Murray State Theses and Dissertations


This quasi-experimental study investigated the effect of participation in an afterschool makerspace program on middle school students' academic achievement, grades, and school attendance. An experimental group of 237 sixth-eighth grade students participated in an afterschool makerspace program during the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years. A control group was selected using stratified random sampling of students from the same schools, grades, and special education designation who did not participate. The data included science and math NWEA scores, science and math grades, program attendance, school attendance, and gender. The data were analyzed using an independent t test with a 95% confidence level. A two-way ANOVA and Scheffé post hoc test were used to analyze the effect of gender and makerspace participation on academic achievement. Participation in the afterschool makerspace had no statistically significant effect on math and science achievement test scores or math and science grades. For 2021-2022, students participating in the afterschool makerspace program had significantly fewer school absences than nonparticipants. For the 2020-2021 school year, the interaction between gender and makerspace attendance had a statistically significant effect on NWEA math and science scores. However, further analysis showed that the effect was for nonparticipants. This study did show promising results for afterschool makerspace participation improving school attendance which could be important because school attendance has been shown to have a positive effect on grades and academic achievement.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

makerspace, education, afterschool, academic achievement

Dissertation Committee Chair

Mardis Dunham

Committee Member

Doug Donohue

Committee Member

Sidney Martin

Document Type