Pittsburgh teachers and education innovations take center stage at CelebratED 

Photos by Ben Filio.

The Grable Foundation is rolling out the red carpet for some local stars: teachers.

On Sept. 23, educators from around Pittsburgh will get the celebrity treatment — complete with paparazzi — when CelebratED takes over the O’Reilly Theater.

About 600 people are expected to attend.

“There’s been so much innovation in birth through 12-grade education in the region, we thought, why not have something like the Academy Awards for teachers?” says D’Ann Swanson, senior program officer for the Grable Foundation.

Classroom instructors and administrators, as well as people who work in after-school and early childhood education programs, will be honored at the free celebration.

Rather than hand out individual awards, organizers will shine a spotlight on many of the innovations local educators have made to better the lives of children.

HundrED.org, a non-profit based in Finland, researches advancements in K-through-12 education across the globe, selects 100 inspiring innovations each year and shares the information through web videos.

A dozen Pittsburgh organizations made the list. One of the criteria is that other organizations and cities can easily replicate each innovation. Pittsburgh is the first North American city to be recognized by HundrED.

Innovations selected for the HundrED Spotlight on Pittsburgh include:

  • Hillman Academy, where high school kids work alongside medical researchers
  • Global Minds Initiative’s efforts to foster intercultural friendships
  • Fabricating Change in Mental Wellness’s project-based learning
  • JAM after-school making program at Avonworth School District
  • Youth Express at SLB Radio
  • Summer Dreamers Academy of Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Simple Interactions’ community-based approach to support those who serve children
  • Transformed at Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity
  • Manchester Craftmen’s Guild’s use of STEAM activities to mentor urban youth
  • MAKESHOP at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  • The Labs @ CLP Summer Skills Intensives
  • and The Finch Robot educational technology tool

Check out the details and videos here.

HundrED co-founder and executive director Lasse Leponiemi is coming from Finland to speak at the event.

Attendees will be the first to find out who will receive Blueprint for Learning grants of up to $50,000 to remake an innovative learning space, be it a classroom, museum or library. The grants are funded through Remake Learning, a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change.

Throughout the evening, students will show their appreciation by performing for the crowd.

Swanson hopes celebratED will become an annual event that coincides with the back-to-school season.