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A Decade of Learning Remade in Pittsburgh

October 18, 2017

Photo by: Remake Learning

By Meg Campbell

For the past decade, Remake Learning has been changing the face of learning in the Greater Pittsburgh region. By bringing together more than 250 partner organizations from Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia, including early learning centers and schools, museums and libraries, community nonprofits, universities, startups, philanthropies and civic leaders, Remake Learning is able to harness the power of collaboration for big results.

“Through these partnerships we’ve created an ecosystem of learning for our children and youth,” said Gregg Behr, executive director of The Grable Foundation in an interview with Forbes.

“We’ve constructed hundreds of innovative new labs, experiences, and spaces where, say, teachers can talk with coders; where students can learn from makers and gamers; and where opportunities for building 21st century skills are available to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.”

We checked in on them earlier this year at their signature Remake Learning Days, an annual event bringing youth and families together for innovative learning and play. As they celebrate their ten-year anniversary, we took a look at what they’ve learned and how they’re growing.

“Most importantly, we’re several steps closer to building a region where all learners feel empowered and loved. On any given day, a student can now access several learning pathways based on his or her interests. A learner interested in coding, for example, can get help from Teens as Teachers at Assemble, a neighborhood afterschool space, or drop in on a workshop at her local library to experiment with robotics,” wrote Behr in Getting Smart.

Citizen scientists hard at work doing plant PCR. @citizenscilab #RemakeDays

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In addition to Remake Learning Days, they have three key initiatives:

The Remake Learning Council includes leaders from across sectors who meet to drive regional priorities and set the conversation.

The Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem looks to improve formal and informal pathways for STEM learning, particularly in underserved areas and populations.

transformED is a “digital playground” that allows educators to experience the latest in technology and interact with their peers.

To foster conversation and further collaboration, Remake Learning hosts local meet ups throughout the region on a variety of topics. Here, educators from a variety of disciplines can share knowledge and ideas, as well as network and form lasting partnerships.

Remake Learning also hosts a robust resources page, connecting organizations to funding and development, students to mentors and maker spaces, and much more.

Perhaps their most ambitious project, however, is the Remake Learning Playbook.

The playbook is designed to inspire, through stories of remarkable people and projects, document results for future benchmarking and growth, and enable educators with proven strategies.

Playbooks hot off the press! #RLplaybook #remakelearning #LISPitt

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“By sharing insights, key resources, and critical lessons learned, we hope to provide educators and community leaders with practical and actionable information, enabling anyone to take advantage of new and innovative learning practices,” Behr wrote in the introduction.

“Learning now happens anywhere, at any time, and at any pace. And so, communities of caring adults—teachers, youth workers, mentors as well as gamers, technologists, artists, and others—need to think differently and collaboratively about how we light up every child to the joys and wonders of learning.”

The Playbook is available free of charge online, and print copies can be ordered at no cost to educators.

Join Remake Learning from 8 to 9 :30 a.m. on Sept. 10 at The Children’s Museum to celebrate ten years of innovation—and learn what’s in store for the decade to come.