Winter 2022-23

Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 2.0

It’s good to spend time with kids and educators after more than a two year hiatus. Here’s what I’m doing this winter.

I’m part of an educational outreach team working on the new Moonshot Museum that opened to the public on Saturday, October 15, 2022. The museum is located in the Astrobotic: Pittsburgh Aerospace Company site on the North Shore of Pittsburgh. Astrobotic won the NASA contract to send a lunar module to the moon in 2023. My colleague, Justin Aglio, offered me the opportunity to work on this project representing the Readiness Institute Outreach project for Penn State University. I work on the Hope Moonshot program that is a permanent exhibit at the Moonshot Museum. My photos were used for the exhibit of the Hope Moonshot. This winter I’m taking photos and making movies for the Moonshot Museum and Astrobic with educators and students from the Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS) and the Manchester Youth Development Center MYDC).

In addition, I joined Mike Hennessy, the Learning Outreach Coordinator for the Moonshot Museum, and Justin Aglio, the Director of the Penn State Readiness Institute, at this year’s Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference, TRETC 2023, on Monday, January 16, 2023. I also worked with Ed McKaveney from the Hampton School District and Rich Platts from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit on an IT Leaders Forum that featured Phillip Martell, the superintendent of the River Valley School District. I had a chance this winter to visit the amazing work done by Phil and his team at River Valley, transforming a rural school district in Indiana and Westmoreland Counties, into a regional showcase for learning.

For the fifth time I worked on the CoSN Driving K-12 Innovation Project. The project brings together a team of over 100 educators from across the globe to look at emerging trends in educational technology. According to the CoSN website: “In this initiative, a global advisory board of K-12 leaders, practitioners, and changemakers engages in discourse about … learning innovation at schools.” On February 1 I’ll give a short presentation on the Every1Online Project as a case study for the Tech Enabler – Untethered Broadband and Connectivity – at the 2023 Driving K-12 Innovation Virtual Summit.

BIG NEWS from one of my clients, Birdbrain Technologies. The Finch Loan program applications are now OPEN for spring and summer 2023! In the last 8 years, the Finch Library program has reached over 205,000 students with its free robot loans. Apply for FREE creative robotics magic today:

Over the past year I’ve been reviewing films for Film Pittsburgh while serving on the Board of Directors. This winter I’m previewing films for the JFILM Festival that will take place from April 20-30, 2023.

I’ve also explored new avenues with the Neighborhood Learning Alliance (NLA) for out-of-school programs. NLA has developed a series of career pathway that includes college-level courses that high school students at Carlow University and the Community College of Allegheny County.

I’m teaching a new version of my Osher class at Carnegie Mellon University, Teachings of Fred Rogers framed by the book When You Wonder, You’re Learning. I’m amazed that six of the amazing educators who joined me this past year will return for the winter term – Gregg Behr, Melissa Butler, Cara Ciminillo, Bill Isler, Jane Werner, and Larry Berger.

This winter I’m exploring a variety of Pittsburgh and nearby areas with my camera. To see my winter photos, follow this link. I’ve been producing a series of slideshows, collages, and movies (see my Gallery: For the January TRETC presentation for the Moonshot Museum I created a short video to highlight the Lunar Mission with students from MACS.