SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Henry Banks
TIME: Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
PLACE:, Virtual
TITLE: A Comparison of Tool Usage Rates in Two Makerspaces During Covid
COMMITTEE: Dr. Julie Linsey, Chair (ME)
Dr. Berdinus Bras (ME)
Dr. Astrid Layton (ME)


Makerspaces have rapidly established themselves in engineering education as a valuable means to enhance design confidence and learning outcomes. As these spaces continue to grow in popularity, it is pertinent to understand exactly how makerspaces are being used to ensure that learning outcomes are being enhanced effectively and equitably. This work presents the results of a survey-based characterization of two makerspaces at two different institutions. A comparison is drawn between these makerspaces to provide insight into how makerspaces are being used, as well as to determine which factors have the most influence over how students interface with the space.
Findings show that between institutions there are significant differences in the tools students use, activities they engage in, and the extent students are engaged with the space. Factors such as gender, ethnicity, student motivations for using the space, and whether students use the makerspace for social activities are identified as potentially influential with respect to student engagement and tool use habits. How these factors differ at both institutions and the influence these factors have on students’ relationships with makerspaces is deliberated.