Ten Schools in Pittsburgh Region Selected for Making Spaces Initiative




Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is excited to announce the ten schools in the Pittsburgh region that have been selected to take part in Making Spaces: Expanding Maker Education Across the Nation, a project supported by Google that helps schools nationwide integrate maker education into their curricula.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has selected the following schools to work with the Making Spaces program:

  • Buffalo and South Buffalo Elementary Schools
  • Central and William Penn Elementary Schools
  • Founders’ Hall Middle School
  • Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School
  • Keystone Oaks High School
  • Northgate Middle/High Schools
  • Pittsburgh Langley K-8
  • Sto-Rox Elementary School
  • Watson Institute Friendship Academy
  • Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

The Children’s Museum, recognized by the White House as a national leader in making and learning, spearheaded the innovative Making Spaces project with the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) to provide schools with maker education expertise from a nearby museum, library, school district or community organization, known as a “hub.”  Ten hubs across the country will collaborate with 5-10 schools each, to help them launch crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for their makerspaces, as well as provide guidance to help each school hone their approach to implementing maker education. As a “hub,” the Children’s Museum will provide ongoing professional development to the schools’ educators, space design consultation, and access to resources for sustainable makerspaces. The Making Spaces program runs through the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Maker Ed’s Executive Director Trey Lathe notes, “Schools are increasingly interested in maker education and establishing youth maker programs and spaces but don't always have access to the training, resources, and community of support they need. We are excited that the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh continues in its work to expand that energy and momentum in the Pittsburgh region."

Maker education encompasses hands-on tinkering and problem solving using simple and complex building techniques and technologies.  Subject matter ranges from applied mathematics, robotics and energy, to literacy and entrepreneurship.

In 2015-2016, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh piloted a year-long run of the program, Kickstarting Making, with 10 schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania that collectively raised more than $100,000 to launch maker education in their schools. Based on lessons learned from the program, the Museum designed a toolkit that hubs across the country are now using to assist schools in creating crowdfunding campaigns, program planning, and integrating making into school environments. Local investments from the Grable Foundation and the Benter Foundation enabled the pilot program to gain recognition from the White House, which subsequently attracted Google to support the project nationally.

“We’re thrilled to have scaled this program to the national level to get more youth the resources needed to start tinkering, creating and making,” says Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “A unique program that began right here in our region can now be run by organizations everywhere to benefit youth around the country.”

In addition to Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the other Making Spaces hubs are: Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, AR; KID Museum in Bethesda, MD; Edventure Children’s Museum in Columbia, SC; Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, VA; Digital Youth Network in Chicago, IL; Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT; San Mateo County Office of Education in Redwood City, CA; and The Bubbler at Madison Public Library in Madison, WI.About Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes more than 302,500 visitors annually and provides “real stuff” experiences for play, learning and fun. Children’s Museum’s permanent exhibit MAKESHOP® was built in 2011 to create a space for children and families to make, play and design using the same materials, tools and processes used by professional artists, builders, programmers and creators of all kinds. The Museum’s maker-focused initiatives include hosting annual Maker Boot Camp professional development for educators, helping to set up dozens of maker spaces locally, leading national research studying the impact of making and learning and hosting Maker Faire Pittsburgh 2015, 2016,and 2017.  For more information, visit www.pittsburghkids.org, follow @pghkids  and @makeshoppgh.

About Maker Ed

Maker Ed is a nonprofit organization that provides educators with the training, resources, and community of support they need to facilitate engaging learning experiences with youth through maker education -- a hands-on, youth-driven, and open-ended learning approach. Through this work, Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in both broadening access to and deepening the impact of maker education for youth. Maker Ed is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. For more information, visit the Maker Ed website and follow @MakerEdOrg for updates.

About Google’s Making & Science

Making & Science is an initiative from Google to inspire future scientists and makers. Learn more about our programs, events, media, and the new Science Journal app at makingscience.withgoogle.com.