Making activities for the competency development of school-age children

Lee CHENG, Wing Yan Jasman PANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Contributions: This study examined the effectiveness of making activities in fostering the competency development of school-age children engaged in a making program. The findings suggest that community-based makerspaces can provide autonomous and informal learning experiences, facilitating their competence development. When integrated with formal learning in schools, these experiences can facilitate a well-rounded education that nurtures 21st century skills in the younger generation. 

Background: The making program, hosted by community youth centers in Hong Kong, comprised a series of five workshops. These workshops provided guidance throughout the creative processes, encouraging participants to invent artefacts under the theme of “smart design for living.” 

Research Questions: What generic skills and other attributes can school-age children develop through making activities? What factors influence their development of generic skills and other attributes? What disparities emerged between their community-based and school-based making experiences? 

Methodology: The study utilized a mixed-method approach, encompassing of a pre-and post-test questionnaire survey involving school-age children who took part in the making workshops ( N = 232), as well as semi-structured interviews with a subset of the participants ( n = 25). 

Findings: Survey results revealed significant enhancements in participants’ information technology skills, communication skills and divergent thinking, along with a favorable acceptance of the making tools. Pertinent topics related to competency development, including age-related effects, computer accessibility, and mobile device ownership, were examined and discussed within the context of the study. Copyright © 2024 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Early online dateMar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024


Cheng, L., & Pang, W. Y. J. (2024). Making activities for the competency development of school-age children. IEEE Transactions on Education. Advance online publication.


  • Children
  • Coding
  • Education
  • Makerspace
  • Making


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