Remake Learning Days

10,000 kids learn in simultaneous STEM challenge during Remake Learning Days

Remake Learning Days is a 12-day festival to celebrate learning. From May 12 – 23 this year, there are almost 200 mostly free events around our region. It started in Western Pennsylvania six years ago and is now in 17 regions across the country.

To kick off this year’s festival, 10,000 kids across Pennsylvania learned together last week in a simultaneous STEM challenge.

One of the schools that participated is Duquesne Elementary where the excitement was palpable: “It’s really fun. You get to create your own stuff,” said second-grader Ellyana Warnick.

“The energy was so high and the excitement, yea, it was overwhelming,” second-grade teacher Erica Slobodnik added.

That excitement is just what teachers want when they’re teaching kids science. Second- and third-graders across Pennsylvania were challenged to build a boat out of aluminum foil that would float holding 25 pennies.

“I used one rectangle of foil and ripped it up into squares and made it into like a bowl, and then I was able to fit 25 pennies,” explained student Tristen Ramsey.

134 school districts across Pennsylvania took the challenge at the same time this week, each paired with another school district as digital pen pals. Duquesne was paired with Altoona School District. They met on Zoom before the challenge and then competed for who could float the most boats.

“That was amazing. Oh – fantastic,” Ramsey said, dramatizing it to sound like “uh… may… zing.”

Yu-Ling Cheng, Remake Learning co-producer, explained that festival organizers “tried to pair up schools that were different from each other…. So here in Duquesne city, the school is in an urban area, and Altoona – it’s in a rural area. We wanted kids to be able to meet each other and engage with each other and learn from each other.”

The goal of the project, and of Remake Learning Days, is to get kids and families excited about learning.

“It definitely gets them excited about different careers, about math and science and engineering,” said Slobodnick.

And a little friendly competition never hurt: “Duquesne City School District had the most boats that floated, and we even had one boat that held 48 pennies,” she said.

Ramsey cheered in astonishment when he put that 48th penny on his boat and it still floated.

From May 12 – 23, there are more than 175 events across Southwest Pennsylvania at schools, libraries, museums and more for kids and families to do hands-on activities, and most of them are free. Get all the details here. Click here to find what you can do in your area. And to view this story on KDKA, just click here.