In this project, researchers from the University of Iceland and the University of Akureyri worked with staff from Innovation Centre Iceland, which runs seven Fab Labs around the country, and Uppfinningaskólinn, the Young Inventors School.
The teams undertook projects with children aged 3–8. Some of the projects involved families in the makerspaces. The makerspace workshops took place in pre-schools, schools, after-school clubs, public places and a museum.
The projects examined various aspects of makerspaces, including how the children, parents and family members interacted with the materials they encountered, and how the various professional groups (teachers, makerspace staff) collaborated in the development and delivery of the makerspace workshops.
About the team
The Iceland team consisted of seven researchers at the University of Iceland – School of Education (UoI), three researchers at the University of Akureyri (UNAK), one professional from Innoent, and one 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 were fairly spread regarding whether the settings were formal or informal, permanent vs temporary and regarding the age of the children.
Case one was in an informal setting but the other three in formal school settings. In cases one, three and four there were more permanent settings but in case two temporary.
Case two involved preschool children but three and four primary school children. In case one there were young children mainly at the primary level. The UNAK team was responsible for case one but the UoI for case one, three and four. Case one was done in collaboration with Innoent.
Data in case one was gathered in the summer 2017 and during spring 2018 for case two. The number of children observed was 5–20 with 3–9 visits in each case and 6–15 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 each university.
Preliminary results from the studies are available in our posters presented in Aarhus, June 2018 (Innoent: Jónsdóttir and Sævarsdóttir; Preschool: Ólafsdóttir, Dýrfjörð and Hreiðarsdóttir; VEXA: Kjartansdóttir, Pétursdóttir and Torfason; and Minecraft: Kjartansdóttir and 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.
Photo from case Innoent (Jónsdóttir and Sævarsdóttir)
Skúlína Hlíf Kjartansdóttir
Assistant lecturer & PhD researcher, board member of RANNUM (Centre for Educational Research on ICT and Media) and Centre for Research on Creativity in Education at the School of Education University of Iceland.
Networking representative for UoI. Co-leader of the MakEY case study in Iceland. Speciality: art and design, creativity and digital learning practices, CAD and game design.