This project will investigate what impact different settings (structured vs unstructured) have on the engagement and the learning attitude of young children in a makerspace using a longitudinal approach (multiple visits in a makerspace of the same children). More specifically, offering children the alternative of a structured school-like setting (the facilitator directing the children through a game or a story in which there is an explicitly declared goal, that is to be achieved by specific activities that have to be followed in a rather strict logical sequence) and an unstructured makerspace-like setting in which children can freely perform the same activities but on their own initiative with guidance provided only on request, we want to see how children of this age choose one or the other of these settings and how and why they migrate from one to another, if it is the case.

Professionals from Hatch Atelier makerspace will work alongside academics from the Institute of Sociology in providing three series of 5 workshops for children (6-8 years old). The project will involve the usage of different tools and activities to be found in a makerspace including creation of 3D printed objects, playing and constructing modular robots (MOSS robotics) and games (Scratch, Kerbal Space Program, Universe Sandbox ²) as a support for learning.

The project will offer an insight on how young children actually engage in such space and what are the challenges that professionals of these spaces face when working with this age group.

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