2018 Fall

Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

I continue to coordinate a series of Design Challenges  for the Energy Innovation Center (EIC). The program includes high school students from the Parkway West consortium of schools.  For the fall three student teams worked on “Rebranding Careers” and another team of three schools worked on a Design Challenge that focused on a Lighting Plan for the Bedford Avenue entrance to the Energy Innovation Center. Both projects demonstrated the power of real world learning with teams of experts working with the student consultants from the kick-off to the final presentations. The team from Parkway West Career and Technology Center created a 3D version of the facade that was used by the teams from South Fayette and Chartiers Valley to explain their lighting plan solutions. The Parkway West team for the Rebranding Careers Design Challenge developed a website that included links to an app prototype developed by Quaker Valley and a video created by Keystone Oaks student consultants.

In November I joined Darby Copeland, the Executive Director for the Parkway West Career and Technology Center, and Gary Peiffer, the former superintendent for the Carlynton School District, for the Integrated Learning Conference at Penn State. We shared the success of the Design Challenges as Real World Problem-Solving with a focus on the Sustainable Energy Design Challenge that led to the construction of a Windstax wind turbine at the Energy Innovation Center.

I continue to coordinate the programming for the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC).   TRETC 2018 was hosted by the Baldwin-Whitehall School District on November 6. Michael Moe, the founder of Global Silicon Valley, kicked off the event as he talked about this year’s theme: Technology and the Future of Work. Here’s a summary of what happened at this year’s TRETC.

Michael Loughren, a former colleague from the Fox Chapel Area School District, and now the principal for the Carlynton Junior-Senior High School, invited me to visit his school. I was quite impressed with the new focus on Making and Entrepreneurship. Carlynton, like many schools in Western Pennsylvania, have followed the lead of Remake Learning to create more active and engaging learning spaces for students.