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Title of the Study: Technology therapy with MakerKids®: Supporting children’s socioemotional development with innovative STEM-based programming

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s),

We are inviting you to participate in research being conducted by a leading Canadian university in partnership with MakerKids. We feel strongly that our programs provide behavioural and emotional benefits for kids who participate in our STEM programs. This will help spread the word and know not only if but how much this is good for kids. As a parent, you are essential in doing this. To thank you, participants will be eligible to win $500 worth of MakerKids programs (camps, after school programs and parties) 

Our research explore makers' socioemotional development through our STEM-based programming over time. We are interested in learning more about children’s social, emotional, and behavioural development in relation to their participation in STEM programs with MakerKids. The research explores children’s emotions, behaviours, social interactions, and resilience, in addition to the impacts of participation in digital media programs on these outcomes.

Our study will take place via surveys sent out to participants. MakerKids and the university will collect information based on your survey responses. These surveys will be e-mailed to you. No other direct participation from you or your child will be required for completion of the study. Your choice to participate in this study will not affect the care or education your child receives with MakerKids.
Participants will respond to surveys with questions regarding children’s socioemotional functioning, digital media use, and the quality of parent-child relationships over up to 12 weeks (depending on length of program involved in, e.g. camp, weekly program, etc). The data will be analyzed to understand the sociodemographic characteristics of makers, their main reasons behind enrollment, and reported changes over time in social, emotional and behavioural development. Using this information we will measure the effectiveness of various after-school STEM programs (Minecraft, Robotics, and Coding) on participants’ socioemotional well-being and mental health. The study’s various findings will assess the potential of digital media use as a therapeutic tool for the use of caregivers, clinicians, and educators to promote positive child development.

To help you make an informed decision about your child’s participation, this letter will explain what the study is about, the possible risks and benefits, your child’s rights and your rights (on behalf of your child) as a research participant. If you do not understand something in the letter, please send us an e-mail at info@makerkids.com prior to consenting to the study. You will be provided with a copy of the information and consent form if you choose to participate in the study.

What the study involves

This study explores the development of children’s social and emotional abilities. This study will include questions on your child’s emotional behaviour (e.g., Is the child considerate ofother people’s feelings?) and social behaviour (e.g., Does the child share readily with others?). You will complete the questionnaires based on observations of your child.

The first questionnaire will be based on observations from the past year and will provide starting point from which we can explore development that has taken place during the course ofyour child’s participation in the digital media program with MakerKids. There will also be follow-up questionnaires, which you will respond to based on observations that have occurred since the previous questionnaire was completed. Additionally, we will ask you to report on your child’s demographic information including birth date (month/year), age, gender, and ethnicity.
Information about your family will be collected by administration from your records at MakerKids and shared with the research team. This information will include your child’s attendance record which will be collected from MakerKids. Participation in this study will not interfere with your child’s regular routine with MakerKids.

If your child is registered to start a weekly program you will be sent 4 types of surveys: a baseline survey, weekly surveys, a post survey and a follow-up survey. A baseline survey will be sent to you 1 week - 0 days prior to your child’s start date to assess a baseline prior to the start of the program. Weekly surveys will be sent week to week to assess development throughout the program. When you end your membership, you will be sent a post survey. Lastly, you will be sent a follow-up survey 1 month after your child’s last session.
If your child is registered for a camp you will receive the same baseline survey sent 1 week - 0 days prior to their start date. After camp is over, we’ll be sending you a post survey, then a follow-up survey a month after.

The comprehensive baseline survey will ask you to report on your child’s demographic information including birth date (month/year), age, gender, and reason for enrollment. Information about your family will also be asked in these surveys. This information will include household income and parents’ education. Participation in this study will not interfere with your child’s scheduled virtual programs with MakerKids
.
Both weekly and comprehensive surveys will ask you questions regarding your child’s behaviour, emotional well-being, resilience, school engagement, social skills and your level of stress as a parent.

Participation

Participation in the study is voluntary. You or your child can choose to end participation at any time without penalty. You can withdraw consent on behalf of your child by indicating this decision in writing or verbally (in person or on the phone) to info@makerkids.com or 416-385-3477 ext 2. Permission can be withdrawn during or after data collection (i.e., withdrawing permission to use your child’s/family data after it has been collected). Permission must be withdrawn prior to submission of any publications based on this study’s data. Only children with parental permission will be involved in the study.

In appreciation of you and your child’s involvement in this study, you will receive a feedback letter outlining the findings of this research. This feedback letter will be given to you by MakerKids through email,once the study has ended.

Data collected in this study may be used in future research beyond this study. No identifying information will be attached to the data. While there is currently no plans for future use of the data, you will be asked for consent to use your family’s/your child’s data in future research to
allow for the possibility to use the data in other research on child socioemotional or behavioural development in the future. Consent to future use of your data is completely voluntary.

Benefits and Risks

There are no known or anticipated risks to participation in this study. Direct participation of you or your child is not required.
There are no personal benefits to you or your child for participation in this study. The proposed research will provide a better understanding of children’s social, emotional, and behavioural development in relation to childhood education at MakerKids. Findings from the study may influence the support of childhood programming at MakerKids and beyond.

Confidentiality

Any personal information collected for this study will be confidential and published reports will not mention individual children. Your child’s information and family information will be identified by a unique code number rather than any identifying information. Identifying information will only be able to be accessed by MakerKids administrative staff members. The university research team will not have access to your child’s name or family name. Individual children’s results will not be disclosed to staff, parents, or children at MakerKids. However, information based on the results of the group of participants will be shared. De-identified data may be shared publicly. Your/your child’s identity will remain confidential.

Once the study has ended you will receive a feedback letter describing the results of the study. Parent responses to questionnaire items based on observations of your child will only be seen by MakerKids administrative staff members and applicable researchers at the university. All study data will be temporarily stored on Google Survey before being sent to the university’s secure servers. Data will be stored by Google Cloud in servers outside of Canada where the data will encrypted while in transit and at rest. The servers are regularly updated and maintained to ensure collection and storage processes prevent any unauthorized access. Google Cloud servers have 24 hour security functions that can only be bypassed by electronic card key and biometric control system. Paper records (e.g., consent forms) will be stored in a secured location at MakerKids. Digital and paper records will be destroyed at least 7 years after the study has ended. All data will be destroyed according to the university’s policy.


Questions

If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to contact info@makerkids.com.
This study has been reviewed by the university. In addition, this study has been approved by the Canada Research Chair in Child and Family Clinical Psychology and has the support of Jennifer Turliuk, the CEO of MakerKids. However, the decision about your child’s participation is yours.


We would appreciate your consent to your child’s participation in this project. We believe it will better our knowledge of children’s social, emotional, and physical development in relation to digital media education. If you give permission for your child to participate, please complete the attached permission form and send it to info@makerkids.com.


When you have submitted your consent form we will send you an identifier, please use the identifier to fill out our comprehensive survey here: https://forms.gle/CSufKskgh2FYQL3U7


Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

MakerKids

 

Consent Form

 

By providing your consent, you are not waiving your legal rights or releasing the investigator(s) or involved institutions (e.g. MakerKids and the university ) from their legal and professional responsibilities. 

Title of the Study: Technology therapy with MakerKids®: Supporting children's socioemotional development with innovative STEM-based programming. 

This study has been reviewed by MakerKids and the university. If you have questions contact MakerKids at 416-385-3577 Ext 2 or info@makerkids.com. 

 

CONSENT: I have read the information presented in the information letter about a study with the university in partnership with MakerKids. I have had the opportunity to ask questions related to the study and have received satisfactory answers to my questions and any additional details. 

I agree to take part in the study as described. I consent to my and my family's personal information being in the manner and for the purposes described in the information letter.

I understand that my family's/child's participation in the study is voluntary and that I can withdraw this consent at any time by informing MakerKids through e-mail or telephone.

 

Optional Consents: 

 

I agree to allow MakerKids to provide de-identified data from my child's/family's records to the researchers

I Agree

I agree to allow the data collected in this study to be used in future research projects that have a similar research focus.

I Agree

 

Witness Signature:

January 28, 2023

 

First Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
First Patricipant's Date of Birth*
I certify that I am 18 years of age or older
First Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
First Patricipant's Signature*
Second Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Second Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Second Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Third Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Third Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Third Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Fourth Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Fourth Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Fourth Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Fifth Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Fifth Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Fifth Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Sixth Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Sixth Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Sixth Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Seventh Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Seventh Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Seventh Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Eighth Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Eighth Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Eighth Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Ninth Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Ninth Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Ninth Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Tenth Patricipant's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Tenth Patricipant's Date of Birth*
Tenth Patricipant's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Parent or Guardian's Email Address

Email*

Confirm Email*
Parent(s) or court-appointed legal guardian(s) must sign for any participating minor (those under 18 years of age) and agree that they and the minor are subject to all the terms of this document, as set forth above.


By signing below the parent or court-appointed legal guardian agrees that they are also subject to all the terms of this document, as set forth above.
Parent or Guardian's Name

First Name*

Middle Name

Last Name*
Parent or Guardian's Date of Birth*
I certify that I am 18 years of age or older
Parent or Guardian's Information

Child's Name *

Date *

Witness' Name *

Date *
Parent or Guardian's Signature*
Electronic Signature Consent*
By checking here, you are consenting to the use of your electronic signature in lieu of an original signature on paper. You have the right to request that you sign a paper copy instead. By checking here, you are waiving that right. After consent, you may, upon written request to us, obtain a paper copy of an electronic record. No fee will be charged for such copy and no special hardware or software is required to view it. Your agreement to use an electronic signature with us for any documents will continue until such time as you notify us in writing that you no longer wish to use an electronic signature. There is no penalty for withdrawing your consent. You should always make sure that we have a current email address in order to contact you regarding any changes, if necessary.


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