Google Provides $1 Million to Support Making Coast to Coast through Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Maker Ed
Bill Schlageter, Director of Marketing
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Briana Flin, Communications Manager
PITTSBURGH, PA (June 17, 2016) -- As part of the National Week of Making (June 17 – 23), Google pledged $1 million in support to develop a national strategy to support Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP) and Maker Ed to sustainably integrate making into educational spaces across the nation, including schools and other youth-serving organizations.
The partnership will team educational spaces wishing to jumpstart their maker education programming with a hub (e.g. museum or library) that can offer quality professional development services. These hubs will receive support from CMP and Maker Ed as they empower educational institutions and organizations to raise funds through crowdfunding, to support creating and outfitting makerspaces, and to train staff in maker education.
“We are very pleased to be working with Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and Maker Ed on this program," says Jen Phillips, Making & Science Programs Lead at Google. "This is an important opportunity to create a scalable, sustainable model to support innovation and making in communities around the country.”
Ten hub sites will each work with ten educational institutions in their regions in the 2016 -2017 academic year to create makerspaces and programs. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh will serve as the primary hub for sites in the eastern half of the country, while Maker Ed will act as the national hub for educational spaces wishing to take part but not geographically located near a participating museum or library.
Maker Ed's Executive Director, Trey Lathe says, “Maker Ed is delighted to be leading this program in partnership with CMP and with the generous support of Google. Through the professional development and resources we provide, we can support educators in facilitating maker education experiences that enable youth to influence their world."
CMP piloted a year-long run of the program in 2015-16 with 10 schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which collectively raised more than $100,000 to launch maker programs and create makerspaces in their schools. A toolkit is currently being developed from this pilot which will also help in the expansion of the program.
“We are thrilled to be able to scale 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 in our region can now benefit youth around the country.”
Earlier iterations of the program were funded by The Grable Foundation and the Benter Foundation.
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We believe anyone can be a maker or a scientist. Making is looking at your everyday life and creating projects that improve the world around you and science is observing the world around you and figuring out how it works. Many of the Google products used by millions of people around the world exist because makers, scientists, and engineers wanted to create projects to improve our world. If you want to join in, we are here for you. Visit makingscience.withgoogle.com.
About Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes more than 300,000 visitors annually and provides “real stuff” experiences for play, learning and fun. The 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 serving as a Maker Corps site for the Maker Education Initiative, Mobile MAKESHOP, Youth Maker workshops, MAKEnight (21+) events and presenting Maker Faire Pittsburgh 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.pittsburghkids.org and follow @pghkids.
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.