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We’re so excited to fill the Northside Allegheny Square campus with all kinds of innovation, invention and hands-on fun for Maker Faire Pittsburgh! We’ll have a race track, Main Stage, Workshop, Drone Zone, Education Zone, food truck section and more than 250 makers dispersed throughout the Faire to amaze and inspire you. Click on the map to view a larger, downloadable version.
Here’s our interview with Sunanna Chand, Learning Innovation Strategist with the Remake Learning Council of the Remake Learning Network. The Network is a professional network of educators and innovators working together to shape the future of teaching and learning in the Greater Pittsburgh Region and a collaborator of Maker Faire Pittsburgh:
Why is Remake Learning involved with Maker Faire Pittsburgh?
Sunanna: The Remake Learning Network is all about bringing people together to create engaging, relevant learning experiences for kids. Members of the Remake Learning Network think to themselves, “How can we help kids be active builders of knowledge, rather than passive consumers?”
Members of the Remake Learning Network are reimagining what learning looks like for many reasons, including to “meet kids where they are” and engage them in the learning process in more hands-on, relevant ways. These kinds of hands-on, technology-forward “tinkering” approaches to learning build problem-solving and collaboration “soft” skills, but they also support hard science and math learning. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers are lucrative and highly in demand in our region.
For all of these reasons, Remake Learning Network members are natural participants in Maker Faire!
Where is making happening throughout the Pittsburgh region?
Sunanna: Learning is often associated with school, but educational experiences happen everywhere. The Remake Learning movement facilitates in- and out-of-school integration, so kids can relate to information in different contexts and apply skills to new scenarios. It is no coincidence that well over 100 organizations in the region have adopted creative spaces for students to experience science, engineering, technology, arts, and math (also known as “makerspaces”); they are part of a larger, multi-sector community movement to engage kids through experiential learning.
In addition to those 100 makerspaces, there are also many MIT sanctioned FAB Labs, including two mobile labs housed at the Carnegie Science Center and the Intermediate Unit 1 that travel throughout the region.
How can educators learn more about the maker movement through the Remake Learning Network?
Sunanna: Learning cannot be remade without exemplary educators leading the charge. With this in mind, Pittsburgh area organizations offer diverse making professional development experiences for teachers. The Children’s Museum’s Mobile MAKESHOP® offers educator workshops including materials and meals. These Maker Educator Boot Camps let teachers engage in open-ended activities that range from sewing to woodworking, electronics to digital-based making and more. Additionally, two years ago the Alleghany Intermediate Unit converted traditional office space into the aptly named transformED, a makerspace solely for teachers that includes devices for digital making. Teachers can explore, tinker, and collaborate in this colorful, dynamic space while learning first hand how to incorporate maker education into their classrooms. School districts are also increasingly collaborating to share best practices. In March 2014, the Elizabeth Forward School District initiated a consortium with five other districts to enrich their experiences in delivering content through creative, digital means. At TechShop, visited by President Obama in June 2014, has 16,000 square feet of workspace for adults – including teachers – to learn together with cutting-edge tools and technology.
And that’s just the beginning. There are at least 19 organizations in the Pittsburgh region that offer maker-based professional development, most of them completely free. Look for a brochure that showcases all of these professional development opportunities at Remake Learning Education Friday!
For the second year in a row, Chevron has made Maker Faire Pittsburgh possible by providing critical underwriting and sponsorship. Here’s our interview with Lee Ann Wainwright, STEM Investment Team Lead from Western Pennsylvania, about why Chevron values Maker Faire Pittsburgh.
What made you choose to get involved with Maker Faire Pittsburgh?
Lee Ann: At Chevron, we have learned that few factors are more important to the success of our business – and to a country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace – than a robust supply of workers educated and or trained in science, technology, engineering and math.
Our involvement with Maker Faire goes directly to our belief that getting students involved in STEM early will stay with them all the way into high school and beyond. Our mission is to make a deep investment in the community of makers that are creating a revitalization of innovation in sectors that have been the backbone of Pittsburgh industry: manufacturing, engineering, industrial design, hardware technology, robotics, education and so much more.
But as we all know, becoming educated, or even interested in STEM curriculum or programs starts with exposure, and exposing students – young and old alike – as well as showcasing projects is what Maker Faire is all about. Maker Faire Pittsburgh, through the maker movement, is changing everything from the way people think about manufacturing and technology to education and cultural experiences. Our goal is to instill confidence and show people that it’s OK to get your hands dirty, solve problems, create solutions, test experiments, and learn new things but most importantly, our goal is to help expose the region to these opportunities.
As they say, the Maker Faire is the greatest show (and tell) on earth and Chevron is proud to support, for a second year, Maker Faire Pittsburgh.
What does the Pittsburgh region need to know about Chevron?
Lee Ann: Chevron is one of the world’s leading energy companies and is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry from crude oil and natural gas, fuels and lubricants, geothermal energy, biofuels, providing energy efficiency solutions, and the list goes on. BUT what some may not know is that Chevron has deep roots in the Pittsburgh region with its origins of Gulf Oil Company. In 1985 Gulf Oil Company merged with Standard Oil of California to form what we are now known as, Chevron. Thankfully the development of the Marcellus Shale provided an exciting reason for Chevron to return to the Pittsburgh region in 2011. Since returning, Chevron has invested over 7 million dollars in STEM education programs benefiting the tri-state area and look forward to many more years as a sponsor of the Maker Faire Pittsburgh!
What are you excited to see at this year’s Faire?
Lee Ann:This year it sounds like there will be more spectacle, which really is what makes Maker Faire stand out! The Power Racing series is something I am looking forward to and I know my kids, Finn and Lydia, will enjoy that and so will my husband. The drones promise to be a big attraction, too! But really, when I come to Maker Faire Pittsburgh, I get most excited and inspired by all of the innovation from our region. It’s amazing to see what students, professionals, and local entrepreneurs are doing and Maker Faire Pittsburgh is the perfect time and place. We, at Chevron, couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it!