Book Chapter

Applying the lens of science capital to understand learner engagement in makerspaces.



King H & Rushton E (2020) Applying the lens of science capital to understand learner engagement in makerspaces.. In: Giannakos M (ed.) Non-formal and Informal Science Learning in the ICT Era. Lecture Notes in Educational Technology. Singapore: Springer Singapore.

Opportunities for young people to participate in making activities—either within school-based learning or within the growing number of makerspaces being established outside of formal education—have increased dramatically in recent years. Whilst some have advocated young people’s participation in makerspaces as an opportunity to democratise access to STEM learning, it is also acknowledged that these spaces reproduce patterns of inequitable participation found in other science-related settings. An underpinning framework that builds on the concept of science capital and the principles of the science capital teaching approach may help a better understanding of this issue. Drawing on data from observations and interviews conducted in a UK-based makerspace, we argue that science capital pedagogic principles are evident in makerspaces and, when enacted, help to create an environment where young people feel valued and better able to participate in making and coding activities. We argue that small changes to practice in the design and facilitation of makerspaces could result in such spaces being more equitable and socially just.

Makerspaces; STEM; Science capital; Science capital teaching approach; Making; Coding; Facilitators; Equity

FundersEuropean Commission (Horizon 2020)
Title of series Lecture Notes in Educational Technology
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online15/09/2020
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Place of publicationSingapore
ISSN of series2196-4971

People (1)


Professor Lizzie Rushton

Professor Lizzie Rushton

Professor of Education, Education