This winter I’m working 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 January I traveled to Orlando, Florida for the Future of Educational Technology Conference (FETC). At the conference I worked with TechTerra Education to share the power of the Hummingbird and Finch robots from Birdbrain Technologies. I was amazed how educators in less than 30 minutes could create an animated object using the Visual Programmer from the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. For more about this activity and my impression of FETC check out my blog entry.
In January I joined Anne Sekula from the Remake Learning Council at a meeting of the Enhanced Learning Committee to unveil a new Remake Learning Network initiative that will link existing regional resources to the ISTE Standards for Students released this summer.
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.