Pittsburgh: Providing the Blueprint for Citywide Maker Education

[Here’s an Edsurge posting by my colleague, Justin Aglio, that shares the incredible energy and success behind the recent Remake Learning Days in Pittsburgh. Justin’s school district, Montour, hosted a Design Workshop with the LUMA Institute, a Human Centered Design firm in Pittsburgh, that I attended. If you’re looking for an example of a school district that has begun to rethink learning, take a look at Montour.]

Brainstorming from Remake Learning's Maker Ed Affinity Group Meet-up

Brainstorming from Remake Learning’s Maker Ed Affinity Group Meet-up

About a year ago, on Monday, June 15, 2015, the White House hosted a Maker Education Roundtable discussion with over sixty educators, innovators, White House officials, non-profit organizations, foundations and more. And although all areas of the country were represented, the city of Pittsburgh had the largest presence—and the White House noticed.

Fast-forward to now, and on May 9, 2016 at Google Pittsburgh,Thomas Kalil, deputy director of policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told an audience of local Pittsburgh dignitaries, philanthropists and educators, “You really are a model for the country.”

So, what sets Pittsburgh apart? It’s a event called Remake Learning Days, a week-long celebration showcasing maker projects throughout the region.

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Elizabeth Forward student creates canoe in high school’s digital fabrication lab

Elizabeth Forward High School senior Tyler Wachs spent the last nine weeks using computer-aided-design software, a computer controlled cutting machine, a 3D printer, a laser engraver and old-fashioned tools to build a canoe.

On Friday, it got its first test run in the school swimming pool.

As the boat was launched, Bart Rocco, superintendent of the district, said, “Here’s a kid who just had an idea. That’s what’s so neat about this.”

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‘Maker Party’ blends art and tech craft for kids

For many children, Saturday mornings are a time for goofing off with friends, playing games on their iPad, learning gymnastics or competing on a team in an athletic tournament. At a Saturday “Maker Party” organized by the Sprout Fund, hundreds of parents and children stoked their creativity by producing everything from art to videos at the Society for Contemporary Craft in the Strip District. At a dozen different stations, children and adults could story-board a movie, build puppets, learn gardening basics, sew, make a mobile app or dip their hands in water to create homemade textured paper. The basic steps of Andy Warhol’s silkscreen process were available through a mobile app and Stephanie Garrison, a member of The Andy Warhol Museum’s education department, was there to walk people

Source: www.post-gazette.com

Great examples of Maker Activities that were part of a Saturday event sponsored by the Sprout Fund in Pittsburgh.

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