Maker Learning Meetup
Maker Learning Meetup

Formerly called Affinity Groups, Meet-Ups are free, open gatherings designed to address issues, share opportunities, and connect resources within the Remake Learning Network.

Below are notes from the Maker Learning Meetup on Wednesday, February 24th.

In Case You Missed It

The Fab Lab is a space to take participants from “Zero to Maker!” Fab Lab is part of the Chevron STEM Center that focuses on STEM Competencies through Making, with a focus on digital fabrication.

Here are the highlights:

  • Mobile Fab Lab Trailer will go out to Schools (Game of Drones anyone?)
  • Also provides Make-and-Takes
  • Right now, earn Ranger Badges to celebrate the National Parks movie at the Imax
  • Other stuff happening at Fab Lab:
    • Lots of teacher PD
    • Field trips to the Fab Lab
    • Corporate team building events
    • Starting in March Open Fab Lab “Free Flow Nights” 2.5 hours you can come and use the equipment

We also had a facilitated conversation about the Carnegie Science Center STEM Competencies:

  • Integrated Multi-Disciplinary Learning
  • Career Awareness
  • Project-based Group Learning
  • Inquiry-based Science and Math

Don’t Miss Out

Is it networking? Is it continuation of practice? Is it extended learning? Is it just a nice way to spend two hours? We hope it’s all of those things! Don’t miss these opportunities to practice and discuss our craft– LEARNING

  • Early Learning at Montour: Join us for the launch of transformED West, with special guest, Pedro A. Rivera, Secretary of the PA Department of Education! March 11
  • Digital Learning with Digital Dream Labs: Join us to discuss common sense solutions to help make technology an asset in formal and informal settings. March 17
  • Stay tuned! Lunch & Learn with Sisters eSTEAM: Cultivating esteem through STEAM Learning. End of May

Because we had such an engrossing conversation, there are fewer updates from this meet up. If you were inspired and remembered something you just can’t wait to share, you are very welcome to let me know, and post it to the Remake Learning Calendar.

And Now for the Updates!

  • What’s Up at The Sprout Fund?
    • Change Machine: Under 18? Apply for a $500 Change Machine Project!
    • Badge-Enabled Playlists & Pathways: Apply to support cross-disciplinary, badge-enabled learning pathways during the academic year 2016-17. Deadline is April 8th!
    • Remake Learning Grants: Small-scale funding awards to catalyze innovative learning projects that inspire educators and students to explore new ways of teaching and learning. Grants are available up to $10,000. Decisions are made twice annually to support summer/fall and winter/spring activities in Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Deadlines are April 1 and October 7!
    • Learn PGH: Stay tuned this March for more information about digital badging in Pittsburgh this summer. Join the mailing list to ease your mind at .
  • Remake Learning Days: A week-long celebration of innovations in learning in the Pittsburgh Region! Submit your Events and Commitments in 2016 on the website, or email me for more information. Share the love with #RemakeDays
  • Teacher’s Guild Design Sprint: A call for educators to submit online ideas that answer the question, “How might we inspire our students to be makers everyday”? It would be great to have some PGH representation on the idea side! Visit here to submit your thoughts.
  • Spring Learning Parties at Assemble! 
    • March 9th: Circuit Circus!
    • April 13th: Environment
    • May 11th: Waves

Learning parties are free events open to curious learners of all ages. These are held at Assemble (5125 Penn Avenue, 15224), from 4-6pm on the second Wednesday of the month. Stop by for an explosion of learning as guest makers, artists, technologists, and scientists lead hands-on educational activities related to each month’s theme! Find out more at:

  • Youth Leading Workshops at CLP!
    • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is working on some summer program “intensives” for youth at the weekly Labs sites. They are hoping to pay teens for leading workshops, and they want to connect with some teens who are ready for some leadership opportunities from other youth-serving Maker & STEAM based sites around town. Connect with Corey Wittig for more information!

Did I miss an event? Did I fail you in the updates?? Please email me and I will tweet and email to make it up to you. Any other events or opportunities are more than welcome to post on our public calendar at


  • Add yourself or your organization to the Remake Learning Network Directory. Just find the button in the top right corner of the screen and “Add”
  • What’s on your mind? Have you found a common thread from Meetup to Meetup? Let me know, we should talk about it!
    • Care to Host a Meetup or a Lunch & Learn? Let me know! Sprout is happy to buy food, recruit attendees, and help organize the agenda.

Share, Tweet, & Repeat! Social Media helps us stay in touch and share the wealth. You can find us & other Meetup members by using @remakelearning #RMLMeetups

Highlights from our conversation:

Each group gave real-lesson ideas to address practical aspects to achieve these focus areas. (Find the highlights at the bottom of this message!)

Here are the highlights:

  • The Creative Arts, Maker Ed, Design, STEM, & STEAM — where do they intersect?
  • How do you become more Multi-Disciplinary?
    • Avoid Silos– connect it to life experiences
    • Have hands-on projects in the classroom
    • Integrate stories, or myths, in Maker and STEM-based projects
    • Algorithmic stories (make a video!) that explains a process (like ecosystems!) that then explains an historic concept, like the bubonic plague
  • Inquiry-Based Science and Math Education
    • DIY Edison photographs
    • Paper Plate Speakers
    • Scratch & Scratch Jr.
    • Help teachers learn to address questions from Science and Math
      • give them space to ask questions and address questions (TIME)
      • teacher as storyteller or navigator (the Loop)
      • The difference between guessing and getting it wrong over and over (failure and persistence)
  • Project-based Group Learning
    • A natural partner to Making
    • most projects can be manipulated into a group experience
    • set the tone of safe-space– “model what we see” look at other organizations doing good work and copy it!
    • Find groups that are not always represented in Maker Learning and STEM and think about processes that might engage them
    • When you’re with a group of experts, sometimes you forget to think about specific projects, but those practical aspects (like coding on one computer) as a group is very challenging
      • some research shows that group learning on one piece of technology is actually better
      • Driver-Navigator (Ogre & Boss)
      • Ask 5 Before Me
      • Collaboration Works
      • Look at corporate models that explain how to work as a group
      • assign roles to participants (things that force you to communicate from a specific role or from a certain perspective) — it helps give participants an equal playing field, everyone is just as valuable as everyone else
    • Assign the “Tenants” of Group Learning for your space– listening, dynamics, time management
    • Front-load the “training” of your group of students. Help them learn the expected behaviors
    • Skills and Behavior marriage (help PRE SERVICE Teachers understand this)
Maker Learning Meetup with FabLab was last modified: March 7th, 2016 by Arielle Evans