How to Draw Women into the Maker Movement

Elizabeth Dayton, Ph.D. has produced a literature review for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Special Populations Collaborative on Drawing Women into the Maker Movement.

According to the paper, surveys show that over 80% of Makers are men, reflecting the same kind of gender imbalance found in most tech companies. This has significant implications for the kinds of ideas and inventions produced in Makerspaces.

This paper reviews the research and provides insight into how California Community College Makerspaces and other Maker communities can take steps to be more inclusive and benefit from a diverse community of Makers.

Topics include ways to address the disparities in the Maker movement:

  • Broaden the definition of Making
  • Offer open-ended, versatile prompts
  • Emphasize the broader benefits of Making
  • Build Maker communities
  • Provide mentors

Learn more at ccc.specialpopulations.org and jspac.org.


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Maker Ed Resources Help College Learn & Connect

Thanks to Jakki Spicer, Director of Development, MakerEd who offered the following links to resources that may be helpful to colleges developing makerspaces.

Professional Development:

  • General information on our PD offerings and events
  • Free online, self-paced PD modules
  • Information about our previously offered facilitated online course; this will be offered again in 2017
  • Information about our 2016 Maker Educator Convening; another will be held May 16-17, 2017
  • The US Dept of Ed’s CTE Makeover Challenge Bootcamp; this includes resources from Maker Ed as well as other organizations. The original focus was on high schools, but, particularly because of the CTE focus, these may prove useful for Community Colleges as well
  • Micro-credentials: help guide educators towards the acquisition of research backed, expert-assessed skills or competencies on specific maker educator tasks, and provide digital badges for educators
  • Research: we have publications both on Highlights of Select Literatureon makerspaces, and research into maker educator communities


  • General information on our portfolio work
  • Publications(free pdf format; includes Research Briefs from Phase I and a Practical Guide; Research Briefs from Phase II will be available soon)
  • Hard copies of the Research Briefs and the Practical Guide
  • Portfolio news; this has information about past and upcoming Open Portfolio Project workshops (we generally hold one in late Winter/early Spring in Palo Alto), new publications, and other relevant news.

Online Community:

  • Maker Ed’s Twitterand Facebook feeds showcase and link to great communities and resources for maker educators
  • Maker Ed’s Google+community might also prove helpful

Other Resources:

  • Maker Ed’s Youth Makerspace Playbook, available as a free pdf or for purchase as a hard copy
  • Maker Ed’s Resource Library, which includes both Maker Ed and external resources for a wide range of maker education needs
  • Maker Ed’s blog, which highlights our work as well as other maker education work we’re excited about

Report Supports College Maker Movement

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) produced a report on college makerspaces as a resource for California Community Colleges within the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy framework established by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Division of Workforce and Economic Development. The report, Promoting Engagement of the California Community Colleges with the Maker Movement,” suggests that makerspaces can create an environment where students can develop skills sought by industry and enhance their college experience.

Makerspaces are seen as “complementary learning environments to the traditional classroom and helps participants develop skills that differ from those developed in traditional student projects and learn-by-doing classes,” according to M. Daniel Decillis in the CCST article, CCST Releases Roadmap for Engaging California Community Colleges and Makerspace Movement.”