Summer 2016


Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0


This summer I’m working on a grant proposal for the next round of design challenges with the Parkway West Career and Technology Center (PWCTC) consortium.   Each Design Challenge taps into a real world problem at the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in Pittsburgh. At the South Fayette STEAM Innovation Summer Institute students from Avonworth and South Fayette School Districts were challenged to design a game using drones. For both types of design challenges it’s the ability to understand your client’s needs that makes the difference. In July I traveled to Avonworth for Studio A, a workshop that combined Design Thinking and Project-based Learning with a focus on Arts Integration.

In June I joined a series of events including the Schools that Can Conference in New York City and the PAEYC UnConference: Children and Arts 2.0.

I work with a Carnegie Mellon University startup  –  Birdbrain Technologies.  In June Tom Lauwers, the founder and Chief Scientist for Birdbrain, led a Hummingbird workshop at the South Fayette Summer Institute. Participants came from as far as Virginia to learn more about the possibilities for using the Hummingbird. In November Tom will lead a workshop on “Finch Tales” – using the Finch robot, another Birdbrain creation,  for story-telling at the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference.

In June I worked with a team of educators from the South Fayette School District to produce the STEAM Innovation Summer Institute. This summer over 130 educators and 50 students from around the region joined 20 workshops that ranged from STEAM investigations to Python programming. This summer’s line-up also included sessions on Virtual and Augmented Reality, the Maker Movement, Personalizing Learning Using OneNote, and Creating the Innovators of Tomorrow Using Scratch.