Making in the classroom: Longitudinal evidence of increases in self-efficacy and STEM possible selves over time
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© 2019 Making refers to the hands-on practice of creating technology-based artifacts that typically involves things like electronics, programming, and 3D printing. Practices in Making have been spearheaded by the rise of the Maker movement, resulting in the spread of Makerspaces for both young people and adults worldwide. However, Making is also being increasingly incorporated into school settings. This is despite the fact that little research has evaluated the potential consequences of Making in schools. We present a two-year longitudinal study investigating the effects of integrating Making into existing school curricula at a public elementary school that primarily serves students from underrepresented groups in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). We focused on whether engaging in Making led to changes in self-efficacy, interest, and identification with both Making and science. We further examined more distal potential changes in STEM career interest and STEM possible selves. Results showed that students exposed to a Making-based science curriculum evidenced significant increases in four of the eight dependent variables tested (Making self-efficacy, science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM possible selves). These findings demonstrate the utility of curriculum-aligned Making, particularly in terms of fostering self-efficacy, science identity, and possible selves among students from underrepresented groups.
author list (cited authors)
Schlegel, R. J., Chu, S. L., Chen, K., Deuermeyer, E., Christy, A. G., & Quek, F.