1. Edna Tan
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Equitably-Consequential Making among Youth from historically marginalized communities
  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Michigan State University
  1. Angela Calabrese Barton
  2. http://invincibility.us
  3. Professor
  4. Equitably-Consequential Making among Youth from historically marginalized communities
  5. Michigan State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 08:02 a.m.

    Very interesting and inspiring!

        In what ways is the community more broadly (I mean, beyond the young participants themselves) a presence in the discussions or ideas about what is made, or the identification of an "audience" or beneficiary of the products of the making?

     

  • May 13, 2019 | 12:51 p.m.

    Hi Brian: In addition to what Edna mentioned, youth in all four makerspaces conduct interviews and/or surveys with peers, families, community members on questions they have about problems they hope to address/make for, ideas about making, who has expertise on topics, etc. We also have come to see this as integral to the forms of co-making that happen in the different spaces. This looks different in our partner community-based makerspaces than in the designed spaces maker space (e.g., science center) but in all of these cases, these sorts of discussions/exchange of ideas across boundaries increasing the porosity of the physical and social boundaries of their makerspaces and family/community.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marilu Lopez Fretts
  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:26 a.m.

    Hi Brian, thank you for your question. We work to increase community engagement by intentionally organizing "community feedback sessions" that is a part of the making programming. Youth in various stages of their making would dialogue with community members about the what/why/when/how of their making projects. Community members include club staff members, other peers at the community club, parents, teachers and local engineers. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marilu Lopez Fretts
  • Icon for: Donna Stokes

    Donna Stokes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 12:03 p.m.

    Great work! This is great project which is inclusive of youth a as well as members from the broader community. 

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:10 p.m.

    Thank you Donna for your kind comments! 

  • Icon for: Terrell Morton

    Terrell Morton

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 08:05 p.m.

    Interesting project! I love the activities shared in the video and watching the student engage in them. I also see my friend, Dr. Roby! 

    My questions are: How are you addressing the concept of "just" or justice within your program? Is it through exploring students' ideas, experiences, and thoughts? Or, is it something that is more historicized or contextualized within larger teachings/conversations around systems of oppression? 

    I am also curious to know to what extent are the different contexts of where the programs are housed are shaping the outcomes and impact of the program? Particularly as it involves broadening participation, access, engagement. 

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 07:13 a.m.

    Hi Terrell, 

    Thank you for your comments and questions. The different contexts of the programs definitely shape the ways that youth conceptualize the for whom/what/why/how aspects of their making --and in this process reflecting the nuances in how they, located in their context, experience particular injustices. 

    In engaging youth, we intentionally include them in conversations around both "big picture" and "everyday decision" levels of the programming. A "big picture" discussion that took place in all our sites were "How do we help our community be healthy and happy?" This question brought up issues related to context, of particular challenges to community health and happiness. An "everyday decision" could be the type of making project youth initially conceptualized to address one particular factor that challenged community health/happiness, and which community members they might want to connect with through interviews/surveys, to further dig into the issue to better frame the problem, which would their "next steps" in the design process. 

  • May 14, 2019 | 01:47 p.m.

    Hi Terrell! We love Dr. Roby! I also wanted to add that as youth unpack "how do we help our communities be healthy and happy" we unpack with them their experiences in light of local practices (their on-the-ground experiences) and systemic injustices (how those experiences connect with broader discourses, structures and practices). For example, the #stopracism project, which took place at a Boys and Girls Club, and which serves predominantly Black youth, evolved over time in response to both what the youth were experiencing in their everyday lives and in response to how they felt these experiences were being promoted at the highest levels in this country. Their problem/solution maps included references to sources of racism, experiences of racism, and strategies for fighting racism (through keeping safe, caring for oneself, raises awareness, trying to change structures). The maker work then hones in on what things can we do to address a part of this broader system. Nila wanted to encourage dialogue in her community on racism. The process of making her artifact involved the discussions about racism, some quite challenging, along side the making of the physical artifact. 

  • Icon for: Paige Evans

    Paige Evans

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2019 | 12:07 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this.  We have also been working at a local maker space and your work is insightful. 

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 12:15 p.m.

    Hi Paige, 

    Thank you for your kind comments. We would be delighted to learn from your work too. Are you working with youth or adults in the local maker space? 

  • Small default profile

    Wanda Bryant

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2019 | 12:35 p.m.

    Awwh! Optical illusion machine-I’d like to know more about it! Thanks!

  • May 14, 2019 | 01:41 p.m.

    Hi Wanda: Thanks for asking! The youth in their maker space program at the Boys and Girls Club were playing around with motors and building portable fans -- this was a project designed by one of the youth mentors who wanted everyone to have a fan to bring to school when it got hot (as few of our urban schools have A/C). This got some of the kids playing around with motors and thinking about "what else could we get to spin"? this eventually led a group of 3 youth and their mentor to build this machine using a piece of wood, an old tape dispenser (to hold the motor just so), wires and a battery holder. The greatest innovation came in their efforts to design different patterns that "looked different when they spinned". When I asked one of the girls their motivation behind spending so much time on making different patterns and the optical illusion machine she said:

    "You look at the spinning design and you think, 'This is so pretty and yet you cannot tell what it is.'  It will make people happy. It will make people who are feeling sad feel better about themselves because when they look at it they will see the picture in the illusion, and it will help them to see that they can see and do things they didn’t realize were there when looking at it differently."

  • Icon for: Ginger Fitzhugh

    Ginger Fitzhugh

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 07:32 p.m.

    I really appreciate your youth- and community-centered approach, and finding ways to deliberately and thoughtfully incorporating social justice issues into STEM.

    I'm curious how you have evaluated your program. Could you describe your approach and what measures you've used? You mentioned how youth collected data to inform their designs. Were youth involved in the evaluation, too?

     

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:34 a.m.

    Hi Ginger, 

    Thank you for your kind comments. We do not officially evaluate the makerspaces --that is not the focus of our grant. We were funded to study and document the making cultures in these 4 youth-focused community making spaces to "map the terrain" so to speak, of different kinds of making as more heavily defined by the users (youth) and members of their community. 

    However, as our research methodology is longitudinal ethnography, we are able to point to data about the kinds of impact made artifacts precipitated (such as the #stopracism sign Nila made) and look at the making process to point to the suite of maker-specific knowledge and practices & STEM-specific knowledge & practices and community-specific knowledge & practices, that youth drew from. That provided us with some way of "evaluating" in terms of us asking questions along the lines of what youth learned, how they engaged, who they were able to become, etc. 

  • Icon for: Victor van den Bergh

    Victor van den Bergh

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:37 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your exciting work.  I was especially interested in Nila's story and her #StopRacism project.  It got me thinking about to what extent your maker space programs use social media to share students' work.  That seems like the dominant way today's youth are familiar with getting their work out there, but I also understand there are some drawbacks and risks involved.  Do you explicitly use social media as part of the formula for "how"students' artifacts get shown?  How else do children who choose to share work from your program with their community do it?

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:38 a.m.

    Hi Victor, 

    Thank you for your kind comments. Social media usage varies across the 4 sites, with one of the sites more involved due to stronger institutional staffing resources. The maker adult facilitators do not share the youths’ work on social media (privacy concerns), as a rule.

    The youth-makers at 2 of the sites periodically host maker workshops for their peers who are not in the making program (due to age limits, etc) to both showcase their work and more importantly for the youth-makers, to teach their peers who attend the community clubs, how to make. For example, the youth have hosted an electronics workshop (paper circuits, light-up bracelets, teaching about multi-meters) and a stop-motion animation workshop. 

  • Icon for: Terri Norton

    Terri Norton

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 15, 2019 | 08:50 a.m.

    What an awesome way to engage the youth while also encouraging interests in STEM and Social Justice!

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 09:14 a.m.

    Hi Terri, 

    Thank you for viewing our video and for your kind comments! 

  • Icon for: Joi Spencer

    Joi Spencer

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 15, 2019 | 12:46 p.m.

    Thank you for the project. It is great to see an engineering for social justice project. Our project would love to connect with you. Our STEMWoW project makes use of the UN Sustainable Development goals. Students then create projects to address these challenges. 

    So exciting to see your work!

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 01:17 p.m.

    Hi Joi, 

    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. We would love to connect with you and learn from your project. Please do email Angie and me, we look forward to hearing from you. 

  • Icon for: Deanna Privette

    Deanna Privette

    i3 STEM Grant Coordinator
    May 17, 2019 | 01:36 p.m.

    I really love what you're doing.  Allowing kids voice and choice in bringing about awareness to community issues that are important to them makes for a great combination and an avenue for them to make a difference.  Thanks for sharing!

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 01:53 p.m.

    Hi Deanna, 

    Thank you for stopping by! We are learning a lot from working with the youth. They remind us often that they are the ones "who knows STEM and who knows our community" so they should riightfully so be the ones to have a big say in the making process. Thank you again for your kind comments. 

  • Icon for: Jomo Mutegi

    Jomo Mutegi

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2019 | 05:26 p.m.

    Edna and Angie, Thanks for this project. Like much of your work this is very compelling. I have a question related to a question that Terrell asked. Do you have data or examples of maker spaces where students were provided explicit instruction in systems of oppression as part of the maker space experience?

  • May 18, 2019 | 07:26 a.m.

    Hi Jomo! 

    In all four makerspaces we are working with there have been different approaches to providing explicit instruction in systems of oppression. Two really different examples:

    In the makerspace in the science center we are collaborating with, the lead educator put up two images (this was started in December 2018) -- one of the incoming democratic house members, and one of the incoming republican house members, and ask the youth in the YAC program, what was different about the two images. She didnt tell them what they were images of. The youth discussed differences in racial, gender, age, and religion based on what they observed. She then ask them which group they would want to join if this were all of the information they had, and they discussed their ideas and why. Then she had the group of youth tour the science center and to note how all of the rooms were named. After this activity they noted that all of the rooms at this particular science center were named after dead white men (e.g., Einstein, Galleleo, etc.). She then introduced the idea of #reclaiming the science center to the group, hosted discussions on what this meant and why, and had them do research on people they wished the rooms and spaces of the center could be named after. She had scaffolded this approach by having websites and resources for youth to look at that addressed issues of representation -- not just of "who" is present, but what kinds of "science" are present. And the youth did research on that, and came up with a wide range of ideas, that they discussed, and sent to the science center's leadership. They are now working in smaller groups to consider what they may make/design for these spaces to help represent what will be the new names of the spaces. Obviously this has taken place over months, and it touches on one aspect of systemic oppression. 

    In a really different example, in another one of our makerspaces, which is based in a community center, the maker educators placed three huge piece of butcher paper over three long tables (sort of like tablecloths). On one paper was written: Just Communities, on another, Healthy & Happy Communities, and on the third Healthy Environment. And the youth rotated around the room, challenged to get at least 100 words on each tablecloth. After they had done that, they spent more time, in teams this time, at each table cloth grouping ideas, and identifying the ideas that they felt were most important/interesting/salient to them and why. They were to then share their ideas with the whole group - this was to give some inspiration to naming issues they may further investigate in their community for a focus of their maker work. One group had noted that across the tablecloths access to quality housing, quality food, and quality parks were all three tablecloths, and also on the justice table cloth were issues related to income and taxation (related to the tax restructuring in the US). They started to write a rap to explain their observations on these ideas. Fast forward, what the maker mentor working with the group did was open up the rap writing to the whole group -- most youth had lines they wanted to add that reflected their experiences in the world on these ideas, and they produced a group document that linked policy, racism, and their experiences of oppression along these aforementioned lines. One of the maker mentor hosted a series of conversations on this topic over the next several sessions. This led to the construction of a survey on some of the identified topics the youth conducted in their community, and analysis on community member ideas. These (the brainstorms, the rap, the discussions and the surveys) were all addressed as “powerful forms of data” that could inform their maker work, noting that data of different epistemological origins (e.g., personal experience, analyzed surveys, internet research) all were valid in this space. As youth sought to generate ideas for their maker work, and provide rationales from these data, youth had opportunities to investigate the specific issues they cared about further, including some groups who specifically tackled structural forms of oppression. For example, one of the youth decided on making a movie on racism in the trump era and how the different projects made (or to be made) by the other youth in his maker club were addressing racism in different ways. Another youth, for example, conducted research into how his city's policies impacted homeless people, looking at who is impacted, how and why, and mocked up his vision of a more just way to support those in need of quality housing and food in his city. 

    Sorry this is long. So in the first case the discussion was planned for around representation with a pre-planned idea for #reclaiming the science center, and providing youth an opportunity to be a part of that project conceptually and in their maker work. In the second case, the discussions were left open to be driven by the youths' experiences and supporting their research into the forms of oppression they named through their brainstorming work, leaving the maker work to be more open-ended along the lines named by the youth. 

    I think your question raises important questions for how to scaffold these kinds of discussions, and how maker  mentors are prepared for them. In both cases the maker mentors highlighted are women of color, and both have lived commitment to challenging structural forms of oppression in their daily lives and work, and had preparation in ways other maker mentors may not. So working with them to design scaffolds which make such conversations and research possible as a part of a maker space is part of what we working to understand.
  • Icon for: Jomo Mutegi

    Jomo Mutegi

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2019 | 08:19 a.m.

    Thanks, Angie! I appreciate the detail and thoughtfulness of your response.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Angela Calabrese Barton
  • May 18, 2019 | 11:58 a.m.

    Super project! I'm curious about whether you are eliciting youth's reflections on their experiences and what they are revealing about their learning and interest in STEM. I heard the educators providing their reflections - also valuable!

    I'm also curious about what is longitudinal? Sorry if I missed that in the video.  

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 12:08 p.m.

    Hi Catherine, 

    Thank you for your kind comments! By "longitudinal" we refer to the length of time that we work with the youth in community settings. For most of the youth across 4 sites, they are active participants in the weekly making program for at least two years. A few of our youth partners have been collaborating with us for 8 years and counting. We think a longitudinal approach is important to form robust relationships in community and to collectively figure out what it means to make for social change and new social futures --what are the salient issues, what would consitute be equitable and consequential making processes, who should be invited to the table, etc. 

    We do elicit youths' feedback, that is part of the making process from inception of idea as to what/why/for whom to make, and how to make, pertaining to the making process. We have used different methods from video diaries (youth record a short video at the end of the making session about their experiences that day), informal group conversations, and more formal focus group interviews. 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.