Teens from different organizations helped us understand their processes of learning by making. In this research teen-created process maps revealed actions, emotions, ups and downs, and facilitators and challenges that youth experience over the course of making. Each teen received a white board, sticky notes, and pens to create a process map that describes his or her own learning/creation process. To help a teen’s process map creation, some action words and emotion words were given. These words were extracted from student journals, weekly interviews, and group interviews from one of the maker programs in this project (Irving Meteorology Makers’ Club). Teens were free to choose or not to choose any of the prewritten sticky notes and received a plenty of blank sticky notes to create their own action or emotion word. They were encouraged to think aloud as they created a process map.
The following charts indicate some of the current findings.
The process maps show specific actions teens conducted over the course of making. Most frequently making involved: reflecting, receiving feedback, developing skills, trying things out, brainstorming, putting things together, revising and editing, finding information, and working with others.
Teens indicate the most helpful actions include: receiving feedback, working with others, learning new concepts, finding information, messing around, collecting data, and trying things out.
The top challenging actions are: revising and editing, brainstorming, working with together, finding information, choosing a topic, receiving feedback, and trying things out.
Teens experience both positive and challenging emotions during their making processes, including frustration, sense of accomplishment, confidence, excitement, hope, and satisfaction.
These are just snapshots of the findings; full reports and publications are coming!