In this project, researchers from the University of Iceland and the University of Akureyri will be working with staff from Innovation Centre Iceland, which runs 7 Fab Labs around the country, and Uppfinningaskólinn, the Young Inventors School.
The teams will be undertaking projects with children aged 3-8. Some of the projects will involve families in the makerspaces. The makerspace workshops will take place in pre-schools, schools, after-school clubs, public places and a museum.
The projects will examine various aspects of makerspaces, including how the children, parents and family members interact with the materials they encounter, and how the various professional groups (teachers, makerspace staff) collaborate in the development and delivery of the makerspace workshops.
About the team
The Iceland team consists of seven researchers at the University of Iceland – School of Education (UoI), 3 researchers at the University of Akureyri (UNAK), 1 professional from Innoent, and 1 from Innovation Iceland.
Lead for the whole project: Sólveig Jakobsdóttir
- Innoent makerspace (Svanborg Jónasdóttir, Thórdís Sævardóttir).
- Makerspaces in preschool (Anna E. Hreiðarsdóttir, Kristín Dýrfjörd, Margrét E. Ólafsdóttir)
- VEXA: Establishing makerspaces in primary/lower secondary schools (Skúlína H. Kjartansdóttir, Svava Pétursdóttir, Torfi Hjartarson)
- Minecraft – Virtual makerspace (Skúlína H. Kjartansdóttir, Gísli Thorsteinsdóttir)
The cases are fairly spread regarding whether the settings are formal or informal, permanent vs. temporary and regarding the age of the children.
Case 1 is in an informal setting but the other three in formal school settings. In cases 1, 3 and 4 there are more permanent settings but in case 2 temporary.
Case 2 involves preschool children but 3 and 4 primary school children. In case 1 there are young children mainly at the primary level. The UNAK team is responsible for case 1 but the UoI for case 1, 3 and 4. Case 1 is done in collaboration with Innoent.
Data in case one was gathered in the summer 2017 but the other during spring 2018. Number of children observed were 5 to 20 with 3 to 9 visits in each case and 6 to 15 observation hours involved. Hundreds of photos were taken and many hours of videos. Transana servers have been set up for the analysis of the qualitative data gathered at teach university.
Preliminary results from the studies are available in our posters presented in Aarhus, June 2018 (Innoent: Jónsdóttir & Sævarsdóttir; Preschool: Ólafsdóttir, Dýrfjörð, and Hreiðarsdóttir; VEXA: Kjartansdóttir, Pétursdóttir, and Torfason; and Minecraft: Kjartansdóttir & Thorsteinsson) and also in our seminar at Aarhus with the UK and Finland (Jakobsdóttir et al.) with the Iceland cases providing some answers to the institutional research questions.