Melissa Drake's STEAM Lab launching bottle rockets. Photo by Brian Cohen.

Pittsburgh is at the forefront of the movement advancing innovative ideas and practices in education and connecting and engaging the community around them. For proof, you need only look at the initiatives highlighted as part of the National Week of Making, celebrated last week by the White House. And note, a group of prominent Pittsburghers were once again invited to the White House to be celebrated.

Throughout the week, our region’s teachers, makers, techies and leaders in various fields, most involved in the initiative called Remake Learning, took part in activities not only at The White House but also at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire and the National Maker Faire in D.C. as well as the Clinton Global Initiative in Denver.

Locally, they were part of the CreATE Festival, the FAB Academy at Elizabeth Forward High School and the South Fayette STEAM Summer Innovation Institute.

Here’s more news about the Remake Learning movement related to the National Week of Making:

• The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh announced Wednesday 10 schools taking part in its “Kickstarting Making in School” project. The museum will provide training and development for the schools and champion teachers as they “transfer into master makers,” according to Director of Marketing Bill Schlageter. Each school will use funding raised through crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.

• As announced last week, makers, hackers, innovators and do-it-yourselfers are invited to take part in the first Maker Faire of Pittsburgh scheduled for October 10 and 11. Groups, schools, individuals and organizations are encouraged to demonstrate what they make and share what they have learned.

• The Sprout Fund premiered the Remake Learning Playbook, a living document designed as a guide for ideas and resources to help accelerate the learning opportunities available for all children. “Pittsburgh is seen as the national leader in learning innovation,” says Anne Sekula, Remake Learning Council director. The goal of the playbook is to provide information for parents, teachers and superintendents throughout our region while serving as a model for other communities. It makes sense for Pittsburgh. “Making harkens back to the roots of manufacturing in the city and connects the innovation for which our region is now known,” she notes.

• As part of the Innovation Roadmap—an initiative designed by several roundtable sessions and public input, which provides the basis for major innovation activities in Pittsburgh over the next three years—Mayor Bill Peduto’s office is exploring providing better support for the maker community by connecting makers to city resources, enhancing technical resources at recreation centers, incorporating the community into the Innovation Roadmap and more.

The National Week of Making’s purpose is to honor makers of all kinds and to inspire people to pursue careers in design, advanced manufacturing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the hopes of becoming entrepreneurs.

David Rullo

David Rullo is a poet, freelance writer, journalist, musician and artist. “Tired Scenes From A City Window,” Rullo’s first collection of poetry is available at most Pittsburgh bookstores. His work has appeared in The Greenwich Village Literary Journal, Semaphore Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle and more. He is a member of the electronic/progressive rock band Centrale Electrique.