The Museum offers the following youth programs to engage youth in a variety of activities that instill confidence and increase their responsibility and productivity in a secure and nurturing environment:
Public Youth Programs
Programs that offer meaningful activities in making, cooking and gardening for kids 10-18 years old that help them discover their potential, develop their talents and abilities and explore their interests. The Museum collaborates with partners and local experts, education professionals and youth leaders to lead programs.
This casual after hours program allows youth ages 10+ to experience MAKESHOP with friends and peers, and without parents or younger siblings. A wide variety of activites are available at each monthly event, from chocolate moldmaking to laser cutting. Snacks are provided and participants are supervised by MAKESHOP Teaching Artists who guide and assist their exploration of the space and activities. Check out the MAKESHOP blog for photos and information about Youth Make, older child workshops and other opportunities.
This program offers monthly, hands-on seasonal gardening workshops for middle and high school youth, targeting youth from the North Side as well as the general Pittsburgh region. Workshops are seasonally-themed, such as plant dyes, papermaking, and wreath making in the fall and winter, and mushroom logs, leaf and flower presses, bouquet making, and creating 'bug mansions' in spring and summer. Workshops are facilitated by a Program Coordinator experienced in gardening and youth development, and may feature guest artists and growers.
This program offers monthly, hands-on seasonal cooking workshops for middle and high school youth, targeting youth from the North Side as well as the general Pittsburgh region. Using food harvested from the Museum’s five on-site and community gardens, youth learn to cook accessible, healthy recipes. The Museum partners with farm cooperative Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance to introduce youth to the concept of community-supported agriculture, and youth test and write recipes for the Penn’s Corner blog. Workshops are facilitated by a Program Coordinator experienced in gardening and youth development, and may feature guest chefs.
Tripoli Street Garden Nights
Youth can volunteer at the Museum’s largest neighborhood garden site, an existing ¼ acre North Side lot on Tripoli Street, for weekly evening gardening experiences such as planting, tending and harvesting, with a focus on permaculture and sustainable practices. Taking place every Tuesday and Thursday from mid-June through September, this training program empowers local teens with a variety of gardening and career skills. The program is open to both North Side youth and youth from throughout the Pittsburgh region, as well as North Side families and neighbors.
After School Programs
This afterschool program engages students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Pittsburgh Allegheny Traditional Academy in making activities in the Museum's MAKESHOP space, interacting and learning from MAKESHOP staff and teaching artists. Students work in MAKESHOP to enhance their problem solving as well as technical skills while they get creative eploring projects such as making their own lamps, using a sewing machine or building wooden tool sets.
Youth Employment & Volunteer Opportunities
Youth Mentors & Fellows
Youth mentors are eleventh and twelfth-grade students who assist in planning activities for Club MAKE and serve as role models for our younger youth program participants.
Food City Fellows are participants in a summer youth program who maintain gardens on the Northside - three onsite at the Children's Museum and two in the built by Food City Fellows in the nearby community in Summers 2011 and 2012 - and take part in activities that develop a sense of the importance of food and how it impacts community, learn the principles of permaculture and give them the tools to lead a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about the program here.
In this year-round program, high school teens help with community events, work with visitors in the Museum and participate in job readiness workshops that help them learn valuable academic, job and life skills.
Participation in the VolunTEEN Program is highly regarded when considering applicants for paid Youth Employment through Youth Programs at the Museum.