This spring I worked 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 tackled two sustainability problems. In the first project students from Carlynton, PWCTC, and West Allegheny responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a sustainable energy system that included a working model of a vertical windmill with a display highlighting the logo of the EIC, a schema for the power and storage of electricity, and marketing information about sustainable energy. For the second design challenge students from Keystone Oaks and Moon Area Schools developed 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.” In May I also worked on the next K-12 Horizon Report that will be released at the ISTE Conference in San Antonio. In May I traveled to PPS: Allegheny Traditional to view young children taking apart toys, creating circuits, and developing an innovation mindset at the Children’s Innovation Project with folks from the Schools that Can National Forum.
In May Pittsburgh hosted over 350 events as part of Remake Learning Days. Birdbrain Technologies hosted one of the sessions where adults as well as kids worked with the Hummingbird Kit and Finch to tackle physical computer – robotics. As part of the Remake Learning Days I joined folks at the Holy Family Academy for the 8th edcampPGH.
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.