Listening to makers: Exploring engineering students' recommendations for creating a better makerspace experience

Madeleine Jennings, Brooke Charae Coley, Audrey R. Boklage, Nadia N. Kellam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper explores the ways that students experience university-affiliated makerspaces as captured in interviews and during observations. Our research questions are focused on understanding the ways that engineering students have experienced makerspaces in a variety of institutions and institution-types, and their suggested ways of improving these makerspaces. In particular, we are interested in the ways that students from underrepresented groups have experienced these makerspaces and their suggestions for improvements to the makerspaces. Data collected for this study was gathered using semi-structured interviews with a diverse set of students from seven different institutions. An a priori codebook was developed to analyze transcribed interview data. The codes that are the focus in this study are the following: “experiences that shape identity,” “pathways to engineering,” and “recommendations for makerspaces” and the emergent patterns are around equipment-focused, logistical, curricular, and social recommendations for makerspaces. It was generally found that women and ethnic minorities tended to recommend social change in makerspaces, while men of all ethnicities tended to recommend equipment and technology changes. The implications of this study are to establish student makerspace recommendations in order to create more inclusive and welcoming environments in makerspaces and other engineering spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Listening to makers: Exploring engineering students' recommendations for creating a better makerspace experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this