Alderfer is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education.
Smith is a professor in the School of Education.
Kim is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, assistant dean of media technologies and director of the Music and Entertainment Technology Lab.
Edouard is a senior research fellow of learning innovation in the Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center.
Drexel researchers in the ExCITe Center’s Learning Innovation initiative have completed a first-of-its-kind, year-long investigation visiting 30 K–12 education “makerspaces” across eight metropolitan regions to study what approaches work best, and for whom.
Through in-depth interviews with and observation of students, instructors and leadership, the researchers found encouraging indicators for increased student engagement in school through makerspace participation and development of a “maker mindset” that focuses on creation, iteration, agency and collaboration.
They also found room for improvement. One insight was the discovery of troubling inclusivity indicators, particularly regarding gender. Student participation rates change between grade school, where participation is nearly equal by gender, and high school, where male students outnumber females by a factor of three. In addition, program leaders and instructors remain predominantly male.