Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Jiangmei Yuan

Committee Member

Ugur Kale

Committee Member

Keri Valentine

Committee Member

Monica McCartney


Over recent decades, the maker movement has expanded from the private sector, libraries, and higher education institutions to K-12 schools. While many studies provide implications of STEM and maker activities and their effects on learning in informal settings, few have framed such investigations within the context of a makerspace in K-12 schools. Furthermore, few have investigated maker activities and writing, particularly in developing academic language features. Prior research suggests that secondary students struggle to apply academic language features. Meanwhile, they are motivated to engage in STEM and maker activities. This mixed methods case study attempted to make a connection between makerspaces and academic language. The study examined the effect of collaboration and space on middle school students’ motivation and academic language in a science classroom as students engaged in maker activities. Findings indicated that students enjoyed working in makerspaces and that collaboration, which was determined by role assignments in groups, reduced students’ sense of pressure, but no other subscale of motivation. Collaboration did not affect academic writing quality. Space had no effect on either motivation or writing. However, all groups’ writing scores increased following the intervention.