The MAKE Lab conducts a variety of research projects that explore the impact of making in K-12 learning contexts and teacher education. Please view our projects and research publications below.

iAM: A free, two-week summer camp for middle school girls. This project focused on the impact of arts-integrated instruction on participants’ visual reasoning ability, mathematical understanding, mathematical performance, self-efficacy toward mathematics, and interest in related careers. Read the girls’ iAM blog and see what they were up to.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 7.58.24 PMMaker Camp at Centro: A free DIY makerspace for kids of all ages that met Fridays throughout the summer at the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos.  Through exploring high tech and low tech tools and materials, this project explored the impact of open-ended creative makerspace environments on participants’ self-efficacy as a learner and as a creative individual.



Smith, S. (2018). Making visual connections: Children’s negotiations of visualization skills during a design-based learning experience with non-digital techniques and digital fabrication technologies. International Journal of Problem-Based Learning. 12(2), Article 4. Available at: URL

Smith, S. & Talley, K. (2018). ‘Lend a hand’ project helps students: Improved spatial visualization skills through engaging in hands-on 3D-printed prosthetics project during a 9th grade engineering course. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 8(1), Article 2. Available at: URL

Smith, S. (2017). Student-Created reflective video as meaningful formative and summative assessment during hands-on learning experiences . In L. Lui, & D. Gibson (Eds.), Research highlights in technology and teacher education 2017 (pp. 162-169). Waynesville, NC: AACE. URL

Smith, S. (2016). (Re)Counting meaningful learning experiences: Using student-created reflective videos to make invisible learning visible during PjBL experiences. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 10(1). URL

Robbins, P. & Smith, S. (2016). Robo/graphy: Practical artistic robot creations to re/envision the art classroom as a makerspace, Art Education Journal. 69(3), 44-51. URL

Smith, S. (2014). 3D printing: Where art & technology collide. Trends in Art Education, 57(1), 17-23. URL

Smith, S. (2014). The layers of me: Using digital fabrication to produce meaningful pop-ups. Arts & Activities, 155(4), 30-32. URL


Cohen, J., Jones, M. & Smith, S. (2018). Preservice and early career teachers’ preconceptions and misconceptions about making in education. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education. 34(1), 31-42. URL

Cohen, J., Huprich, J., Jones, M., & Smith, S. (2017). Educators’ perceptions of a maker-based learning experience.  International Journal of Information and Learning Technology. 34(5), 428-438. URL

Smith, S. (2017). Mobile makerspace carts: a practical model to transcend access and space. In M. Mills, & D. Wake (Eds.), Empowering learners with mobile open-access learning initiatives (pp. 58-73).  Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-2122-8 URL

Jones, M., Smith, S., & Cohen, J. (2017). Pre-service teachers’ perceptions of using maker activities in formal educational settings. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 50(3), 1-15. URL

Cohen, J., Jones, M., Smith, S., & Calandra, B. (2017). Makification: Towards a framework for leveraging the maker movement in formal education. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. 26(3), 217-229. URL

Smith, S. & Henriksen, D. (2016). Fail again, fail better: Failure as a paradigm for learning and the arts, Art Education Journal. 69(2), 6-11. URL

Smith, S. (2015). Epic fails: Reconceptualizing failure as a catalyst for developing creative persistence within teaching and learning experiences. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 23(3), 329-355. Chesapeake, VA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. URL

Ortiz, A., Bos, B., & Smith, S. (2015). The power of educational robotics as an integrated STEM learning experience in teacher preparation programs. Journal of College Science, 44(5), 42-47. URL

Smith, S. (2013). Through the teacher’s eyes: Unpacking the TPACK of digital fabrication integration in middle school language arts. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(2), 207–227. URL