The 3-year Research in Service to Practice project, Critical Connected Co-Making (C3), addresses the Enhancing Knowledge Building and Broadening Participation priority area. As the field of maker education is solidifying quickly, the team aims to expand what the field knows about the rich and deep ingenuity in STEM-rich co-making that minoritized youth engage in with families and communities (“life-based co-making”).
The overarching goal is to figure out how to infrastructure for pathway building between how and why youth and families make at home and in communities and in STEM-rich maker programs. By infrastructuring, the project refers to the actionable components that are the building blocks of connecting pathways between life-based co-making and STEM-rich making programs serving minoritized youth. The team conjectures that such infrastructuring would systematically support the development and movement of social relationships and routines-of-practice including resource-sharing, pedagogical decisions, making processes and overall maker project arcs.
The work will be carried out in Research + Practice Partnerships [RPPs] involving the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Michigan, and four local STEM- and youth-oriented making spaces in Lansing and Greensboro. The project will seek to build capacity among STEM-oriented maker practitioners, researchers and youth around consequential making to expand the prevailing norms of making towards more transformative outcomes for youth.