2018 Fall

Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

I continue to coordinate a series of Design Challenges  for the Energy Innovation Center (EIC). The program includes high school students from the Parkway West consortium of schools.  For the fall three new student teams will work on an extension of “Rebranding Careers” and another team of three schools will work on a Design Challenge that will focus on a Lighting Plan for the Bedford Avenue entrance to the Energy Innovation Center.

In November I’ll join Darby Copeland, the Executive Director for the Parkway West Career and Technology Center, and Gary Peiffer, the superintendent for the Carlynton School District, for the Integrated Learning Conference at Penn State. We’ll share the success of the Design Challenges as Real World Problem-Solving with a focus on the Sustainable Energy Design Challenge that led to the construction of a Windstax wind turbine at the Energy Innovation Center.

I continue to coordinate the programming for the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC).   TRETC 2018  will be hosted by the Baldwin-Whitehall School District on November 6. Michael Moe, the founder of Global Silicon Valley, will kick off the event as he talks about this year’s theme: Technology and the Future of Work. Here’s a summary of what happened at this year’s TRETC.

I worked with a team from Birdbrain Technologies and CMU’s CREATE Lab to develop Catalyze Learning, a user conference in Pittsburgh that occurred from July 23-25. The Summer Institute brought folks from across the USA and South Korea.  All of the participants received a new premium Hummingbird Kit that was one of the products that won Best of Show at the 2018 ISTE Conference in June. The new Hummingbird taps into the power of Micro:Bit.  For the first time Hummingbirds will be untethered and will be able to communicate with each other. The new Hummingbird will be part of a TRETC workshop this year and will be available in December for purchase.

For six years I served on the Board of Trustees for the Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS). Last year I left the Board, but the organization asked me to consult with them to complete their Comprehensive Plan. In addition, MACS will move into “museumlab™” in 2019. As a Board member I played a small part getting MACS involved as a partner in this new community venture to turn the former Carnegie Library into an extension of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with a series of partners including MACS, CMU’s Entertainment Center, SLB Radio, and Allies for Children. This fall MACS joined a public celebration as workers hoisted one of the original beams from the Carnegie Library building into the newly renovated space.