Spark Network Update for July 19th, 2012

A collection of news, events, and opportunities to share with the Kids+Creativity Network.

Join Spark & Activation Lab Next Week!

Measuring the Impact of the Kids+Creativity Network

Spark is calling out to all K+C members to help measure the impact of the Network within the learning community of the Pittsburgh region. We’ll be joined by Activation Lab researchers working to assess and design learning environments that activate children’s interest in learning and inquiry, followed by a collaborative discussion about designing a regional learning ecosystem that activates children and youth in Greater Pittsburgh.

Join us for this important strategic discussion at Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel next Thursday, July 26th, as visual practitioners provide graphic documentation on the strategic conversation. Register today!


Google+ Gets Involved in Making

This past Monday, Google+ initiated its first ever virtual Maker Camp, consisting of 30 days of 30 virtual projects. The interactive camp is available to all and free of registration, so feel free to sit down and get in on the action at any point!

Playtesting Grant Deadline

Tomorrow is the final deadline to submit applications for the playtesting grant being offered by Spark and The MakeShop! Grant recipients will gain the financial support and resources necessary to conduct the playtesting at The MakeShop. Get your applications in today!

Activation Lab seeks to Turn Young Students on to Science, Technology, and the Arts

The Activation Lab at Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center are working to identify how to activate children to learning fast a young age based on their interests and encourage continued engagement in those interests. The Sprout Fund is jumping in on the action on July 26th, read the story here.

State Awards Funding to Advance Academic Opportunity

Last week, Secretary of Education, Ron Tomalis, announced the awardees that will receive a total of $19.78 million as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Challenge Grant. The 101 applicants for the grant were put through rigorous inspection and deliberation, and 61 were chosen to receive funding.

Apple Determined to Maintain Tablet Lead

New York Times journalists say Apple is developing a 7.85 inch screen version of the iPad, likely to be sold at significantly lower prices. Details have been revealed from unnamed Apple employees, and buzz is already generating about the new product, expected to be announced later this year.

SOS takes on Washington, D.C… Again

It was recently announced that the Save Our Schools Convention will be following up last year’s rally of a convention by hosting in the same city, Washington, D.C. The convention is set to run in the beginning of August, and focus on adapting a new platform for education reform.

Upcoming Events

Changing the Way We Game- A Lunch & Learn

Don’t forget to RSVP for Monday, July 23rd!  The Sprout Fund is hosting a lunch & learn featuring Nikki Navta, President of Zulama, and Todd Keruskin, Superintendent of Elizabeth Forward School District. The two traveled to the Games for Change Festival earlier this summer and will be sharing their observations over lunch.

The Literary Arts Boom Experi-Mondays

The Literary Arts Boom (LAB) is hosting a variety of workshops on Mondays throughout the summer. Swing by The LAB on the 23rd to deepen your understanding of creating Visual Narratives with Handmade Paper Collage.

Get Creative at the Constructing Identity Workshop

Sign up to participate in this free workshop at the Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Community Center with local artist Scott Andrew. Participants will experiment with miscellaneous materials to create a ‘finished’ costume in 3 hours, exploring a persona and constructing an identity.

Advancing your STEM/STEAM Professional Development

Mary Brenholts from Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Nina Barbuto from Assemble are hosting a workshop next Friday, July 27th. Join them at the Homewood YMCA to learn how to implement and encourage STEM/STEAM learning.


Share With Us! Have something you’d like to share with the network? Send your item to or complete the Network Events & Opportunities Form and we’ll help spread the word.

Published July 19, 2012