Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Makerspaces in libraries--Middle West; Science--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Middle West; Art--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Middle West; Active learning--Middle West;


Note: This study refers to three co-researchers who each collected data in their respective schools and collaborated in reviewing that data, but each separately authored a paper using that data; the co-researchers are Kris Baldwin and Sara Pflughaupt.

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine whether makerspace or STEAM activities can support inquiry learning and meet specific American Association of School Library (AASL), Next Generation Science (NGSS) and Common Core Literacy (CCSS ELA) Standards. For purposes of this study, the three co-researchers were also focused on how this type of learning activity can support district initiatives in literacy, design thinking, novel engineering, STEAM and makerspace activities, as well as supporting specific district initiatives such as Lucy Calkins Units of Student in Reading and Project Lead the Way. The three co-researchers examined data from three different study sites. The data sources included lesson descriptions and reflections from the three teacher librarians (the co-researchers), 47 student work samples from 40 different students along with teacher librarian reflections on the student work, and three collaborating teachers’ reflections about their students’ experiences and learning that occurred as a result of these lessons. The data collected for this study indicates the majority of students who participated in the makerspace/STEAM activities met the identified standards from AASL, NGSS and CCSS ELA. The teacher librarians’ reflections and lesson descriptions demonstrated a connection to district initiatives and collaborating teachers’ reflections indicated that these lessons are engaging for students, encouraging them to consider personal interests and continue to learn about these and other related topics. When students are provided the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning activities that align with district initiatives, the overall results are positive.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Karla Krueger

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (47 pages)



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