This spring I’m concluding work on two design challenges with the Parkway West Career and Technology Center (PWCTC) consortium and the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in Pittsburgh. Each Design Challenge taps into a real world problem. I’m using a framework from this summer’s Studio A Workshop at Avonworth that combines Design Thinking and Project-based Learning with a focus on Arts Integration. For the EIC/ PWCTC Design Challenges student consulting teams are tackling two sustainability problems. In the first project students from Carlynton, PWCTC, and West Allegheny are responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a sustainable energy system that will look at building a vertical windmill, creating marketing information, and a display highlighting the logo of the EIC. For the second design challenge students from Keystone Oaks and Moon Area Schools are competing to develop a packaged food item that can sold at the EIC and other locations .
In April I traveled to Chicago for the Consortium of Schools Networked Conference. I joined my co-chair for the CoSN Emerging Technologies Committee, Tony Inglese, to share the latest Edtech Next Report, “Using Digital Tools for Problem-Solving.”
I created a new course for the Osher program at Carnegie Mellon University focusing on the Remake Learning movement in Pittsburgh. We used the Remake Learning Playbook as our textbook. Each week we focused on one of the case studies. The class had a chance to create their own robot pets using the Hummingbird Robotics Kit, learn about the transformation of the Avonworth School District, become a Maker at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and play with STEM with the Neighhorhood Learning Alliance’s Reading and Tech Warriors.
Over the next few months I’ll start to plan for the 2017 Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference and the next STEAM Innovation Summer Institute in June for educators sponsored by the South Fayette School District. In June I’ll help to produce the Schools that Can National Forum in Pittsburgh.