Making & Learning Research


MAKESHOP and the Children’s Museum are currently involved in these nationally funded initiatives to study making as a learning process:

Supporting Making in Museums and Libraries – National Leadership Grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have launched a field-wide initiative to understand, advance, support and connect makerspaces in museums and libraries.  Partners include the North Carolina State University Library, Exploratorium, Chicago Public Library and the Maker Education Initiative. Join the conversation, share your work and be part of the movement at makingandlearning.org

Making + Learning project logo


Family Learning in Museum-Based Makerspaces:  National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, in partnership with New York Hall of Science, is conducting a three-year design-based study of family participation in museum-based makerspaces.  Our goal is to reliably design physical, social and spatial tools to support meaningful family participation in museum-based makerspaces that employ a deep understanding of productive patterns of family participation and their associated learning outcomes in these spaces based on empirical research, learning literature and practitioner experience.

>> Final Learning Practices Report, Feb 2015 – PDF format


Learning in Making:  Studying and Designing Makerspaces  Cyberlearning Grant from the National Science Foundation

As partner to learning scientists Erica Halverson from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Kimberly Sheridan from George Mason University, the Museum is helping to  investigate what and how participants learn in makerspaces in order to then create designed experiences for families and young people who are not otherwise engaged in technologically-mediated arts and science activities.


Research Meeting on Making and Learning

On July 21st and 22nd, 2014, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center hosted a meeting of leading researchers, practitioners, funders and network leaders who are actively pursuing the study of making as a learning process. The three primary goals of the meeting for researchers, were to: 1) Share emerging research efforts on making as a learning endeavor, 2) identify points of synergy, collaboration, and gaps in the making research network, and 3) discuss how to strengthen the field of making research by setting an emergent research road map for the field. This report provides a brief summary of the meeting, including some of the important themes and shared resources that emerged from our discussions.

>> Making & Learning Research Meeting Report, March 2015 – PDF format


Check back for reports of our findings, related research articles and ways you can get involved.