In the fall of 2013 I joined the South Fayette School District team as an outreach coordinator to share their STEAM Fusion computational thinking model with two other schools – the Fort Cherry School District and the Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS). In June 2015 I joined the South Fayette and Fort Cherry teams at the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia to share some of the success stories around the MACS partnership. In June I also co-coordinated a a 4 day Summer Institute for educators (and kids). The Summer Insttitute had over 120 people attend from all over Western Pennsylvania with the largest contingent from South Fayette. Workshops included Scratch programming, STEAM Project, Game-based Learning, Arts & Bots, Rapid Prototyping with 3D Printing, App Inventor, Environmental Literacy, and Making.
Two of my clients, Birdbrain Technologies and Zulama participated in the workshops. Birdbrain Technologies focused on the creative side of robotics, while Zulama shared a workshop on game-based learning that I helped to develop.
Throughout Western Pennsylvania (and the USA) there has been a growing interest in the use of Human-Centered Design as a key component in a STEAM model. In the past year I visited and observed students and teachers working on Design Challenges at the Environmental Charter School (ECS). In June students from ECS presented their prototypes at the Warhol Musuem. During the summer I also visited young people sharing their creations at the Homewood YMCA as part of the Pittsburgh City of Learning project.
This summer I’m working on a white paper for the Design and Innovation Center at Parkway West Career and Technology Center. The white paper will look at three opportunities – Emerging Technologies, Partnerships, and Entrepreneurship. The Emerging Technologies may include Additive Manufacturing through the work of InventorCloud in Youngstown as well as a Petting Zoo sponsored by Birdbrain Technologies. Partnerships may include Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh as well as Breaker, a human-design firm in New York City. The entrepreneuring opportunities may include design competitions and a student incubator area at Parkway West.
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