Get ready for ISTELive 21! Launch the site now.
Make the Future
Summit 2022
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Multi-Gen STEM Makerspaces in Affordable Housing: Co-Designing With the Community

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Saturday, December 5, 12:30–1:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Kim Ducharme  
Kevin Lewis  

CAST, the pioneers of Universal Design for Learning, is working together with Operation Pathways to co-design an inaugural program that locates multi-generational makerspace communities in affordable housing and community centers to build peer-to-peer support and create opportunities for discovery, creativity, innovation and STEM-focused futures.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Maker activities & programs
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

“Who can make and who cannot, whose knowledge matters and whose does not, are all a part of making itself.” – Angela Calebrese Barton

Situating makerspace learning communities in affordable housing and community centers brings together kids, teens, parents, and seniors to build peer-to-peer support and create opportunities for discovery, creativity, leadership, and innovation. Makerspaces equip participants with 21st Century skills and access to materials and experiences that set them up to succeed in school and the modern workplace.

Empowered as producers instead of consumers, the learner-driven experience and collaboration characteristic of makerspaces encourages participants to learn naturally through play and tinkering, to share ideas, and to iterate through mistake-based learning processes. Young children can engage with their parents in a low-stakes setting where the joy of discovery and wonder can be shared, and parents can reclaim learning as they reset their understanding of self as a learner.

We are building a multi-generational makerspace program around three core ideas: 1) Draw from the community’s strengths and interests in making things of value to them, ensuring residents are leading this as a community initiative, and supporting connections between learning in the makerspace and networks with schools and industry partners; 2) Co-design with the community from end to end by using inclusive, collaborative processes to define high-level goals, inform the pilot, and drive the course of the program as it unfolds; 3) Create a menu of possibilities by offering and piloting different makerspace zones — e.g. inventing, game-making, storytelling, and creative expression using circuit art and e-textiles, recyclables, block programming (with Scratch), and the design process — to investigate interests and tools, and tap different learning skills.


1) Makerspace Approach - 5 minutes
2) The Program Model:
a) Drawing from the community’s strengths and interests - 5 minutes
b) Co-Design with the Community - 10 minutes
c) A Menu of Possibilities and sample workshop rollout - 10 minutes
3) Research Foci: The program’s three underlying areas of research: self-regulation and goal-setting, sensemaking in maker education, and equity in making. - 10
4) Inputs, short-term outcomes, and long-term impacts - 5
5) Discussion and reflection - 10

Supporting research

The following references support the program’s three underlying areas of research: 1) self-regulation and goal-setting, 2) sensemaking in maker ed, and 3) equity in making:

Blair, C., & Raver, C. C. (2015). School readiness and self-regulation: A developmental psychobiological approach. Annual review of psychology, 66, 711-731.

Barton, A. C., Tan, E., & Greenberg, D. (2016). The makerspace movement: Sites of possibilities for equitable opportunities to engage underrepresented youth in STEM. Teachers College Record, 119(6), 11-44.

Dougherty, D. (2013). The maker mindset. In Design, make, play (pp. 25-29). Routledge.

Roque, R. (2016). Family Creative Learning. In Peppler, K., Kafai, Y., & Halverson, E. (Eds.) Makeology in K-12, Higher, and Informal Education. New York, NY: Routeledge.

Rothstein, M. G., McLarnon, M. J., & King, G. (2016). The role of self-regulation in workplace resiliency. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9(2), 416-421.

Shonkoff, J. P., & Fisher, P. A. (2013). Rethinking evidence-based practice and two-generation programs to create the future of early childhood policy. Development and psychopathology, 25(4pt2), 1635-1653.

Silkenbeumer, J., Schiller, E. M., Holodynski, M., & Kärtner, J. (2016). The role of co-regulation for the development of social-emotional competence. Journal of Self-regulation and Regulation, 2(2), 17-32.

More [+]


Kim Ducharme, CAST
Kevin Lewis, Operation Pathways

Kevin has over two decades of professional experience in human services management, resource development, and organizational assessment/evaluation. He has held several leadership positions in human services organizations and has served on various community-based committees and boards. Kevin has been recognized for his service by the United Way, WBRZ Channel 2, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the White House Office of Faith and Community-Based Initiatives, and Louisiana State University’s Center for Community Engagement Learning and Leadership. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Tulane University and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from Louisiana State University.

People also viewed

STEM/STEAM/Maker Ignite
The Wakelet HUB: NextGen Digital Lesson Design
What's new with OneNote for Education