University of Oulu

Soomro, S.A., Casakin, H., Nanjappan, V. et al. Makerspaces Fostering Creativity: A Systematic Literature Review. J Sci Educ Technol 32, 530–548 (2023).

Makerspaces fostering creativity : a systematic literature review

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Author: Soomro, Sohail Ahmed1,2; Casakin, Hernan3; Nanjappan, Vijayakumar1;
Organizations: 1Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, Oulu 90570, Finland
2Department of Electrical Engineering, Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur 65200, Pakistan
3School of Architecture, Ariel University, Ariel 44837, Israel
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-14


Makerspaces are gaining popularity in the educational activities of all age groups, from primary schools to higher education institutions, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Due to makerspaces’ hands-on learning approach, it is generally believed that learning in makerspaces influences students’ creative and thinking skills. Experiments have been performed to explore this relationship; however, they are limited to a particular type of makerspace and address only some aspects of creativity. Therefore, using a systematic literature review (SLR) approach, we attempted to understand the relationship between makerspaces and creativity in the context of STEM education. The SLR offers a holistic view of makerspaces fostering four aspects of creativity from primary to higher education. This SLR used three primary categories of terms in its search string: (i) makerspace and associated terms, (ii) creativity and innovation, and (iii) variants of the term “STEM.” Using the Summon meta-database, we searched 103 digital databases (including Scopus, IEEE, and ASEE). The initial search considered peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles and conference proceedings focusing on STEM disciplines published from 2000 to August 2021. After following the PRISMA guidelines for reporting systematic reviews, 34 relevant papers remained eligible for inclusion. The selected papers were analyzed using thematic analysis. Various types of makerspaces show empirical evidence of fostering creativity. This review additionally identifies seven factors that foster creativity in a makerspace environment. These findings will be beneficial for applying makerspace tools and interventions to enhance creativity in the context of STEM disciplines.

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Series: Journal of science education and technology
ISSN: 1059-0145
ISSN-E: 1573-1839
ISSN-L: 1059-0145
Volume: 32
Issue: 4
Pages: 530 - 548
DOI: 10.1007/s10956-023-10041-4
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: This research was funded by Academy of Finland 6Genesis Flagship grant number 346208. And by the Erasmus+ project "Bridging the creativity gap" (agreement number 2020-1-UK-01-KA202-079124).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 346208
Detailed Information: 346208 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: Not applicable, because no new data were created or analyzed in this study. However, the exported bibliography files from each database are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit