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Building an Inclusive Maker Community

In 2018 we released Making Culture, an in-depth nationwide examination of K-12 makerspaces, revealing substantial implicit bias and gaps in inclusion within maker education. Building upon these findings, we are developing community-based, inclusive-by-design, maker learning programs in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone and partner with researchers in other locations on similar efforts. We will present our program designs and preliminary findings, focusing on middle and high school age students.

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  1. Equity and inclusion can’t be added on after the fact. It must be designed within the foundational culture of a makerspace.
  2. To be inclusive of all community members, participants must have a voice in designing the space, in terms of the physical space and its pursuits.
  3. Maker and engineering expertise is often in high demand, but all instructors and mentors must receive training in culturally responsive learning.



Youngmoo Kim, Director and Professor, Drexel University - ExCITe Center

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