Congratulations to Drs. Melanie Wong and Keri Ewart!

A warm congratulations to Dr. Melanie Wong (LLED) and her co-applicant Dr. Keri Ewart (MET) for receiving the Faculty of Education 2023-2024 John and Doris Andrews Research and Development Award for their project, Bridging Educational Access Through Inclusive Virtual Makerspaces: A Collaborative Teaching and Learning Project.

Dr. John H. M. Andrews, former Dean of Education from 1973-79, and his wife Doris Andrews, have generously endowed this award designed to support educational research and development projects that have an impact on the community and make a contribution to society.

Dr. Wong and Ewart’s project aims to extend research in the areas of emerging immersive technologies, more specifically XR makerspaces, and the implications these environments have on K-12 student learning and educators. Little research is available documenting K-12 student’s learning experiences in inclusive makerspaces that utilize immersive reality components and capabilities. Their project promises to extend the understanding of XR-enhanced learning environments on student success. In collaboration with school partners, students will be afforded with opportunities to engage in inclusive maker challenges within these XR environments, which will include engaging in discussions of issues that disrupt traditional ways of learning, knowing, and doing through making. The project will also engage students in addressing marginalization and systemic disparities by tackling real-world problems that focus on critical discussions utilizing equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and anti-racism frameworks.

Best wishes Melanie and Keri on this exciting research collaboration!