Drexel's ExCITe Center is working on a national study of makerspaces - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 14, 2017 9:19 am

Drexel’s ExCITe Center is working on a national study of makerspaces

With a focus on education, the research hopes to chronicle what works and (what doesn't) across the land. Here's how you can help.
Makers making at West Philly makerspace The Hacktory.

Makers making at West Philly makerspace The Hacktory.

(Photo courtesy of The Hacktory)

If Philly wants to be a community of makers, it would do well to connect with what’s working and what isn’t across the country’s landscape of makerspaces.

To get a better sense of the best practices on the education side, Drexel University’s Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies Center (ExCITe Center) is putting together an academic research study that looks to point the way to institutions in Philly.

The research process is led by Drexel professor Brian Smith, in collaboration with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Kareem Edouard and graduate student Katelyn Bright. Since March, the team has been surveying institutions around the country in an attempt to catalog some of the ingredients of a successful learning makerspace.

“Our core approach are that makerspaces are about so much more than the space itself,” said Youngmoo Kim, who runs the Center. “The first question shouldn’t be what to put in it but what the purpose is and who will support it.”

The research process will lead to a white paper with recommendations Philly organizations can implement. Backed by a grant from a local philanthropic foundation that wished not to be named, the document is expected to be published by early 2018.

Those in Philly (and beyond) interested in sharing thoughts with the researchers should reach out by emailing excite@drexel.edu.

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