Abstract: This paper presents a set of lessons learnt from introducing maker culture and DIY paradigms to ‘at-risk’ students (age 12-14). Our goal is to engage ‘at-risk’ students through maker culture activities. While improved technology literacy is one of the outcomes we also wanted the learners to use technology to realize concepts and ideas, and to gain freedom of thinking similar to creators, artists and designers. We present our study and a set of high level suggestions to enable thinking about how maker culture activities can facilitate engagement and creative use of technology by 1) thinking about creativity in task, 2) facilitating different entry points, 3) the importance of personal relevance, and 4) relevance to education.

Researchers: Sowmya Somanath, Laura Morrison, Janette Hughes, Ehud Sharlin, Mario Costa Sousa