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Innovation in education putting Pittsburgh on the map

Nadine Champsi
April22/ 2015

“Can we build a region-wide learning network that expands opportunities for kids to learn anytime, anywhere?” asks Gregg Behr, executive director of The Grable Foundation in a recent article entitled How Pittsburgh Created An Innovation Hub For Learning on Getting Smart.

His answer? A resounding yes. Thanks to the investment of millions of dollars by many local foundations including Grable, Pittsburgh now has a vast educational network known as Remake Learning. The network includes more than 300 local partners working together to create both in-school and out-of-school learning pathways for our children. Through blending together the resources of formal and informal learning spaces, schools, universities and research & development spaces, children in Pittsburgh can pursue their interests from the ground up.

“On any given day in Pittsburgh, a child interested in, say, coding can get help from Teens as Teachers at Assemble, a neighborhood after school space,” says Behr. “She might follow that up with a circuit-building session at the Children’s Museum’s Makeshop, or get interested in robots. That in turn leads her to Tech Warriors, where kids are building robots with the help of local high school mentors, using kits developed by CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center. The child can enter her robots in any number of local robotics tournaments. And from there, who knows.”

Though Remake Learning’s partners are only loosely affiliated, they are highly coordinated by leadership at The Sprout Fund, which “ensures these individual nodes are stitched together in new and specific ways, introducing groups that haven’t thought about working together yet and supporting the growth of new relationships,” says Behr.

As parents in Pittsburgh, it can sometimes be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Sure, we know that our city has great museums, lots of libraries, passionate people who care about our kids. But do we realize how much has been invested in giving our kids the most innovative education possible?

“Preparing kids for the world of tomorrow demands that all students have the opportunities to succeed—to follow their interests and connect with the resources that make it possible,” concludes Behr. “Everything the Remake Network does is helping to reconfigure students’ learning experiences to be more imaginative, curious, engaging and hands-on.”

Read the full article here

Featured photo: Tech Warriors, Photo by Rob Larson via Getting Smart article

Nadine Champsi

Nadine Champsi is an MD turned write-at-home Pittsburgh mom with two lovely children.