discoverED brought together 100+ PA classrooms: Look what they built!

First- and second-graders across Pennsylvania made new friends this week — and did some serious hands-on learning — during the Remake Learning Days’ discoverED event.

This annual event, held this year on May 7, strategically pairs classrooms throughout the Commonwealth, so that kids in urban neighborhoods meet peers who live in rural communities and students can collaborate virtually across hundreds of miles. Their shared task? Designing and building their own working catapults.

Nearly 10,000 students from 100+ classrooms participated this year, and a whole lot of laughter and fun was had by all.

Megan Collett, Executive Director of Instructional & Innovative Leadership of Fox Chapel Area School District and lead organizer of discoverED agrees. “This is one of my favorite times of year. Not only do students work on their maker design skills but they also meet and learn from other students across the state. The collaborative nature of discoverED showcases how all of us — no matter where you live — care about the future success of Pennsylvanian students.”

discoverED was designed to help schools that differ in demographics “swap” students for an afternoon and also experience how STEAM and maker practices can positively impact kids. Students who met this week experienced a window into one another’s lives. And teachers who connected this week while collaborating on this project now have each other as friends and resources for future collaboration.

And, new this year, all students who participated in discoverED had the opportunity to earn a Career Ready PA digital badge toward their career readiness portfolio for their school. The Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge from the Pennsylvania Department of Education encourages students to explore career paths as well as learn career ready skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, communication and creativity through various Remake Learning Days events.

Want to see the catapults in action? Watch this KDKA-TV news segment.