Practice Brief 40 -- Topics: Engineering Equity InformalEd Instruction ESPAÑOL

How can Making promote equity and excitement in STEM?

  • Email Feedback

Why It Matters To You
  • Teachers can use Making to create more equitable classroom cultures where students feel safe taking risks and using investigation, sensemaking, and critique.
  • District Staff & PD Providers should provide teachers with firsthand opportunities to learn through Making. Educators need support in understanding how to create inclusive and educational Maker cultures.
  • School Leaders should support Making activities as a core part of STEM education initiatives to make this field more accessible to all students.

What Is The Issue?

STEM Making can provide youth who may not be identified as “good at STEM” with opportunities to dive deeply into engineering practices such as designing, constructing, testing, and analyzing. Making can be joyful, but also richly educative and inclusive when it is implemented using deliberate strategies to support students to take creative and intellectual risks and to experience design failures as moments of learning. As they build out their ideas, Makers grapple with scientific phenomena (e.g., those involving force and energy) and cross cutting concepts (e.g., structure and function, systems and systems models).



Reflection Questions

  • How can you recognize students’ different strengths and skills in Making (e.g, design, illustration, technical) and use these to position students as local experts for their peers?
  • What changes in the classroom environment can help support collaboration, peer-to-peer learning, and cross-pollination of ideas among participants?

Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take

Research has identified the following classroom practices that can support equitable and productive STEM-rich Making:


  • Email Feedback

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014-22 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved.
This site is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Award #1920249 (previously through Awards #1238253 and #1854059). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.