The Build a Better Book (BBB) team engages in research to better understand the factors that effectively engage underrepresented students in STEM, motivate them to pursue educational pathways in STEM and increase their awareness of and interest in STEM careers. Our interdisciplinary research team possesses expertise in K-12 STEM education and informal learning, universal design for learning, and multimodal literacy. The theoretical framework guiding this work is grounded in four key principles from the STEM learning literature: constructionism, critical making, universal design for learning, and studio-based instruction.

Current research questions include:

  1. What aspects of the BBB curriculum and informal learning environment most effectively support students’ STEM competencies and dispositions, including: a) multimodal literacy and 3D design for diverse learners; b) fabrication skills; c) collaboration and innovation; d) self-efficacy and persistence? 
  2. What aspects of the BBB design and fabrication experience most effectively engage and support underrepresented learners, including girls, minorities and students with visual impairments, in 3D design and fabrication activities, and in developing STEM attitudes and interests?