Dear Colleague Letter Enabling The Future Of Making

June 8th, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Dear Colleague Letter entitled Enabling the Future of Making to Catalyze New Approaches in STEM Learning and Innovation. The letter encourages EAGER proposals surrounding the topic of making in both formal and informal settings. Proposals are due December 17, 2015 and December 17, 2016. From NSF:

Building on NSF’s early investments in Making, the purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is to encourage EAGER proposals to conduct exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches that advance the frontier of knowledge with respect to STEM learning and design thinking. Specifically, NSF challenges and encourages the community to submit innovative proposals for fundamental research or the integration of research and education that:

  • Elucidate the processes and potential benefits of learning, e.g. design thinking, in the Maker context;
  • Leverage Making to develop and test its role in improving the effectiveness of formal and informal learning pathways for increasing retention and broadening participation in STEM for students and faculty;
  • Explore new ideas and models of formal and informal STEM learning by leveraging existing knowledge in Making;
  • Investigate and test effectiveness of new approaches to design and innovation enabled by Maker spaces and practices;
  • Enable new tools and knowledge for design and prototyping across all disciplines that can significantly increase Making capabilities; and
  • Further the understanding of innovation processes from prototypes through their transition to products that have greater societal and economic impact through enhanced marketability and large-scale market adoption.

For more information and to read the complete announcement, visit the NSF website at