Making Learners: A Framework for Evaluating Making in STEM Education


The maker movement has been an area of great interest in recent years. Making’s connection to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is strongly touted. With the emphasis of the addition of creativity into the curriculum of STEM, the maker movement is poised to add new dimensions to STEM education. Researchers, Marshall, and Harron, through their investigations, have developed and examined the essential components of the maker movement with a rubric to evaluate the effectiveness of Making within the STEM academic disciplines. The authors of the paper see the melding of Art, Crafts and the elements of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology as relational. The authors have created a framework for Making in STEM education. The elements:1) Ownership/Empowerment, 2) Maker Habits, 3) Production of an Artifact, 4) Collaboration and 5) the use of STEM tools, are listed with similar qualities (Marshal & Harron, 2018). The rubric evaluates each component of the maker- base project to assess the essential element of making. With this evaluation rubric, value and efficacy can be determined for a maker project’s utilization within STEM curriculum and determine compliance with national, state, and local STEM standards.



The maker movement has strong connections to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as art and crafts, but the goals of making are not in perfect alignment with any of these disciplines. Within the problem-based paradigm, however, there is room to incorporate making as situated STEM learning, even in formal, standards-based educational settings. We report on a framework for making in STEM education and describe a rubric for assessing the presence of the essential elements of making within STEM instruction. We present examples of the application of the rubric in a STEM teacher education course.

Marshall, J. A., & Harron, J. R. (2018). Making learners: A framework for evaluating making in STEM education. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 12(3), n.p. doi:10.7771/1541-5015.1749