Lab News

The STEAM-3D Maker Lab is always on the move. Whether it be our staff providing professional development (PD) to educators, leading Makerspace pedagogy-based lessons to students, or having guest speakers come into the Lab to share their knowledge, our Lab is a bustling place!

To see what we have been involved in lately, check out our Lab Events and In-Field Events pages. You can find links to blogs, articles, and other media pieces we have written on our Media Publications Page.

Or, keep reading to see where we’ve been mentioned in the press!

Research Project with Ontario Tech Faculty of Education to Explore How Youth Can Develop Activism on Social Media


Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Education ’s Dr Janette Hughes has been granted funding from the SSHRC to develop innovative research in partnership with Caroline Isautier, of Tech for Good Canada and Dr. Jennifer Laffier of the Mental Health in the Digital Age Lab. Running from OCTOBER 2021 TO DECEMBER 2021 – This project focuses on developing and piloting an innovative approach to working with youth to promote pro-social activism with digital media at a time when they are more isolated and disconnected from their peers than ever before.

Learn how you can get involved in this exciting research HERE!

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.

Just four months after she was attacked, Black insisted on defending her Master’s thesis. Dr Hughes, the Canada Research Chair, Technology and Pedagogy at Ontario Tech University highlighted “What really inspires me is that she is refusing to allow a random act of violence to define her.  She didn’t let it cripple her — literally. She had to learn to walk all over again”

The Kimberley Black Graduate Scholarship will support a woman pursuing graduate studies at the Faculty of Education who has demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Read the full story from The Toronto Sun here

Education’s Next Act

In September 2020, the Canada Foundation for Innovation highlighted the involvement of Dr. Hughes and the STEAM-3D Maker Lab team in supporting educators locally, nationally, and globally during the emergency transition to online teaching and learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hughes has been trying to help educators not “put old wine in new bottles” — a tendency, she says, to try to use the same old pedagogies on a tech platform instead of innovating and working to enhance learning and engage students.
~ S. Boesveld

Click here to read the full article on

Ontario Tech Working Apart, Coming Together: Supporting Teachers with Online Learning

Following the Ontario government’s announcement that education will remain online for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, Ontario Tech University released a video highlighting the work of Dr. Janette Hughes and the STEAM-3D Maker Lab to support educators in their transition from face-to-face teaching and learning.

Click here to view the original post on Ontario Tech’s LinkedIn page.

Battling COVID-19: Universities Partner with Industry, Government to Combat the Pandemic

In a guest column on the National Post (April 14th, 2020), Dr. Stephen Murphy highlighted the ways in which Ontario Tech University has banded together to support the local, national, and international community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these recognitions, Dr. Murphy spoke to the work the STEAM-3D Maker Lab has been doing to support educators in transitioning to an online model of teaching and learning.

Upon learning of the pending school closure in Ontario, Dr. Hughes and the STEAM-3D Maker Lab team began formulating a Virtual Professional Learning Network through online sessions focused on the pedagogy of teaching and learning online. These sessions have also included interactive, small-group “breakouts” where educators can explore, troubleshoot, and discuss a variety of practical tools to facilitate the rapid transition from a face-to-face learning environment. This week, we have further extended these supports to include Online Mobile Maker sessions, in which teachers can accompany their classes to our virtual “Lab” for curriculum-aligned digital making activities.

The Digital Principal

In this video from Pembroke Publishers, Dr. Janette Hughes outlines some concerns as well as strategies for school leaders to use to encourage a technology-rich learning environment that addresses the needs of both teachers and students.

Tech Training for Somersfield Teachers

At the end of August, Dr. Janette Hughes and Laura Dobos visited the Somersfield Academy in Bermuda to provide teachers and administrators with support for meaningfully combining technology and pedagogy in the classroom. Click the image below to read more about our time in Bermuda in the Royal Gazette.

Durham Researchers Aim to Teach Kids About Future of Artificial Intelligence

We recently worked with Global News and Village Union Public School to film a piece on our upcoming educational work with AI. Check it out:

It is important for students to learn about artificial intelligence — not only in preparation for their future careers which will no doubt feature it in some way, but to develop an understanding of the associated moral and ethical implications. AI can be a lot of fun, especially when experienced through recreational avenues like Cue and Cozmo.

However, AI is capable of acquiring and manipulating mass amounts of information in ways that few people are familiar with. While we may not necessarily believe that AI is on the verge of taking over the world, understanding its capabilities is important to being an informed digital citizen.

Click the image below to read the full article!

“Higher Education Institutions Need to Disrupt or be Disrupted”
by Dr. Stephen Murphy (UOIT President & Vice-Chancellor)

In his article on the need for post-secondary institutions to adapt and respond to the changing educational landscape, Dr. Stephen Murphy recognized the efforts of Dr. Hughes and the STEAM-3D Maker Lab to innovate, share, and encourage others to do the same. He writes,

Instead of shunning technological advances as threats to the system, embracing change will open up tremendous opportunities. One great example is the STEAM-3D Maker Lab at UOIT’s Faculty of Education, which is a collaborative, learner-centered environment where individuals can come together to build and create.

To read the full article, click here.

STEAM Education, 21st Century Skills & Makerspaces

Dr. Janette Hughes discusses the value of STEAM in education, transferable 21st-century skills, and inquiry-based, student-driven learning in this video from Owlkids.

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 below.

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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.

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Bringing Makerspaces 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.

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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 benefits 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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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