Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Amy Busey

    Amy Busey

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2015 | 09:22 a.m.

    Love that students helped in producing this video. Based on the work so far, what elements of the program/partnerships do you think would be most essential in order to create similar opportunities in other communities?

  • May 11, 2015 | 10:38 a.m.

    We are currently working on a paper that outlines key design aspects that we have found to be central to our program/partnership (and we’re happy to share the paper with people who are interested):
    1. situating the program at the community center as “the place” where “youth rule” allowing for more youth-centered forms of interaction and doing, easy movement between community interactions and maker space activities (e.g., always posing the question, whose knowledge counts? who owns the making?)
    2. incorporating/supporting the use of nontraditional resources and tools towards doing engineering design work, such as art, student funds of knowledge and other forms of community expertise
    3. sustained engagement over time allowing students to see through multiple iterations, and involving community members/club at each new iterative cycle (e.g., community feedback days, community testing of engineering designs)
    4. building a strong network of experts with distributed expertise (from traditional STEM experts to a wide range of community experts all of whom bring important knowledge/experience to the topics youth care about and want to design for).

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Principal Investigator
    May 11, 2015 | 01:49 p.m.

    Nice!
    Were the students all recruited at once (in each location)? That is, is there a “first cohort” and a “later cohort”? I am curious about the development of a sort of engineering culture, and whether you had had the chance to watch newcomers get integrated/apprenticed?

  • May 12, 2015 | 09:16 a.m.

    In Lansing we have both old timers and new comers. We ask (but do not require) youth to commit to 2 years of participation. In Greensboro, we are in year 1 and so all of the youth are newcomers. Having both experienced and new youth in the program is important in peer to peer mentoring alongside a culture of making that a) legitimizes youth’s cultural repertoires of practice, b) values the importance of multiple iterations, and c) supports youth in seeking out, making sense of, and navigating possible differences in data from different epistemological origins (e.g., ethnography and technological).

  • Icon for: Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2015 | 11:14 p.m.

    Very interesting approach. Did students work in groups? How many groups were involved? How will you determine if they develop a productive identity?

  • May 12, 2015 | 09:20 a.m.

    Yes, students work in groups, generally 2 or 3 students per group. (Groups bigger than 3 seem to be harder to manage in terms of sharing of roles and responsibilities). We had 20 students per site this year, with 7-8 groups. (They fluctuate as youth become more familiar with each other and ideas shift). In terms of productive identity, we use the “productive identity work framework” [PIW] we developed, which operationalizes identity work along 3 lines: a) knowledge and practice, b) positioning & recognition, c) leveraging structures/agency. We use interviews, observations, student work, and survey to triangulate on these points. We’d be happy to share our paper on these ideas if you want. We do not make claims that students did or did not develop a productive identity, but rather we speak to the ways in which their identities developed along the aspects of the PIW framework (as we view identity work as always on-going and situational). Still, we think this gives helpful insight into the potential “sticking points” that youth face as they seek to develop identities in engineering.

  • Icon for: Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2015 | 02:44 p.m.

    thank you! I wasn’t aware of this framework. will have to look it up now.

  • Icon for: Preeti Gupta

    Preeti Gupta

    May 12, 2015 | 09:56 a.m.

    I have been following this project for years. Have you been able to follow alumni of the program? Any interesting patterns there?

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 12:10 p.m.

    A couple of our alums are now in college. One is at Notre Dame on scholarship, another is at Michigan State. Some of the senior members who are still in K-12 have also come back to participate as mentors and Get City experts to the current youth.

  • Icon for: Michelle Perry

    Michelle Perry

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 04:20 p.m.

    Nice video! I like the approach. Have you encountered any challenges in implementing the program? Any plans to scale-up to other communities—if so, what types of challenges would you anticipate?

  • May 12, 2015 | 05:11 p.m.

    In terms of our maker space work we are piloting this program in two sites in MI and NC. We hope to learn what features of the program support productive identity development and learning/engagement in engineering as we think about how to scale in the future. We are focused right now on refining our design principles that others might draw upon based on findings from this past year. One additional aspect of our work, however, is to think about what is portable to school settings. That is a question that is really exciting to us.

  • Icon for: Katherine McNeill

    Katherine McNeill

    Associate Professor of Science Education
    May 12, 2015 | 04:56 p.m.

    I love how you included the youth video in this!

  • Icon for: Amy Parks

    Amy Parks

    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2015 | 05:11 p.m.

    I can’t imagine how differently I would have seen science and engineering growing up if I had been able to be part of something like this.

  • May 12, 2015 | 08:30 p.m.

    Thank you Amy! We’d love to have you visit any time!

  • May 12, 2015 | 05:12 p.m.

    Thanks, Kate! We’re really excited about what they have accomplished and it would not be right to not have them as co-producers of this video!

  • Small default profile

    Dean Livelybrooks

    Guest
    May 13, 2015 | 01:27 p.m.

    Nice program. I’m wondering what you’ve found are the critical supports that facilitate student-driven interactions with local STEM expertise and, more speculatively, how that might work in a less resource-rich, university-remote setting. (Dean Livelybrooks, not a presenter/facilitator and, thus, Anonymous)

  • Icon for: Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2015 | 02:41 p.m.

    I totally agree that the use of story is a good entry point to engage diverse learners. Particularly for very young learners and those with little to no prior knowledge to frame or approach tasks. But I wonder what the impact is on students’ use of disciplinary discourse. If we accept the idea that part of developing their identify as engineers is to “talk and behave” like them, where do they develop this skill? The story genre features and expectations are quite different than a story (narrative) genre. Is that where the network of experts come in? If so, are you evaluating the extent to which students “take up” that discourse and relating it to their productive identities in engineering?

  • Icon for: Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2015 | 02:42 p.m.

    I meant to say The story genre features and expectations are quite different than a engineering discourse.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.

  1. Angela Calabrese Barton
  2. http://invincibility.us
  3. Professor
  4. Making 4 Change: Becoming Community Engineering Experts through Makerspaces and Youth Ethnography
  5. http://getcity.org, http://invincibility.us
  6. Michigan State University, Boys and Girls Club of Lansing
  1. Edna Tan
  2. Making 4 Change: Becoming Community Engineering Experts through Makerspaces and Youth Ethnography
  3. http://getcity.org, http://invincibility.us
  4. UNC Greensboro

Making for Change
NSF Award #: 1421116

Making for Change (M4C) involves the development and study an innovative informal engineering learning model to engage middle school youth from underrepresented backgrounds in engineering for sustainable communities. The primary goals are to support youth in developing productive identities in engineering, while also learning the hybrid practices that make up engineering for sustainable communities. Our model involves youth iteratively and generatively engaging in maker spaces and community ethnography to make sense of local problems and design solutions for them, while also connecting into a broader social network of experts. Data sources will include: Interviews (individual and group) with youth and other participating adults, observation of M4C sessions, collection of student work, and a youth survey. We hypothesize that iteratively moving between makerspaces and community ethnography will support youth in metacognitively reflecting upon a) what they know and need to know to define problems and design solutions, b) their developing engineering identities, and c) the potential agency they have to make change in their community. The project is being carried out at Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs in Lansing and Greensboro. We have recruited 36 youth (18/site) who will participate over 2 years.