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WATiMake as a Third Space: A Mixed Methods Analysis

Grant recipients and project team: 

Jen Rathlin, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Eugene Li, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Islai Rathlin, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University

(Project timeline: September 2017 - August 2018)


Minoritized students are underrepresented in the STEM fields, and are disproportionately represented among early program withdrawals. A lack of attention given to the intersectional identities of students hints at a systemic erasure of specific differences in these programs. This erasure and the lack of relatable mentors or role models can severely affect important factors influencing student success and retention, including self-confidence, self-efficacy, and a sense of belonging.

WATiMake is an academic makerspace developed by the MME department. This project will discuss the potential for this makerspace to serve as a Third Space, which allow students to bridge their personal identities with their academic or professional identities, by providing students with the freedom to learn and develop through self-driven, skill-building activities and project-based learning. The impact of making activities will be explored through the lenses of student success, program satisfaction, self-confidence, self-efficacy, and a sense of belonging.


Project Reference List (PDF)

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