tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:/posts CREATE Lab 2023-07-03T22:41:16Z CREATE Lab tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1115750 2016-12-23T18:18:00Z 2020-02-25T15:51:12Z Celebrating CSEdWeek Highlights

Last month was the annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). CSEdWeek is dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. 

The CREATE Lab Satellite Network and our friends at the ABC CREATE network (Alle-Kiski Best Practice Collaborative CREATE Lab Satellite Hub) celebrated the week with various events and activities. Below are some of the highlights and ways to look back at the week. 

Franklin Regional Middle School: "We provide students the option to participate in Hour of Code and had approximately 200 6-8 graders participated this year. Additionally, we put a twist on Hour of Code, as one of our 8th graders led a computer hardware seminar for a group of students and another 8th grader presented a gaming website that he developed to another group of students." - Andrew Leviski, Principal

Knoch Middle School: Students in Mrs. Bocci’s 6th Grade and Mrs. Slater’s 4tha and 5th-grade keyboarding classes spent time participating in the HOUr of Code. South Butler students who took part did so by looking at familiar games like Minecraft and Flappy Bird and building on them. For instance, the characters who move throughout the game seemingly do so automatically, but that is becase a program has been written. The kids were able to write their own program to make the bird fly the they wanted, engineer the sounds in the game, and even adjust for the bird can move through the passageways. 

Burrell School District: Students were able to do did a number of small things regarding the hour of code with a lot of work using Scratch and Finch. 
Inline image 1
Following a cyber bullying project in 6th grade, students used scratch to make their names fly while 3rd and 5th grade did multiple projects with Code.org
Inline image 2

Colfax Elementary and Plum Borough School District participated in Hour of Code. One class at Plum used it with their geometry classes as well as in Web Site class if they finish labs early. 

Armstrong High School: All of the Computer Science 9 classes participated in an Hour of Code. Advanced students are preparing to create a video game about real world issues impacting our community for Pittsburgh's Games for Change student challenge. 

Deer Lakes School District:  All students at East Union participated in the Hour of Code on Days 4,5,6.  They practiced their Hour of Code using the Code.org website.   

All students at Curtisville participated on Days 1,2,3.  They also did Hour of Code using Code.org, Kodable, and Tynker. Tynker also gives them several age-appropriate tutorial options such as: 


tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1098200 2016-10-12T17:51:27Z 2022-12-29T04:17:04Z HIRING: CEISMC looking for Program Director to do K-12 outreach

Our new Satellite at Georgia Tech, CEISMC, is looking for someone who wants to make an impact on education and tech fluency, 

The new full-time Program Director will focus on K-12 outreach. Responsibilities will include managing and leading development, budgeting, implementation, and technology programs for teachers and students. They will also provide program leadership in the administration of state and district education partnerships. 

To see a full job description and apply, click here.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1094568 2016-09-29T14:50:50Z 2022-07-25T01:17:24Z CREATE Lab launches all new app: Smell PGH

If you smell it, you breathe it.

Unfortunately, pollution from industrial plants, diesel exhaust and wood smoke in Allegheny County still poses a significant threat, making the air we breathe dirty and people in our communities sick. People living in SW Pennsylvania have a significantly higher risk of developing cancer due to this exposure. Our air was ranked 8th worst in the United States in 2016 by the American Lung Association.

Foul odors outside may indicate a serious pollution problem in your community. If your air smells toxic, then it is possible that you are inhaling toxins.

Now, there is something simple you can do to help improve our air. Download and use the new Smell PGH app, which allows you to report foul odors directly to the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) so they can better monitor and act on these incidents of bad smelling air. The app also includes a compelling visualization of smell reports across Pittsburgh, so you can see the widespread impact of poor odors in our community.

Smell PGH, created by Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab in collaboration with many Pittsburgh partners,  crowdsources smell reports so that air pollution across Pittsburgh can be tracked through our experiences with poor odors. The app is easy to install and it only takes seconds to submit a smell report.

When we come together as a community, we’re able to take big steps toward cleaning up our city’s air, once and for all. It’s time for us to work together on improving the air we breathe and building a sustainable future for everyone in Allegheny County.

Be part of cleaning up the air in our neighborhoods and communities. Visit bit.ly/smellPittsburgh to learn more and begin using the Smell PGH app.

Click here to download the iOS app
Click here for the Android app

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1089302 2016-09-12T15:13:51Z 2020-08-28T09:55:33Z Crisis Housing Shelter offers a robot makerspace!

The Drake House in Atlanta explores the Hummingbird Robotics Kit

The Drake House in Atlanta recently sponsored a series of events introducing robotics to teens who are housed in a short term crisis housing shelter.   

A makerspace studio was set up using BirdBrain Technologies’ Hummingbird Robotics KITs. This was a great opportunity to engineer, craft and program robots for the first time.

The teens were amazing!  In less than two hours they were programming LED’s, servos and sensors using craft and recycled materials. It was truly a rewarding experience to give these courageous youths an opportunity to build confidence and learn new skills.

-Blog post submitted by Gail K. Tate (@gailSTEAMgal), Roboticist & Trainer from AVez Select, LLC.  www.avezselect.com     

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1083183 2016-08-23T14:50:11Z 2021-11-27T08:38:29Z Nearby Nature Professional Development at IU1

"The training I received during the Nearby Nature project held at the IU1 Learning Center in California, PA, was awesome...The abundance of resources provided to participants in this two day professional development was like no other," Howard E. Johnson, Charleroi Area Middle School.

On July 21 and 22, IU1 kicked off the first Nearby Nature Professional Development with 6 teachers from surrounding school districts. Throughout the two-day workshop, teachers learned how to incorporate CREATE and other technologies into their classrooms to get students exploring their outdoor environments.  Read teacher testimonials below.

"The Nearby Nature workshop was extremely interesting and informative. Ryan and Kevin (ASSET) from the CREATE Lab at CMU shared some really great tools that I cannot wait to integrate into my classroom. The Speck will be a great way to promote student thinking about air quality and the Gigapan will be a fun way to start student conversations that can be transformed into meaningful discussions. It can be challenging to motivate students to actively participate in the classroom in an alternative setting. Some of the tools will be great to try to increase our students want to learn, even if they promote awareness and basic principles. Thanks for sharing your tools with us!"

 - Alyssa Hirsh 
Intermediate Unit 1
Science Teacher

"The training I received during the Nearby Nature project held last week at the IU1 Learning Center in California, PA, was awesome.  The information provided regarding indoor air quality monitoring with the SPECK unit will be put to good use in my classroom, as well as the FlaminGO Water Sensor, which I will implement into my Stream Stewardship program.  I especially enjoyed the outdoor activities in the morning (land cover classification) and afternoon (soil testing and cloud identification) utilizing new techniques and equipment to get students actively involved in outdoor ecosystems.  The Problem Based Learning information was especially interesting to me as a middle school science teacher because I strive to get my students actively engaged in beneficial activities as I shift more responsibilities directly them, to enhance their own learning experiences.  The abundance of resources provided to participants in this two day professional development was like no other and will be utilized to enhance my total teaching repertoire."

- Howard E. Johnson
Charleroi Area Middle School

Nearby Nature is a partnership between IU1, RESA III, Marshall University, West Liberty University and the CREATE Lab and is funded by the Benedum Foundation.
For more information on the Nearby Nature Project, email Ryan Hoffman at ryan@cmucreatelab.org

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1081700 2016-08-16T17:24:30Z 2021-06-02T10:28:13Z Microsoft Stores in Atlanta offer Introduction to Robotics

The Microsoft Store in Atlanta recently sponsored a series of free community events introducing robotics to kids 10 years old and up. A maker space environment was set-up along with BirdBrain Technologies’ “HUMMINGBIRD KITs.” This was a great opportunity for students to design, engineer, craft and program robots for the first time! AVez Select, LLC, was the presenter and motivation coach to ‘first time’ roboticists. 

The Microsoft Store supplied Surface Tablets, recycled boxes and art supplies to help unleash animatronic robots.  It was amazing how quickly children were able to program their creatures!

Blog post submitted by Gail K. Tate, Roboticist & Trainer from AVez Select, LLC, and a big fan of BirdBrain Technologies. www.avezselect.com 

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1080730 2016-08-12T16:52:54Z 2020-06-20T19:00:40Z Technology + Empowerement: Now Hiring!

If you or someone you know is looking to make an impact through work focused on tech empowerment, two CREATE Lab related projects are now hiring:

Educator: Be a part of our new CREATE Lab Satellite in Atlanta, CEISMC, as their Educational Outreach Manger. This new hire will be directly involved in establishing this new Satellite with program development, implantation, marketing, and more.

Click here for more information, qualifications, and steps to apply.


Developer: The Lab's spinoff company, AirViz (maker of Speck), is hiring a Firmware Programmer who will develop and manage the interactive code running on the Speck air quality sensor and for new products in their development line.

More information and how to apply can be found here.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1059441 2016-06-03T18:02:41Z 2018-03-21T10:17:35Z Listen to the first episode of the CONTEXT Podcast!

Earlier in May the CREATE Lab launched it's latest podcast: CONTEXT. 

If you aren't familiar, the CONTEXT Conference is a forum for informal and formal educators, administrators, community members, and organizations to consider thoughtful implementation of technology in learning environments. CONTEXT first took place in 2015 and will return in 2017. 

CONTEXT, the podcast, will be what happens in between the conferences. For the first few episodes we are going to look back at CONTEXT 2015 before looking ahead at CONTEXT 2017. We’ll be listening in to the audio from actual talks and panels as well as interviews from the speakers themselves.

We launched with a listen party held at WYEP. Check out the event here.

CONTEXT can be found on the following and pretty much anywhere podcasts are available. 

Listen now:
Pocket Casts

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1058715 2016-06-02T03:02:11Z 2019-08-13T02:19:10Z Speck Training Videos

Below is a set of videos that can guide you through setting up your Speck, understanding online Speck tools and accessing your Speck data.
For more information visit: http://specksensor.com/
(Note: It might be particularly useful to visit the Getting Started and Software pages)

1. Speck Features and Basic Setup

2. Installing the Speck Chrome App

- Windows

- Mac

3. Overview of Speck Chrome App Features

4. Connecting Speck to a Wi-Fi Network


5. Speck Chrome App Settings, including Factory Reset

6. On-Screen Factory Reset for Speck - Versions 16T and Higher


7. Data Upload Configuration

8. Downloading Speck Data

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1050733 2016-05-13T14:00:02Z 2023-07-03T22:41:16Z Join the annual Showcase of Innovation & Creativity

The Children's Innovation Project will be holding their annual Showcase of Innovation and Creativity. Join them for this showcase where children will share learning from the year, including thinking about circuits, noticing and wondering about electronic toys and overall persistence as innovators in the world.

Other learning will also be shared including children's expression through music, visual art, writing, mathematics, scientific inquiry and community-based projects.

Children’s Innovation Project embraces innovation as finding something new inside something known. This frame for innovation allows a slow space for children to find small, authentic discoveries and reflect on themselves in relation to the materials they explore.


Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5

810 Arch Street

Pittsburgh, 1212


Wednesday May 18


tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1046157 2016-05-03T13:33:39Z 2019-12-11T13:19:54Z CREATE Lab and Infosys Foundation USA forging partnership

Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab has received a grant from Infosys Foundation USA to expand the CREATE Lab Satellite Network. The CREATE Lab explores socially meaningful innovation to empower a technologically fluent generation and everyday citizens.

“We are thankful for Infosys Foundation USA’s support,” said CREATE Lab Director of Outreach, Dror Yaron. “Collaborating with them and their extended community enables us to work with like-minded groups who share our passion to enable people from all walks of life to create socially meaningful innovation.”

CREATE Lab and Infosys Foundation USA have identified Salt Lake City and Atlanta as initial locations for the Satellite labs.

Together with key partners CREATE Lab has identified the Washington cluster of Atlanta Public Schools as an area of great need and opportunity. The initial Satellite development and efforts will start there with a new K-8 STEM Academy, scheduled to open in Washington this fall.  This will be the centerpiece and demonstration site in Atlanta. Key partners in Atlanta are Georgia State, Georgia Tech, CEISMC, Atlanta Public Schools, and the Blank Foundation.

In Utah, the Lab and Infosys Foundation USA are working with Tamara Goetz, director of Utah’s STEM Action Center. The STEM Action Center prioritizes STEM education, which works to develop Utah’s workforce of the future. The program drives research and implementation of STEM education best practices across Utah.

Vandana Sikka, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation USA, said, “The Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab is a wonderful combination of innovative hands-on technology programs and local community action.  By combining these powerful forces we can empower the next generation of students with the creative confidence to be successful.”

About Infosys Foundation USA

Infosys Foundation USA is focused on bridging the digital divide in America by supporting high quality computer science education and coding skills with a particular focus on under-represented communities. It aims to give children and young adults the skills they need to become creators, not just consumers, of technology.  In pursuit of this mission, in 2015 alone, the Foundation has partnered with many internationally acclaimed non-profits and institutions like Code.org, New York Academy of Sciences, DonorsChoose.org, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, Infosys Foundation USA recently committed a million dollars to the Infy Maker Awards to inspire makers across the U.S. to demonstrate creative excellence in making projects with genuine impact.


Learn more at http://www.infosys.org/infosys-foundation-usa/ and follow on Twitter @InfyFoundation or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InfosysFoundationUSA


tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1045888 2016-05-03T00:51:12Z 2019-07-12T12:02:36Z Join us for Remake Learning Days as we launch the CONTEXT Podcast!

Over the past ten years, the greater Pittsburgh region has created a national model for learning innovation known as the Remake Learning Network. National leaders will converge in Pittsburgh May 9-15 for Remake Learning Days, a weeklong celebration of the region’s ascendancy as a center of future-facing learning. http://remakelearningdays.org/

The lab will celebrate with an event on May 12 at 6pm: Join the CREATE Lab as we celebrate the launch of the Lab's newest podcast: CONTEXT. We will have a listening party followed by a Q&A session. Join us to hear the podcast and network or just hangout. (Yes, it is completely free- just please register)

The CONTEXT Conference is a forum for informal and formal educators, administrators, community members, and organizations to consider thoughtful implementation of technology in learning environments. CONTEXT first took place in 2015 and will return in 2017.

CONTEXT, the podcast, will be what happens in between the conferences. For the first few episodes we are going to look back at CONTEXT 2015 before looking ahead at CONTEXT 2017. We’ll be listening in the audio from actual talks and panels as well as interviews from the speakers themselves.

For the debut join us for a listening party followed by a live interview and discussion at WYEP/WESA’s Community Broadcast Center. Light refreshments will be provided.


Register Here


Remake Learning is a professional network of educators and innovators working together to shape the future of teaching and learning in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Representing more than 250 organizations, including early learning centers & schools, museums & libraries, afterschool programs & community nonprofits, colleges & universities, ed-tech startups & major employers, philanthropies & civic leaders, Remake Learning is collaborative effort to inspire and empower a generation of lifelong learners in Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and beyond. Learn more and get involved at www.remakelearning.org.   

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1003149 2016-02-28T19:01:33Z 2019-10-04T11:27:19Z Hiring: Android App Developer

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/975398 2016-01-21T15:41:34Z 2018-10-19T10:31:13Z Next round of InfyMakers open to young makers

UPDATE: Finalizing your ‪#‎InfyMakers‬ entry? Infosys has set up two Q&A Webinars this week to answer all your questions:

http://bit.ly/1nkb0rC (WED 1/27 4pm PST)

http://bit.ly/20pCbjo (FRI 1/29 6pm PST)

If you prefer, there is a teleconference or voice only version for both dates: 

Call-in number: 1-617-9365607  (US)

US Toll Free: 1844 445 2700

Attendee access code: 587 538 6919 


The deadline for the second round of Infy Makers Award is February 1 and this round, youth and children can enter as well.

25 young Makers (under 18) will win $1,000 each. In addition, each young winner can also nominate a school, library or community organization to receive a grant worth $10,000 to establish a Makerspace. The award nomination form for young Makers can be found at the Infy Makers website. As in the last round, 10 adults will win $10,000 each as well.

To enter, submit a short video about an existing project and fill out the entry form.

Please carefully read and follow entry requirements.

The judges will be looking for projects that provide solutions to real world problems and are innovative uses of technology. They will also be looking at originality of ideas and quality of presentations.

The Infy Makers Awards is a Maker Awards program from Infosys Foundation USA to support Makers in the United States. The winners of the 2015 fall cycle round can be found here.

To stay connected follow #InfyMakers on twitter.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/947223 2015-12-10T20:21:45Z 2023-03-14T09:50:55Z DEADLINE: Apply to ASSET's Spring 2016 research and development pilots

UPDATE: The Nature of Science through Air Quality (Grades 3-8) is now on March 4, 2016.  To apply follow this link


ASSET STEM Education, a part of the CREATE Lab Satellite network, is a national education improvement nonprofit with professional development, hands-on educational materials, and consulting services. 

The Satellite Network combines tech innovation with education know-how to empower communities and schools. Outreach teams at colleges of education (Marshall, West Liberty, Carlow and West Virginia Universities) locally adapt, pilot and share CREATE Lab projects. ASSET amplifies the impact of satellites, through professional development to an ever-broadening set of locations. 

ASSET has a series of upcoming research and development pilots in early 2016. Below are details on the upcoming pilot programs. The deadline to participate is December 15, 2015.  

Project-Based Learning: Design and Development (Grades K-6 / January 12-13, 2016)

(This pilot involves professional development only. Recommended resource, Project-Based Learning: Differentiating Instruction for the 21st Century by: Wm. Bender, is optional.)

This course is offered to educators in all curricular areas who want to design, develop and implement a Project-Based Learning (PBL) experience for their students.  Participants will establish foundational knowledge of the essential features/characteristics of Project-Based Learning such as: crafting an anchor and driving question, planning opportunities for feedback and revision, and engaging students in cross-curricular instruction and learning.  Participants will use those components to design and develop their own PBL.  They will leave the course with the outline of a PBL plan. 

Nature of Science through Air Quality (Grades 3-8 / February 4, 2016)

(This pilot involves a materials component, as well as professional development.)

Please NOTE: The SPECK Sensor will be provided for the pilot ONLY and must be RETURNED at the conclusion of the pilot implementation. 

The Nature of Science through Air Quality course will equip classroom educators with the confidence in teaching and content knowledge needed to help students engage in the Nature of Science to explore air quality in their community. Teachers will develop a project that will engage students in their own learning by asking: Have others reached the same conclusions? What do these findings mean? What consequences, if any, are associated with these findings? What should be done? Who are the stakeholder groups and how might they be affected? As a result, students will experience the real-life implications of scientific knowledge--that there is meaning and utility attached to scientific findings. 

As part of the ASSET STEM Education Research and Development process, we are looking for interested classroom teachers who will be able to attend professional development and engage in the SPECK Sensor technology within the classroom with a focus on the Nature of Science and investigations in Air Quality. 

As part of the pilot, participants will receive professional development and the SPECK Sensor to be utilized in the classroom. Please note that the professional development will engage participants in the use and capabilities of the technology, but is intended to be used to complement or enhance a school's existing curriculum, program or unit. Participants will be expected to develop a plan for implementing the Speck Sensor technology within their current curriculum.

First Steps in Coding (Pre-K-2nd Grade / March 9, 2016)

(This pilot involves professional development.)

Today’s young children are surrounded by technology. They do not know of a world without it. It is up to adults to help them understand its relevance and how technology is made. Part of understanding how technology is developed is for children to move from being a consumer of technology to being a producer of technology.  Children should know how computer technology is made because it is something they use every day. Coding helps children understand how this technology is made.  Through this course, participants will be introduced to coding strategies through the use of Bee-Bots, website activities, elementary coding apps and traditional classroom activities in order to develop computational thinking and gain an introductory understanding of coding. 

Although not required, collaboration between school districts and their local Early Learning Centers/Pre-schools is encouraged through this pilot to develop a more seamless transition from Pre-K to Early Elementary.


If you are interested in participating in an upcoming pilot, please complete this survey by December 15th.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/945419 2015-12-07T18:29:46Z 2018-03-21T10:30:19Z UPDATED: Specks in Pittsburgh Public Libraries!

UPDATE: The Speck Study is still ongoing. To participate check out a Speck and complete this survey. 

If you've already checked out a Speck and returned it you can take the second part of the survey by selecting "No, I'm returning the Speck."

If you've checked out the Speck and completed both parts of the survey you will be entered win one of the five free Specks.


Speck air quality monitors are now available in 14 different Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations! Speck is an air quality monitor that detects fine particulate matter in your indoor environment and informs you about trends and changes in particle concentration.

The Speck can be used to test whether your vacuum exudes particles, whether your cleaning products are making your employees cough, whether your kitchen range hood exhausts to your child’s bedroom and more.

Check out a Speck from your local library and join our study to help us empower more people to explore and improve their indoor air quality. Find out how below. 

Participation is simple:

  1. Check out a Speck from the library
  2. Fill out a short survey BEFORE taking your Speck home
  3. Complete a brief final survey when you return the Speck

Joining the study also makes you eligible to win 1 of 5 free Specks!

Already checked out a Speck? You can still participate!

Sign up today - http://bit.ly/SpeckStudy

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/941124 2015-11-30T19:04:38Z 2019-05-27T05:39:21Z Pittsburgh takes notice of Shenango Coke Works

Pittsburgh has been taking notice of DTE Energy’s Shenango Coke Works' activities on Neville Island thanks to the Shenango Channel (a time-lapse video feed of the island). In November alone three articles were published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in regards to the channel and Shenango Coke Works activities. 

Shenango Channel keeps an eye on the Neville Island sky

Randy Sargent, a senior systems scientist in the CREATE Lab, said the Shenango Channel empowers residents with an interactive way to access evidence in one location to support what they see or smell.

“What we’re seeing already is that the conversation is moving from allegations and denials — a ‘he said-she said’ situation — to a new thing that provides a lot more certainty and transparency,” he said. “These cameras are showing fugitive emissions from the coking operation and doing so in a powerful way.”

On November 16, Post-Gazette Environment reporter Don Hopey put a spotlight on just what the Shenango Channel does. For anyone not familiar with the channel and its origins this article is a great resource. Read the full article here.

Regulators reviewing Shenango Coke Works' compliance with 2012 consent decree
"But what I see in the video [Shenango Channel]," he said, referring to images from the "Shenango Channel" that were projected on a screen at the front of the meeting room, "is totally unacceptable." -David Arnold, Acting Director of the EPA's Region III Air Protection Devision
Just a few days later the news broke that "federal and county regulators are reviewing whether recent, continuing, air pollution emissions problems at DTE Energy’s Shenango Coke Works on Neville Island put the facility in violation of its 2012 federal consent decree." 

The Post-Gazette reported that three EPA administrators from the Region III Air Protection Division in Philadelphia: Dave Arnold, acting director; Zelma Maldonado, associate director of enforcement; and Jim Hagedorn, a senior enforcement inspector attended the community meeting of the grassroots citizens group, Allegheny County Clean Air Now. Read the full article here.

...you don’t have to be a pollution specialist to be able to keep an eye on the smokestacks yourself. Now people wary of the plant’s emissions are able to watch the results, 24/​7, even in their pajamas.
A few days later the Post-Gazette's Editorial Board weighed in on the importance of the civilian eye and creating the citizen scientist. The Editorial Board recalls Pittsburgh's captivation with the "eagle cam" last spring. They go on to say, "Raptors are one thing, but will people be as enthralled watching time-lapse video of air pollution? If they care about their health, they should be." Read the full article here.

Check out the video tour of the Shenengo Channel to become a citizen scientist and be witness to Pittsburgh's air quality.
tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/914165 2015-10-07T20:42:44Z 2018-03-21T10:28:01Z GigaPan at Science Fair in Aldeia, Brazil

GigaPan was highlighted in three booths during the science fair at the Internacional School of Aldeia (EIA) in Camaragibe - PE, Brazil.

The theme for the science fair was I Like and I Share My Love for Aldeia. Aldeia is a neighborhood 15 km west of the city of Recife with a large area of well preserved Atlantic Forest.

Mrs. Juliana’s 4th grade booth used a GigaPan image as a backdrop. This GigaPan was taken by a group of 6th grade photography students. The image is of a fruit stand located about 100 meters from the school. The booth showed the importance of informal business in Aldeia.

Mrs. Ana Maria and her students designed a recreational guide for Aldeia. She used a GigaPan image taken of a small stream located on school property. View the GigaPan with the snapshot guide here: http://gigapan.com/gigapans/179312

Mrs. Vivian used an image of a Cashew tree to represent a timeline of Aldeia. The fruits, which were represented by photos, were hanging from the large print. On the left branches of the tree, the images show Aldeia before its major growth and development, and the pictures on the right of the tree, were current images of Aldeia.

The education gained and the experiences had, working with GigaPan and each other at EIA, is just the beginning. There are many more projects on the horizon.

Guest post by: Clara Phillips, Escola Internacional de Aldeia

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/903938 2015-09-11T14:47:11Z 2019-05-02T06:38:30Z Hummingbird Makeathon

Guest post by Tom Lauwers, Birdbrain Technologies

Birdbrain Technologies would like to invite Pittsburgh area high schoolers to join us for a free weekend of fun, creative making!

On September 26 & 27 we are holding a Hummingbird Makeathon where teams of teens will join together to create awesome robotic pets. 2 weeks later we will display these creatures to the community at our "Robot Petting Zoo" at the Pittsburgh Maker Faire.

The Makeathon is designed to be beginner friendly; teens do not need to have any experience with robotics or computer programming to attend, just a willingness to be creative and try new things! 

You can learn more and apply at:

If you have any questions please email us at makeathon@hummingbirdkit.com.
tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/899635 2015-09-01T15:14:31Z 2018-07-18T09:19:03Z Meet CREATE Lab's first Social Entrepreneur in Residence

At CMU’s H. John Heinz III College, the Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) exists as a resource through which CMU students can use their newly formed skills in areas ranging from policy, management, and health care to data analytics, education, and media to develop cutting-edge tools, ventures, and initiatives for social impact. To this end, the ISI launched the Social Entrepreneurship in Residence program in 2014, in partnership with CMU’s Community, Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab (CREATE Lab).

For the 2014-15 academic year, Manoj Ravi, a second-year Global Master of Information Systems Management (Global MISM) student, worked with the CREATE Lab to help develop “Message from Me”.

Read more about the residency here.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/884371 2015-07-21T14:18:46Z 2018-10-05T16:58:57Z Finch Loan Program for Classrooms and Libraries

Apply today to borrow some Finch robots, a perfect companion for computer science education!

Earlier this year BirdBrain Technologies loaned out 500 Finch robots to schools/libraries across the country to catalyze computer science activities.  

They are expanding the program once again: loaning out 750 Finches in total for use from October 2015 to August 2016. They have made a number of modifications to the program: you can now request to borrow as few as ten robots, and you can keep the robots for two months (or longer, if properly justified). Participation is completely free.

The Finch robot is an engaging tool for learning programming and computational thinking. It has support for over a dozen programming languages, including environments appropriate for students as young as eight years old. With light, temperature, and obstacle sensors, buzzers, LEDs, accelerometers, and even a pen mount for drawing, the options are limitless!
Learn more about the Finch and apply for the 2015/2016 loan program by August 2, 2015: http://www.finchrobot.com/loan-program/main

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/851755 2015-05-05T16:26:03Z 2019-01-13T18:35:11Z What is connected learning?

Guest post by Kyle Matthew Oliver

Connected learning is, in short, an opportunity for churches to more deeply engage with their communities and invest in local young people.

It is also a movement that acknowledges a truth churches have always known: that learning happens everywhere.

In communities across the country, especially in self-identified Cities of Learning, educators and other local leaders are finding ways to nurture and coordinate this learning, formal and informal. Connected learning partners include schools, libraries, museums, scouting groups, Boys and Girls Clubs, and—our perennial favorite in the faith formation world—households.

My friend and colleague Lisa Brown and I just attended a gathering of connected learning practitioners in Pittsburgh. It was sponsored by one of the major funders of connected learning initiatives in that region and hosted by Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab.

We came away with the strong conviction that congregations have a role to play in the connected learning ecosystems emerging all over the country.

On the whole, the educators we met seemed open to the idea of partnering with faith groups. Indeed, Michael Robbins of Span Learning came to his current work helping launch Washington’s District of Learning from a previous position at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education

But clearly it hadn’t occurred to most of the teachers and nonprofit leaders we met that they might reach out to churches for space to host connected learning programs or to partner in designing and offering them.

On further reflection, that wasn’t exactly surprising:

  • Finding the right partners and building sustainable collaborations in this emerging movement is not easy. And the religious dimension, including fear of young learners being proselytized, may make it particularly difficult to build trust around faith-based involvement in connected learning.
  • Poor church websites and IT infrastructure make it difficult to discover and promote programs at churches, and to host learning that takes advantage of Internet connectivity or other specialized tools.
  • Although churches have much to offer such partnerships—we are experienced event planners, savvy designers of age-appropriate learning experiences, and supporters and practitioners of the visual and performing arts—our interest and skill is probably not well-known to those coordinating connected learning initiatives.

We know lots of churches are already involved in formal and informal learning communities in their neighborhoods. Here are just some of the ways Christians have been involved in the connected learning movement before it was called that:

  • hosting and providing volunteers for after-school tutoring,
  • training young musicians through choir school programs,
  • sponsoring scouting troops,
  • contributing to mentoring and wellness programs for at-risk youth, and
  • (you knew it was coming) providing safe summer space and teaching the values of faith through summer camps and VBS.

We hope as this movement gains momentum, these experienced partner-ers will help teach the rest of us best practices for getting connected. We know that most faith groups need to do a better job of translating their missions to secular audiences and finding common cause with others who work for justice and the betterment of our communities.

I hope we will also reach out to the leadership of these increasingly sophisticated connected learning networks to learn about what they’re seeking: space needs, programming needs, leadership and volunteer needs.

I hope we will be creative and flexible in thinking through what we have to offer. We can do so much to invest in our communities and get churches on their radars in the process. “Butts in pews” are not the point of this work, though we know engaged congregations often grow as a result of their community involvement.

Helping transform our neighborhoods into places of vibrant and meaningful lifelong learning should be its own reward. And it fits perfectly into our mission—empowered as it is by the Spirit who leads us into all truth and connects us one to another.

Kyle Matthew Oliver (@kmoliver) is digital missioner and learning lab coordinator in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching. Before seminary, he helped found a connected learning network called The Hacker Within for graduate students in Madison, WI.

Photo credit: “Pick Your Play: Digital or Analog?” by Eugene Kim via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/849682 2015-05-01T15:13:24Z 2018-10-05T16:58:04Z What does tech fluency have to do with Christian formation?

Guest post by Lisa Brown.

The following post was initially written for an Episcopalian Christian educator’s blog but it I hope it would encourage anyone who wants to make the world a better place.


I just spent two days at Context 2015: Tech Fluency for Teaching & Learning. The conference was sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, housed in the university’s Robots Institute.

What could an Episcopal priest (e-Formation’s Kyle Oliver) and a Sunday school teacher (that’s me) possibly gain from this gathering of techies, scientists, and secular educators? What could we want with robotics? Circuitry? Digital imaging? Digital badges?

What would Mr. Rogers say?

Perhaps a hint that we weren’t completely out of our element was represented in the simple choice of venue for the event.

In addition to the breakout sessions at the university—which is known for both letters and science—we gathered for each morning’s keynote address in the Carnegie Museum of Art. Best of all, we concluded our conference in WQED studios, where the perennial children’s classic television show Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood was filmed.

In addition to being a beloved presence in the lives of millions of children, Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister whose message of unconditional love is embodied by Christian formation ministers everywhere. His theology was expressed in his profound respect for children’s curiosity, their worldview, and their need to explore. This gentle outlook served budding philosophers and scientists equally well.

Which brings us back to the technology. We couldn’t help but think about how what we saw at the conference would be useful in Christian formation. Here are a couple of ideas …

Arts & Bots: Bringing poetry to life

As an incredible example of the intersection of humanities and science, we learned about one of the “Arts & Bots” projects in which students created motorized shoebox dioramas based on poetry.

In choosing which poetic image to represent, and by carefully constructing the diorama out of traditional craft materials brought to life by robotic components for motion, sound, and light, the students were encouraged to “go deeper” into the meaning of the poems they were studying.

They were forced to consider the writer’s intention and context, as they reread and interpreted the words as a visual, animated image. In their personal response, they were forced to ask “I wonder?” questions.

Wait a minute. That creative exegesis and questioning sounds a lot like Godly Play.

Telling a story with 100 objects

In an illustration of technology being used to enhance historical understanding, we discovered the “100 Objects” project. Based on a popular exhibit at the British Museum, “The History of the World in 100 Objects,” the instructor asked his students to narrate a history of race in the U.S.

The students chose the objects, and then recorded audio podcasts telling a first-person narrative, a witness to history from the “perspective” of that object. Next, the students used graphic design software to create posters featuring the object and a scannable QR code.

The posters were displayed where other students could use their smartphones to read the QR code and gain access to the podcast. In one example, we listened to a microphone from the Cotton Club talk about being present in one of the first spaces where people of different races could mingle socially and witnessing the memorable day when Billie Holiday sang.

Wait a minute. Educating young people about the history of race in America sounds like an effort to transform unjust structures of society. That’s one of the Five Marks of Mission in the Episcopal Church.

Immigrant children become Bigshots

Another fascinating demonstration introduced the Bigshot” camera, the first digital camera designed for experiential learning. Children can assemble the entire device from a kit, and understand much of the underlying science with the help of some engaging online tutorials.

As a Christian educator, they had me at “experiential.”

In one Bigshot learning project, immigrant children were each given a kit to assemble the digital camera, which is powered by a hand-crank and features a “Swiss Army”-style rotating lens. The children then took to the local art museum, where none had ever visited. They took photos there, had them printed (something most could not have afforded to do), and then got to see them exhibited at the museum with their families as special guests.

To tell our story is a basic human urge; in fact, it is through storytelling that our shared identity is formed and propagated.

For these mostly marginalized children, for whom English was a second language, and for whom economic and academic prospects were sadly limited, this camera gave them a voice with which to speak and be heard. It gave them a measure of dignity.

Wait a minute. That sounds a lot like the Baptismal Covenant promise to “…strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” (Episcopal Book of Common Prayer)


At this point you may be asking if these examples are just gimmicks. Isn’t it a bit of a stunt to pitch technology education as Christian formation. I think not.

Here’s an observation: in today’s world, if you give an 18-month-old child a spoon and an iPhone, you might be shocked to discover that they are equally adept with both tools.

Technology provides us with tools. And tools are no more and no less than the means by which we accomplish something else.

We build, we travel, we communicate using our tools. We share our faith using our tools. Before you could read the Bible on your Kindle, you read it in a book printed on a digital printer. Or an offset printer.

Before the printing press, it would have been a hand-copied book written with a quill. Further back, before most people could read, we shared our stories and formed our community using stained glass windows and altar frescoes, crafted with hand tools and delicate brushes. We used the tools we had to tell our story.

So today, when we have tools that are capable of miracles compared to their precursors, why wouldn’t we use them?

This is how people communicate. This is how people form communities. This is how people interpret the world in which we live.

To proclaim the Good News, to teach and nurture believers, we need to meet them where they are. We need to speak their language.

It was with an almost theological orientation that Context Conference keynote speaker, former Carnegie Mellon provost Indira Nair, urged us to teach the next generation to use the marvelous tools available to us. The root of the word “technology,” she explained, was derived from the Greek word tekhne, meaning art, or craftsmanship, and logos, meaning expression.

What tools in our modern world will allow us to cleverly craft and express the foundational stories of our faith? As Nair noted, “…stories inspire and orient me.”

What tools will allow us to carry our faith into the next century and orient young believers? How can they help us to, as Nair challenged us, “invert the standard power relationship and privilege the child’s voice”?

As Christian educators, these are the questions we need to be asking.

Lisa Brown (@LCBrown67 ) is the Director of Children’s Ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also a coordinator for the Children’s Ministry Team of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, an active member of Forma, and a multi-troop Girl Scout leader, Lisa is passionate about creatively engaging, enlightening, and enriching the spiritual lives of young people.

The Rev. Kyle Oliver is the Digital Missioner and Learning Lab Coordinator for the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. He is the coordinator of the E-formation Conference (http://www.eformationvts.org/ ) which is an ecumenical conference on ministry in a digital world.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/848851 2015-04-29T15:33:28Z 2020-08-28T09:34:42Z Educational Technology Fluency at CONTEXT 2015

The Context 2015 Conference held April 21-23, 2015, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was an amazing opportunity to meet, connect, and learn from so many knowledgable and passionate educators. I attended on Wednesday and enjoyed hearing Illah Nourbakhsh welcome attendees in the Carnegie Museum of Art and update everyone on the fantastic work from teachers and students using CREATE Lab resources to connect with their communities and use technology in creative ways. A nice tie in to Earth Day, I especially enjoyed learning about the Lemonade Stand project where "young scientists" used digital data collected with the CATTFish, a device which measures water quality. Do you know what's in your water?  These kids do; and they found a "sweet" way to educate others and build awareness. Check out out this video:

I was inspired by Keynote Speaker, Indira Nair. She discussed how technology at the root of the word means art and expression.  She advised us that “shared language leads to shared understanding.”  She also explained that technology education is “guiding [students] to thinking of and working in a bigger system with appropriate choices, ethics, languages, and voices.”  Her stories about her teaching experiences were entertaining and endearing. She gave an example of a high school student who asked a speaker at the end of his presentation on algae, “Who cares?” Teachers in the audience gave a little chuckle and Indira explained how she quickly rephrased the question for the presenter, saying, “What Joe means is…” But she went on to explain how she thought the student’s question was “very, very deep.” This powerful example stressed the importance of making meaningful lessons. She shared  how she would always “tell her students up front” what she was “trying to do” and that she “made sure her students CARE about and understand WHY” she was “trying to teach something and not  just WHAT she was teaching.” She left us with the same words she delivered to her students at the end of her courses, “I hope you leave with more questions than when you came in.” I would love to have been a student in her class!

We enjoyed a rainy Earth Day walk outside to CMU with a colorful umbrella parade. We were welcomed with hot coffee and dispersed to our choice of sessions or workshops. I enjoyed Riverpoint Academy teachers, Regan Drew and John Marshall, share examples of student’s using “real tools, to solve real problems, for real people.” I loved their way of introducing tools by leaving them out and allowing the student’s natural curiosity to lead them to learning about their uses and build on their own interests and talents.  Robert Bandao and Rick Malmstrom, from the Ellis School had a dynamic presentation on teamwork with collaborative strategies for integrating technology in creativity ways. Their presentation included a cross-cultural exchange with a school in Brazil as an an example of showing how technology makes it possible to expand beyond the walls of your classroom.

It was standing room only in the Tech Fluency Session, followed by a boxed lunch with a choice of sandwich, cookie, and the best potato chips, I ever tasted.  I enjoyed sharing ideas about CREATE Lab and the GigaPan at lunch with some out of state educators who work at the collegiate level. If you haven’t seen any GIGApans yet, check out http://gigapan.com/ as a resource for your classroom and look at http://www.cmucreatelab.org/projects/GigaPan/pages/GigaPan_Education for some great ideas for classroom use with CREATE Lab.

The Context Clinic was a wonderful opportunity to visit different stations to learn about tech fluency from experts!  There were teachers taking notes, brainstorming, sharing ideas and advice.

I joined Mac Howison (Sprout Fund), Gregg Behr  (Grable Foundation), Jim Denova (Benedum Foundation), and Megan Cicconi (Allegheny Intermediate Unit) in a Workshop on Idea Generation: Refining Projects for Grant Writing. The panel presented information on local grant opportunities and allowed time for small group work to craft or develop an idea that could lead to a grant proposal. As a classroom teacher, I was happy to share some grant writing tips including:

    1. Be creative and follow your passion when looking for grant opportunities.
    2. Look for that “shared language” that Indira Nair talked about in her Keynote.
    Take advantage of the resources and contacts that you have.
    3. Be an innovator.  Indira Nair also told us that “innovators, know one thing well, but can expand beyond it.”  Look for opportunities to collaborate with other groups to make connections for support and for project sustainability.
    4. If you don’t get what you need at the start, don’t be afraid to keep asking.  Be positive, and ask someone else for support or help.
    5. Say THANKS.  Explain to the group who offered support how you will help share their message.  Speak at conferences to share your work and spread the good news of your success.

The conference was a great experience and a way to connect with some old friends and make new friends. Thanks to conference team, you did a fantastic job.
And special thanks to the conference organizers and teams.  I hope everyone will continue the conversations started at the conference in in the words of Indira Nair, “I hope you leave with more questions than you came in [to the conference] with!”

Here is an Animoto with some photos from Wednesday at the conference.

Guest post by:
Zee Ann Poerio, K-8 Computer Teacher
St. Louise de Marillac School
tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/836006 2015-04-07T15:51:20Z 2018-10-05T16:56:39Z Air Pollution and Asthma - Middle School Girls Feature SPECK in Video Competition Entry

Allegheny Traditional Academy middle school girls engaged in the after school program STEM Stars focused their Carnegie Science Center i5 Digital Video competition entry on Air Pollution and Asthma.  SPECK played a feature role as the girls used the monitors to assess the air quality in their own school.  Check out their culminating video:

STEM Stars, a joint program between the Carnegie Science Center and the YWCA, targets middle school girls in Allegheny County.  The goal of STEM Stars is to improve academic achievement and increase interest in and awareness of STEM topics and careers.

-guest post by Cathy Rohrer

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/836005 2015-04-06T12:51:19Z 2018-10-05T16:55:20Z Art, Conflict and GigaPan in Northern Ireland

16 Carnegie Mellon University students spent their spring break in Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of a new Art, Conflict and Technology course, a collaboration between CMU CREATE Lab, College of Fine Art and Department of English. Read more about the trip here or view their GigaPans here.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/827528 2015-03-20T16:38:40Z 2019-08-03T15:07:47Z Robotize Your Child's Summer with Arts & Bots Summer Camps

ASSET STEM Education

Arts & Bots

Ages 8-14 Thursday-Friday 9 am - 4 pm

June 22-26
July 13 -17

Register for the first week HERE
Register for the second week HERE

For more information, call 412-481-7320 

What happens when you combine your creativity with computer programming? Craft and code your very own robotic creation using electronic components and recycled materials to amaze your friends and family. Each camper will take home the Hummingbird Basic Programming kit to power their robot.

Daily fee includes lunch and snacks; before- and after-care available for $10/day. Sign up for 1-3 days or the week to fit your schedule & budget!. All campers receive a camp t-shirt! Arts & Bots class includes a take-home Hummingbird controller kit.

$365 for full week / $200 for just Arts & Bots class



Ages 8-9, Full Day Camps 9 am – 3 pm


To register: call 412.237.1637 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday

Aug. 3 – 7

Technology and imagination unite as you combine craft materials and robotic components to build and animate robotic creations. Using visual programming software and Hummingbird Robotics Kits, campers will engage in the artistic side of robotics
$235 members / $250 non-members (price includes materials fee) 



Ages 10-12, Full Day Camps 9 am – 3 pm

To register: call 412.237.1637 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday

June 22-26
July 6-10
July 20-24

Technology and imagination unite as you combine craft materials and robotic components to build and animate robotic creations. Using visual programming software and Hummingbird Robotics Kits, campers will engage in the artistic side of robotics
$235 members / $250 non-members (price includes materials fee)


Robot Programming


Grades 5th-7th, Full Day Camps 9 am - 3pm (extended day available till 6:30pm)

Register HERE

July 27th-31st

We will only be offering one week of this super awesome session! We will be using the fantastic Hummingbird robotics kit to teach programming. This versatile platform was designed at Carnegie Melon’s CREATE lab.

It is the perfect introduction to programming as it combines hands-on building and art with real electronics (servos, LEDs, motors, sensors) with programming. No previous programming experience is necessary. The kids will work in small groups and create robots that interact with the other robots and environment. Students will not be taking home any projects at the end of the session


tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/811484 2015-02-13T20:58:19Z 2019-06-22T10:02:59Z Macroinvertebrates gigapixel project wins IXD award

This week, The Aquatic Macoroinvertebrates Collection won the Engaging category of the national IXD Awards. The Interaction Design (IXD) Awards recognize and celebrate examples of excellence in Interaction Design across domains, channels, environments and cultures. 

The macroinvertebrates project leverages an emerging class of gigapixel image technology to make the process of learning to see and identify insects more visual and engaging, without sacrificing scientific detail. Accurately identifying stream insects is a vital aspect of tracking water quality and protecting the health of watersheds, but it requires developing observational skills and knowledge to be able to participate. The site enables a variety of learners to more fully engage and participate in monitoring, environmental decision-making, and activism around the protection and conservation of our freshwater water resources.

Big congratulations to the entire Macroinvertebrates team! 

More info about the IXD Awards and the other entries can be found here.
tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/803547 2015-01-27T23:55:25Z 2018-07-18T09:19:03Z STEAM Showcase @ Carlow CREATE Lab Satellite
The projects on display in this showcase represent learning experiences constructed by our faculty to prepare students with 21st century skills.

•       Student science research projects
•       Robotics activities
•       CREATE Lab Satellite Projects
•       The 1-to-1 Computing Initiative
•       Interdisciplinary Projects in Fine Arts, Language Arts, Math, Religion, Science, Social Studies

Family Night
JANUARY 28, 2015
6 – 8 pm
Meet our student scientists

St. Agnes Center, on the Carlow University Campus
3333 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

We recognize the value of interdisciplinary investigation,
and the inspiration that results from the convergence of different disciplines.

tag:create.posthaven.com,2013:Post/799588 2015-01-23T19:59:29Z 2015-01-23T20:00:52Z Speck Monitor Empowers Citizen Scientists

The Speck air quality monitor was mentioned in a recent article by NPR's StateImpact series. The article focuses on citizen scientists and the impact their data can have on scientific research and activism. Part of the article covered the Citizen Sense project from the University of London. As part of the project, researchers gave Speck monitors to people living near natural gas development in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna county. The main interest of the project is not the air quality readings but what the residents do with the data.

The full article can be found here.

Website for the project can be found here.