March 13, 2013, 9am-9pm @ the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers



The Make-to-Learn Symposium featured an afternoon with leading educators, researchers, community-based organizations, and youth that are actively engaged in exploring the intersections of making and learning.


**Images were posted to Instagram and Flickr – or visit our gallery.



Expert practitioner and researchers presented on the following topics:

Panels – Session I 

1:30pm to 2:30pm

(1) Badging Maker Learning (Mississippi)

(2) Designing learning pathways for maker spaces:  Principles and Practices (Sheraton 3)

(3) How To Start A Youth Makerspace (Ohio)

Panels – Session II 

2:45pm to 3:45pm

(4) There’s no “Me” in Maker: Identity, Self ­Invention and Critical Maker Pedagogies (Mississippi)

(5) Family Learning in Museum MakerSpaces (Sheraton 3)

(6) At the Confluence of the River Make, the River Write, and the River Learn (Ohio)

Panels – Session III 

4:00pm to 5:00pm

(7) Crafting Maker Spaces for Learning (Sheraton 3)

(8) Hearing from Young Makers (Mississippi)

Panelists, please note that you will have access to Wi-Fi (with limited bandwidth), a digital projector and microphone. No other audio/visual materials will be available.

(1) Badging Maker Learning
Kevin Miklasz, Iridescent
Leah Gilliam, Mozilla and Hive NYC Learning Network
Juan Rubio, GlobalKids
Badging started with the Boys/Girls Scouts to provide feedback on the effort kids had displayed towards gaining skills.  Becoming a Maker involves learning a variety of skills from the plethora of different kind of Maker activities.  Transferring the philosophy of the Scouts to motivate and reward students for learning Maker skill sets seems a natural step, but these badges often get implemented in digital form, like in the Instructables website featured at this symposium.  This raises many questions: are a nontangible, digital badge as effective as physical patches? What skills should be badged? Without a sash, where are the badges displayed?  And last, can Maker activities even benefit from badges, or are they interesting and good enough on their own?

The panel comprises several organizations in the NYC Hive who have been experimenting with educational badges in various contexts.  Each member will spend 5-10 minutes describing how they’ve tested badges in their programs and what they learned from the experience so far.  We will then open the floor for others to share their experiences with badges, and finally promote a round table discussion on the questions proposed above.

(2) Designing learning pathways for maker spaces:  Principles and Practices
Kemi Jona, Northwestern University
Matthew Berland, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Reed Stevens, Northwestern University
Breanne Litts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

How can designers create pathways that guide learners from novice through more expert participation in maker spaces?  In this  panel, experts in learning sciences discuss the principles behind  effective design of learning pathways in maker spaces and similar studio-based learning environments. Special emphasis is placed on the unique benefits for learning afforded by maker spaces and the contrasts with more traditional formal learning environments. These discussions are illustrated with numerous examples of current practices at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s MAKESHOP, the New York Hall of Science, and Northwestern University’s FUSE programs.

(3) How To Start A Youth Makerspace
Jeff Sturges, Mt. Elliot Makerspace
Tara Tiger Brown – LA Makerspace
Andy Forest & Marianne Mader – Maker Kids
Will MacFarlane – Parts & Crafts
Steve Teeri – Detroit Public Library HYPE Teen Center, HYPE Makerspace
Francesca Zammarano – United Nations International School, UNIS Colaboratory

Our youth want to make things and learn together!  (And we adults do too!)  My school/library/community needs a Makerspace! Where do I start?  What do I need?  Who should I ask for help? These and other “Wh” questions will be fielded and discussed by the audience with assistance from a panel of experienced Makerspace instigators who have worked with schools, libraries, community centers, places of worship, basements, and garages.

(4) There’s no “Me” in Maker: Identity, Self ­Invention and Critical Maker Pedagogies
Leah Gilliam, Mozilla and Hive NYC Learning Network
Cydney Gray, DreamYard Studio
Anjum Asharia, Rev-
How do we—as educators, technologists and creative people—teach and connect the many communities, identities and cultural differences that historically inform the concept of “making”? How do we acknowledge the disparate DIY, hobby and worker communities from which the maker identity has emerged? Are the ideas and values behind making as a movement being translated to diverse audiences and, if they are, why do they need to be? This interactive discussion examines the I/we/me in maker as a challenge to the development of critical pedagogies and learning strategies that explicitly incorporate and embrace difference. Can we use these as a way to fuel the creation of meaningful and rigorous products and values connected to specific communities of practice? Join makers and educators from digital media, technology, social justice, and art education-focused organizations from Mozilla Hive NYC to discuss projects, conundrums and ever-expanding maker values and ideals.

(5) Family Learning in Museum MakerSpaces
Lisa Brahms, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Adam Nye, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
David Kanter, New York Hall of Science
Janella Watson, New York Hall of Science
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP) and New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) will present a panel at the intersection of research and practice that explores nascent research on family learning through making in designed informal learning environments. Among the first major museums to create dedicated makerspaces, CMP and NYSCI will discuss each institution’s makerspace, related programming, and shared learning research about how these programs are engaging young makers and their families.  CMP, in partnership with NYSCI, have begun a three-year design-based research study of family participation in museum-based makerspaces funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The goal of our collaborative research is to explore and identify patterns of productive family participation and making practice within the designed informal learning environments of MAKESHOP, and through the related programming of NYSCI’s Cognizant Makerspace, Little Makers, in order to more reliably design for families’ meaningful making. Findings will be based in empirical research, learning sciences literature and practitioner experience. By March 2013, we will be well into our initial phase of data collection and comparative analysis across our sites of study. We expect to share nascent findings and emerging questions regarding young makers and the social, physical and spatial structures that support their productive participation and that will guide further study and design.

(6) At the Confluence of the River Make, the River Write, and the River Learn
Christina Cantrill, National Writing Project
Antero Garcia, Colorado State University Writing Project
Amy Knowles, Ozarks Writing Project
Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, Colorado State University Writing Project
Sandy Miller, Ozarks Writing Project
Kelly Neal, Ozarks Writing Project
Come explore with us at the deep and rich confluence of making, writing and connected learning! National Writing Project educators from Colorado and the Ozarks region of Missouri will look at the ways that writing as making and making as writing preserves our stories, supports our connecting, and documents our learning and experiences.  In this panel, we will share student work along with teacher and student stories to open a discussion around what can be fostered when we bring these creative elements together.

(7) Crafting Maker Spaces for Learning
Yasmin Kafai, at University of Pennsylvania
Sherry Hsi, Tech Hive at the Lawrence Hall of Science
Orkan Telhan and Yasmin Kafai, at University of Pennsylvania
Leila Lyons, New York Hall of Science
Nichole Pinkard, Digital Youth Network
Debora Lui, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania
Across the nation, maker spaces that provide access to hands-on crafting with digital media are being set up in schools, public libraries, science museums, public fairs, and community organizations. Setting up such spaces, providing support, sustaining engagement and linking offline and online activities pose opportunities and challenges for all involved. In this panel, we will bring together a group of  participants from different organizations to share their learning and design experiences and discuss the following questions: What works and what doesn’t work in setting up maker spaces for learning? How can we best support maker activities? How do maker spaces connect to other activities in their organization? What are different ways that we can we extend the design process between online and offline participants? How  can we link the physical artifacts to online design platforms? What are  good frameworks for activities that can benefit from these hybrid collaborations? We will invite audience members to join our discussions  and share their experiences.

(8) Hearing from Young Makers
Brother Mike Hawkins, Digital Youth Network
Gabby Rozenberg or Katie Kelma, Born Brave Project
Anna Flom, Chicago Ideas Week + Hive Fashion
Dominique James, YOUmedia Spoken Word team/BTWF Youth Advisory Board
Kalliff Amen, YOUMedia Library of Games
In this panel, we’ll hear from a range of young makers native to Chicago on their experiences as leaders, learners and makers in the windy city. Representing projects ranging from fashion to gaming to spoken work, these teens will share about the maker-oriented projects they’re a part of, the role of mentors and organizations in supporting their interests, what drives them to make and what they’re learning in the process. We hope that this panel will be an opportunity to both hear from young makers in their own words, but also engage in a dialogue with young people as we think about what it means to bring together making and learning.

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