Spring 2022

Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

After two years of the pandemic it looks like I’m springing into some new projects.

I’m part of an educational outreach team working on the new Moonshot Museum that will open to the public in October 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 2022. My colleague, Justin Aglio, offered me the opportunity to work on this project representing the Readiness Institute Outreach project for Penn State University. I’ll coordinate the Hope Moonshot program that will be a permanent exhibit at the Moonshot Museum which will be under the guidance of Sam Moore.

Justin W. Aglio

The Readiness Institute at Penn State, in collaboration with Global Moonshots in Education, collected thousands of hopes from students, educators, and members of the global community from December 2020 through February 2021. According to Justin, “We are now sending those messages to the moon to create a lasting reminder that the hopes of today can become the reality of tomorrow. If our hopes can make it to the moon, then our hopes can become true on Earth.”

This spring I’ll help to facilitate a new project, “Cradle to Livelihood,” for Carnegie Mellon’s program, Center for Shared Prosperity. (CSP) The project is in partnership with The Heinz Endowments. The CSP will leverage the university’s research to help address barriers to equity and foster economic empowerment in the greater Pittsburgh region. I’ll work with a team of community leaders and CMU experts to launch the Cradle to Livelihood project which will attempt to break through the existing barriers in the Pittsburgh region so all learners will find a path to sustainable livelihood.

I had a chance to attend the 2022 STEM Summit at the Energy Innovation Center of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Technology Council brings together regional companies to share with students and educators STEM opportunities in the region. I not only enjoyed discovering what was happening with Argo AI and Duquesne Light, but I also savored the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues whom I had not seen in the past two years.

Over the past year I’ve been reviewing films for Film Pittsburgh while serving on the Board of Directors. This winter I previewed films for the spring JFilm Festival that ran from April 29- May 8. The annual JFiLM Festival presents international Jewish-themed films that deepen audiences’ understanding of the stories, history, and common experiences that connect us all. This year the film festival used a hybrid model with the opening, midpoint, and final film at the Waterfront AMC Theater and the rest of the movies available to watch online. Film Pittsburgh’s next film festival, the Robinson International Short Film Competition, will occur on May 25 at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

I’ve also explored new avenues with the Neighborhood Learning Alliance (NLA) for out-of-school programs. NLA has developed a health careers pathway with local healthcare institutions that includes college-level courses that high school students take at Carlow University and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). This summer NLA will begin a new teaching pathway program with Chatham University. I served on a Board committee that completed a search for a new Executive Director (ED) for NLA. Stephen MacIsaac, the founder and ED for the organization for 18 years, retired this winter. Kashif Henderson left his role as the Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator for Pittsburgh Public Schools to become NLA’s new ED. To help Kashif and NLA highlight the outstanding work done by the staff, I donned my photography hat and took photos of some of the key staff members.

I’m working on a new version for the Fall of 2022 of my Osher class at Carnegie Mellon University, Teachings of Fred Rogers. Save the date for this years Educators’ Symposium at the Fred Rogers Center on Tuesday, July 19th (10:00am-4:30pm EST) and Wednesday, July 20th (10:00am-3:30pm EST). Registration and fees will be required to attend. I’ll post more information as its available.

This spring I’m exploring a variety of Pittsburgh and nearby areas with my camera. To see my spring photos, follow this link . I’ve been producing a series of slideshows and collages showcasing my photographs. In the past weeks I’ve explored the Carlisle area and Washington D.C. with college friends. I’ve enjoyed the spring weather to capture events around the city, like the initial Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books. I’ve also been playing with new ways to use my photos. Here’s an example of a movie I created from my visit with friends to Washington D.C where we took the Metro to the Smithsonian stop, walked to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, followed by a stroll on the Mall to the gardens by the Hirshhorn Museum.

Film by Norton Gusky