here: https://rb.gy/txp90

Research Associate Jennifer Robb wins Regional Award!

On Friday April 21st, 2023, STEAM-3D Maker Lab research associate Jennifer Robb was presented with the 2023 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award from the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. This is the first time an Ontario Tech student has been granted this award. Read more about the NAGS award here!

New Publication: “‘It Feels Like I Have a Camera in my Eye’: New Methods for Literacies Research in Maker-Oriented Classrooms” 

Dr. Janette Hughes, Dr. Laura Morrins, Jennifer A. Robb, and Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman recently published “‘It Feels Like I Have a Camera in my Eye’: New Methods for Literacies Research in Maker-Oriented Classrooms” in the Frontiers in Education special issue, Maker Education: Opportunities and Challenges (Vol. 2). This paper explores the use of first-person perspective “spyglasses” for capturing students’ creative processes and social knowledge construction in the makerspace. Read the article here!

Text-based image that reads "New publication: 'It feels like I have a camera in my eye': New methods for literacies research in maker-oriented classrooms. Dr. Janette Hughes, Dr. Laura Morrison, Jennifer A. Robb & Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman. https://bit.ly/S3D-Spyglasses." The text is overlaid over a background image of a laptop wearing a graduation cap. Logos for Ontario Tech University's Faculty of Education, the STEAM-3D Maker Lab, and the University of Ottawa are pictured at the bottom of the image.

Research Assistant Kelly Wang is a 3MT Finalist! 

On March 22nd, 2023, research assistant Kelly Wang competed in Ontario Tech University’s Three-Minute Thesis competition. Her incredible presentation on “Exploring TikTok, Youth Activism, and Fast Fashion through an Education Lens” secured her a spot in the finals on March 23rd. Congratulations Kelly, we are so proud of you!

Faculty of Education graduate student and STEAM-3D Maker Lab research assistant Kelly Wang presenting at this year's Three-Minute Thesis competition. In this photo, Kelly is wearing a white blazer over a navy top and is holding her hands out while speaking.