Making the Maker


The 'Making the Maker' project is an NSF-funded project that aims to investigate how Making can be used to scaffold the interest of children, especially from underrepresented populations, to pursue STEM-related careers. The main mechanism through which the project aims to achieve this goal is to support the development of children's identity as Makers by integrating Making activities longitudinally into the elementary school curricula.

The premise of this project is based on the following threads:

  • Making has the potential to bridge across and integrate the disciplines in elementary education, including science, mathematics and language arts.
  • Making should include not only exposure to STEM concepts, but also engagement in the practice of Making.
  • Interest, motivation and self-efficacy are three key determinants to support the development of children's self-identity as Makers and STEM-capable individuals.


Two Maker workshops with children and one workshop with teachers have so far been conducted to pilot test and define the various materials that we will need to kick off the main project in the Fall of 2015 at the Neal Elementary School in Bryan, TX.

More information about the project can also be found on the TEILab page.

Project Team Members

  • Elizabeth Deuemeyer (Postdoctoral Associate, Education)
  • Stephen Martinez (Undergraduate student, Industrial Distribution)
  • Mario Suarez (PhD student, Education)
  • Kaiyuan Chen (PhD student, Psychology)
  • Dr. Francis Quek (Professor, Visualization)
  • Dr. Sharon Lynn Chu (Assistant Professor, Visualization)
  • Dr. Lynn Burlbaw (Professor, Education)
  • Dr. Patricia Larke (Professor, Education)
  • Dr. Rebecca Schlegel (Associate Professor, Psychology)


  • Michael Saenz (Research Assistant, Visualization)
  • Genna Angello (Postdoctoral Associate, Psychology)

Related Publications

  1. Chu, S., Angello, G., Saenz, M. and Quek, F. (2017). Fun in Making: Understanding the Experience of Fun and Learning through Curriculum-based Making in the Elementary School Classroom. Journal of Entertainment Computing: Special issue on Maker Technologies to Foster Engagement and Creativity in Learning (Make2Learn), 18, pp. 31-40. 
  2. Berman, A., Garcia, B., Nam, B., Chu, S. L. and Quek, F. (2016). Toward a Making Community of Practice: The Social Aspects of Elementary Classroom-Based Making. In Proceedings of FabLearn 2016: 6th Annual Conference on Creativity and Making in Education. Stanford University, Palo Alto.
  3. Chu, S., Angello, G., Suarez, M. and Quek, F. (2016). A Systemic Analysis of Making in Elementary Schools: Understanding Making for Children through Activity Theory. In Proceedings of International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT ’16). Austin, TX. 
  4. Chu, S., Saenz, M. and Quek, F. (2016). Connectors in Making: Investigating Children’s Motoric Abilities in Making. In Proceedings of International Conference on Interaction Design & Children (IDC ’16). Manchester, UK. 
  5. Angello, G., Chu, S., Quek, F., Osazuwa, O. and Zarei, N. (2016). Making as the New Colored Pencil: Translating Elementary Curricula into Maker Activities. In Proceedings of International Conference on Interaction Design & Children (IDC ’16). Manchester, UK. 
  6. Chu, S. L., Angello, A., Quek, F. and Pyle. S. (2016). Supporting Scientific Model Thinking through Curriculum-based Making. In Proceedings of FabLearn Europe 2016. Preston, UK. 
  7. Chu, S., Quek, F., Saenz, M., Bhangaonkar, S. and Okundaye, O. (2015). Enabling Instrumental Interaction through Electronics Making: Effects on Children’s Storytelling. In Proceedings of International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS ’15). Copenhagen, Denmark. 
  8. Chu, S., Quek, F., Bhangaonkar, S., Ging, A. B. and Sridharamurthy, K. (2015). Making the Maker: Nurturing the Maker Mindset. In the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction: Special Issue on Digital Fabrication in Education. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcci.2015.08.002
Making the Maker