Evaluation of maker culture projects. A comparative study between Mexico, Brazil and Argentina

Gisel Cánovas, Ezequiel Saferstein, Ana Slimovich, Daniela Szpillbarg (Universidad de Buenos Aires), and Mariela Reiman (

In the digital transformation that we are going through, especially in recent years, the development of artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, internet of things and big data, among
others, resonate more and more intensely. How do these emerging technologies impact on childhood? How can technology contribute to the improvement of education in Latin America?
The Disney TinkerLab project introduces innovative ways of learning, focusing on the skills and abilities that today are considered indispensable for the full development of children and lay the foundations of “learning to learn”: digital literacy, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. The central axis of the project is transmedia storytelling: an invitation to tell transmedia stories, using different platforms, with the purpose of stimulating the development of skills and fostering the creative expression of children through digital media. Disney TinkerLab is a proposal that fuses STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) with making, playing and narratives, using different platforms, styles and digital media. Most STEAM projects focus on robotics and programming. However, this proposal went further, given that the methodologies of maker spaces converge with multi-platform narratives that inspire communication processes and skills that are little explored in schools. This combination opens the doors to innovation and gives answers to literacy in the digital age, to form curious, creative, critical children who can communicate their ideas. Among its main findings, the evaluation showed that the project had a positive impact on the subjectivities of boys and girls, who broadened their horizons of expectations regarding their aspirations and vocations. In addition, the characteristics of this proposal favored that the girls appropriate the knowledge and put themselves in a situation of parity: they learned about electricity, they asked questions, they programmed and handled the computer and the other devices. Evidence has also been generated to argue that maker proposals, which combine digital and analogue components, create the conditions to promote teamwork, creativity and participation in a collaborative and critical way, through activity styles, relationship modality and the shaping of an enabling environment.

Virtual Labs and Teaching by Doing

Manuela Cabezas and Paolo Gonzalez (UTEC - Uruguay)

In this article, we explore some of the lessons learned after introducing a new technology-based environment intended to support student learning. By inviting faculty to participate in discussions about the technology, a number of reflections emerged about the specific interests and circumstances of our teachers, and the potential uses for the virtual labs in higher education. We identified certain problems related to the lack of hands-on experiences of active learning available to faculty, particularly in relation to using new technologies in their teaching. In other words, teachers in higher education are being asked to motivate students with active learning and technology, but rarely get motivated ’by doing’ teaching themselves. Based on the use of virtual reality labs for the biosciences, we seek to motivate scientists to explore new technology through their own field of knowledge and research, and identify interesting uses for education and learning in the process.

Creative Education for Fabber Natives: The Gecko and the Penguin experiments

Andre Peres (IFRS), Fabiana Lorenzi (ULBRA), Carolina Rodeghiero (MIT)

Abstract The evolution of digital fabrication technology will make it soon personal and accessible resulting in a new generation of fabber natives. Individuals from this new generation must be prepared and taught about the huge range of possibilities and ways to develop the protagonist use of digital fabrication from an early age. The ways that we introduce the digital fabrication tools are important to show its full potential. This paper discusses and shows two different experiments that were carried out with preschool students where the goal was to introduce them to the digital fabrication world. The results show that through maker education and creative learning it is possible to create learning experiences where fabber natives may become protagonists in the digital fabrication era. This paper is a descriptive observational study with qualitative insights into how to develop protagonism in digital fabrication into preschool students.

The maker culture and the gathering of understanding the
young generation: An experience of socialization of knowledge techniques and technologies.

Frederico Pizano de Rezende (IFES), Marco Antonio Braga (CEFET-RJ), and Michel Taffner (IFES)

Abstract This proposal has the objective to develop the current stage of potential technical and technology and the meeting of knowledge between IFES-Cariacica high school students and young people enrolled in fundamental schools of this municipality, in order to project a creative insertion in the contemporary world of work. As specific structured objectives, A literature review; Develop a work with students graduated in Production Engineering and Management, for the dissemination of Maker Culture in public schools from Cariacica city; Present the possibilities of Space Maker to students and teachers and transform IFES into a training center for a new mindset for children and youth impacting the learning culture. The methodological way is anchored in the participant research in 14 municipal schools involving a total audience of 601 people. The results will be obtained through focused groups, after workshops where they will be allowed to capture as possible transformers occurred in process.