2009 - 2015
The lab was established in August 2009 at Vanderbilt University by Dr. Pratim Sengupta. Early research focused on knowledge representation and design of multi-agent systems for K-12 science education. PhD students during this time were Amy Farris (now Assistant Professor at Penn State), Amanda Dickes (now Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University) and Kara Krinks (now Assistant Professor at Lipscomb University). Collaborators included Dr. Gautam Biswas and Dr. Doug Clark (now at the University of Calgary).
During this period, the major thrust of the work was developing ViMAP, and studying how teachers and students take up programming and modeling in the science classroom as part of their day-to-day science activities. You can learn more about this work here. This work also led to the design of CTSiM and a new paradigm for game design (Disciplinarily Integrated Games).
2015 - now
In 2015, Pratim moved to the University of Calgary's Werklund School of Education for a dual career hire, and the lab moved with him to the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. This was a moment of "turning" for the lab, both in terms of a deeper journey into critical theoretical perspectives, as well as an explicit emphasis on publicness. The focus on building new technologies remains just as centrally as before, with significant shifts in the nature and form of the technologies emerging through partnerships with Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan.
By 2017, all projects in the lab had shifted toward more public and critical re-imaginations of coding, technology and STEM (this TEDx talk is a good place to start). Work in the M3Lab now directly challenges notions of space and disciplinarity in K-12 education, as well as seeks to unsilence critical conversations involving race and racism, critical disability, gender and queerness in the context of STEM education.