Design Principles for Meaningful Urban Making
Principal Investigator: Marcelo Worsley
Making is touted as one of the next big waves in advancing STEM learning. This project addresses the use of making among urban communities of color, which are underrepresented in the Maker Movement. Our model focuses on making activities that are personally-meaningful, community-grounded, and technically-rigorous. The application of these principles ensures that the making experiences promote STEM fluency and have clear connections to the learners’ cultures and values. The model also involves a learning ecosystem aimed to support meaningful learning. These goals and principles are realized across our interconnected project features: summer and academic year workshops, 7th-12th grade classroom implementations, and mentor-supported long-term projects. Bringing these pieces together - workshops, public school integration, technological resources, community and professional involvement - contributes to a learning ecosystem that supports meaningful making. Furthermore, the model will adapt over the next several years, using design-based implementation research (DBIR), in order to maintain and grow that learning ecosystem and help participants realize, experience and invent ways that making, and STEM, are relevant to everyday life and to community values.