We provide resources, support and workshops for early years settings, schools, libraries, museums and community spaces who want to develop their maker education provision.

A growing movement internationally, maker education provides children and young people with the skills, knowledge and habits of mind to make projects in relation to real world problems using both high- and low-tech tools, materials and technologies. 

Makerspaces encourage children to not only develop the knowledge and skills to create, make and mend things, but they also support the development of 21st century transferable skills such as creativity and critical thinking through nurturing a maker mindset.

The Maker{Futures} programme will enable you to set up makerspaces or run maker sessions in a range of spaces, providing playful and creative ways to develop digital and STEM skills through a STEAM approach that integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the arts.

We offer continuing professional development resources, downloadable guides and opportunities to book a visit from our mobile makerspace – Maker{Move}.

Meet the team

Dr Alison Buxton

Maker{Futures} Programme Director

Dr Alison Buxton is a university teacher in Makerspace Education in the School of Education. 

She has over 20 years of experience in developing and delivering STEAM and maker education through non-profit organisations, universities, schools and libraries. She has written several practical maker books and sits on international advisory boards for FIRST LEGO League and Vedanya International School, India.

Liz Jansen

Maker{Futures} Programme Officer

Liz has over 30 years' experience as a teacher and school leader for children aged 4 to 11, in the UK and overseas. 

Liz is passionate about practical education in schools and is keen to bring her love of STEAM to all settings. She believes that adopting a Maker Mindset improves children's critical thinking and team-building skills and enables them to acquire and apply knowledge and skills through independent work.

Saman Qarni

Maker{Futures} Programme Assistant

Saman has a background in manufacturing and electronic engineering. 

She has organised and delivered bilingual engineering and coding workshops in schools and community centres and she is interested in empowering children to see themselves as makers and creators.

Harriet Bines

Maker{Futures} Programme Assistant

Harriet has experience in primary education, particularly Forest School and believes in allowing children to explore and play through hands-on learning. 

Harriet has a creative background and has delivered art workshops for children in the third sector. She has a passion for sustainability and endeavours to promote this on the programme.

Katherine Greenacre

Maker{Futures} Programme Administrator

Katherine has a background in project management, research support in Higher Education and digital media.

Emeritus Professor Jackie Marsh

Jackie Marsh is Emeritus Professor of Education, School of Education, the University of Sheffield. 

Jackie was the director of the seven-country research project, funded by the EU Commission's H2020 programme, 'Makerspaces in the Early Years: Enhancing Digital Literacy and Creativity', (MakeY) which led to the setting up of the MakerFutures programme.

Emma Horton

Makerspace Programme Officer

Emma Horton is the Maker{Move} Programme Officer in the School of Education. 

She has 13 years experience as a teacher and school leader using technologies and active learning approaches to enhance curriculum design and support learning in the classroom.

Dr Louise Kay


Louise Kay is a lecturer in early childhood in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield. 

She is a qualified teacher and has worked across all three primary key stages, with the majority of her career spent teaching in the early years. Her research interests include pedagogy in the early years, curricular and assessment frameworks, and the impact policy has on children and teachers.

Dr Yinka Olusoga


Dr Yinka Olusoga is a Lecturer in Education and Co-Director of the BA in Education, Culture and Childhood at the University of Sheffield. 

Her research and teaching focus on discourses and histories of childhood, play and education, and on the co-construction of environments for children’s play and creative engagement. She is interested in children’s creative and digital literacies and the inter-generational co-construction of play and storytelling.

Maker{Futures} Annual Report 2022

Our annual report highlights a range of the projects and initiatives led by Maker{Futures} since we launched, navigating the lockdowns and through the 2021-22 academic year. 

Join us for the launch event - register today!

Thursday 25th May 2023 at The University of Sheffield.
Find out more and register online.