A Makerspace for Early Childhood
Graduate students Amanda Strawhacker and Miki Vizner are exploring ways to create a makerspace specifically designed for early childhood. This research is being conducted under the direction of Dr. Marina Bers, in collaboration with Dr. Brian Gravel in the Education department, Dr. Chris Rogers in the Engineering department, and Dr. Bruce Johnson in the Child Study and Human Development department. This work is made possible with generous funding from the LEGO Foundation, Tufts' Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, and the Evelyn G. Pitcher Curriculum Resource Lab.
Check back soon for updates and offerings from the Eliot-Pearson Early Childhood Makerspace
Get involved in our ongoing education research
Planning to stop by and visit the Early Childhood Makerspace? Want to contribute to our ongoing research about how children use and explore making? Join our current study! All children entering the space, and any adults who use it with them, are welcome to participate in our research study, simply by allowing us to observe, record, and occasionally ask questions about the work that you and your children are working on. Educators, parents, nannies, and adult makers are all invited to accompany young makers in the space. The research is run by DevTech graduate students Amanda Strawhacker and Miki Vizner, and is being supervised by faculty members Marina Bers and Brian Gravel. The study will be ongoing during the first four years that the makerspace is open, from 2016-2020. To participate, you can sign the appropriate consent forms linked below, or discuss the study and sign the forms with a researcher at the Makerspace. These forms allow us to record your experiences and examine them to learn how children and adults collaborate to create a successful making environment.
CONSENT FORM FOR ADULTS. By signing this form, adults allow researchers to observe and record them while they are in the space. This applies to adults who assist, co-make, or supervise children in the makerspace.
PERMISSION FORM FOR FAMILIES. By signing this form, parents and/or guardians of children allow researchers to observe their children in the space. This applies to children who come to the space on their own time, with family members or caregivers, or as part of an educational experience organized by the child’s school, camp, or other learning group.
ASSENT FORM FOR CHILDREN OVER AGE 7– only applicable to children over the age of 7 years. By signing this form, children and youths between the ages of 7-18 years allow researchers to observe them in the space. This applies to children who come to the space on their own time, with family members or caregivers, or as part of an educational experience organized by the child’s school, camp, or other learning group
If you have questions about this study, please email the primary researcher, Amanda Strawhacker, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions regarding your rights in this study, you can contact Lara Sloboda at the IRB Office by phone: (617) 627-3417 or by email: email@example.com.
Don’t want to participate? No problem! Children and adults who do not wish to participate in the research study are still welcome to use the makerspace during open hours and for pre-arranged workshops and visits. Researchers will not include them in their observations or conversations.
Watch a demo video about our Early Childhood Makerspace