Pittsburgh Public Schools launches new STEAM initiative

This week Pittsburgh Public Schools‘ Superintendent Linda Lane launched a new STEAM education initiative with the help of nearly $900,000 in grants from The Grable Foundation and the Fund for Excellence.

The district’s plan to develop a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics K-12 pathway for students was approved by the school board last year.

The programs will start in the coming school year at Pittsburgh Lincoln PreK-5 in the Lincoln-Larimer neighborhood, Woolslair PreK-5 in Bloomfield and at Schiller 6-8 on the North Side. The district is also making plans for a STEAM program at Pittsburgh Perry High School for the 2016-2017 school year.

“As part of our Whole Child, Whole Community plan we identified the need to explore options for newly themed magnets and create equitable pathways for students in their areas of academic and career interest,” Lane says. “We knew we would not be able to launch this effort alone. We are grateful for the continued support we have received from the local foundation community.”

Lane announced the effort at Schiller this week, where students have been working on STEAM projects this school year.

“Pittsburgh is a City of Learning,” says Gregg Behr, executive director of The Grable Foundation. “We stand at the forefront of learning innovation nationally and the Pittsburgh Public Schools is now among its pioneers.”

A grant of $391,000 from the Fund for Excellence will support a STEAM Coordinator, curriculum development, family and community engagement and field trips for students, Lane says. Teachers across the district can also apply for mini-grants for innovation.

A second grant from The Grable Foundation of $480,000 will support the development of curriculum, instruction, professional development and technology as well as support the creation of STEAM labs.

Featured photo: Students and administrators came together to celebrate new STEAM initiative at Schiller this week, Photo courtesy of PPS