Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 480–492 | Cite as

Caught on Camera: Youth and Educators’ Noticing of and Responding to Failure Within Making Contexts

  • Amber SimpsonEmail author
  • Alice Anderson
  • Adam V. Maltese


A lot of attention has been given to the role failure plays in learning and innovation. Yet, we know little about the conditions necessary for the experience to result in positive outcomes. In this study, we sought to answer three research questions: (1) What is the relationship among attend, interpret, and respond when experiencing failures within making-related activities? (2) How does youths’ and educators’ noticing of failure within making-related activities differ by tasks? (3) How does youths’ and educators’ noticing of failures within making-related activities differ by context? To address these questions, we used data collected from youths participating in making experiences in three different contexts: schools, a science museum, and an afterschool program run by science museum educators. Analysis of approximately 90 h of video revealed differences in how youths and educators attended, interpreted and responded to failures that suggest differences in the sophistication of their response. Educational implications from these findings support less direct oversight by educators and increased use of techniques to have the youth demonstrate positive troubleshooting behaviors.


Failure Making contexts STEM Video analysis 


Funding information

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1623452. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

10956_2019_9780_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (86 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 86 kb)
10956_2019_9780_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (87 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 87 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amber Simpson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alice Anderson
    • 2
  • Adam V. Maltese
    • 3
  1. 1.Mathematics Education, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational LeadershipBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.Minneapolis Institute of ArtMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Associate Professor, Science Education, W.W. Wright School of EducationIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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