Spark Network Weekly Update for July 27th, 2012

Spark reveals the brightest news sparks and informs K+C members about upcoming events in the region.

Playtesting Grant Application Extension!

Spark and The MakeShop has chosen to extend the application deadline for the playtesting grant! If you’ve created an application but ran out of time to submit, now is your second chance. The deadline for the playtesting grant has been extended to TODAY, Friday, July 27th at 5:00pm!



Spark Measures Network Impact with Activation Lab

Kids+Creativity Network members joined Sprouters and researchers from the Activation Lab yesterday to measure the Spark network impact on learning in the Greater Pittsburgh region. Held at the Renaissance Pittsburgh, the event brought together intelligent minds and sparked engaged conversation about how to activate children’s interest in education at a young age. Check Spark’s website for a recap early next week!

The SMALLab at Elizabeth Forward Middle School featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Following on the heels of the Entertainment Technology Academy at Elizabeth Forward High School, the district expands its innovative STEM programming into younger grades with a new Simulated Media Arts Learning Lab (SMALLab). Deborah Todd tells the whole story on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

YouTube Launches Digital Citizenship Curriculum for Educators

Last week, YouTube established digital citizenship curriculum for teachers that includes training in things like how to report content, cyberbullying, safety modes, and copyright. Larger picture goals include establishing useful skills and a holistic understanding about responsible digital citizenship in all online activity. Read more here.

Calling all Developers and Designers

The Learning Registry Initiative is seeking all developers and designers who may be interested in participating. The LRI is working to persuade publishers and resource providers to share their descriptive data about their content. Learn more here.

Online Design Thinking Workshop for Educators

This series of online workshops begins Monday, July 30th and runs until August 31st. Participants will use Edutopia and a Ning site to complete the assignments, designed to take roughly 2-5 hours/week. These free assignments are based around the idea of developing design skills and thought process. Register today!

California Parents Take Control

Across the country, parents in California are taking control of their students by implementing the trigger law. This law says that if over fifty percent of parents petition for school reform, the school must grant the request and reform the school’s structure. Check out Huffington Post to learn more about these persistent parents.

Sally Ride: More than an Astronaut- a STEM Advocate

This Monday, astronaut Sally Ride passed away from pancreatic cancer. Her legacy lives on in more than just space, but also in the pursuit of advancing STEM education opportunities for girls. In a 2007 interview, Sally told officials that she wanted to encourage more girls to study in STEM areas, inflating the 20% that are currently studying these subjects.

Upcoming Events

Monday, July 30: The Literary Arts Boom Experi-Mondays

The Literary Arts Boom (LAB) is hosting a variety of workshops on Mondays throughout the summer entitled Experi-Mondays. Visit The LAB on the 30th to learn about Backyard Bashos (haikus). To get your child involved, simply fill out this form!

Monday, July 30 & August 6: Creating Identity Workshops

The Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Community Center and local artist Scott Andrew will continue their Creating Identity Monday workshops. Head over to PGLCC on Monday, July 30th to learn about the principles and elements of art. Continue your education and join them on the 6th of August to partake in an evening of paper mache!

Thursday, August 2: Stirring up STEAM Education – A Lunch & Learn

Next Thursday, August 2nd, Spark will be sponsoring a lunch & learn hosted at AIU on STEAM education. Although the event registration was previously maxed out, we have extended the participant list to accommodate additional interested educators! Be sure to RSVP today, as there are only 15 added seats! Can’t make it? Check for a recap  next Friday.

Thursday, August 2: SLB Youth Radio Documentaries Debut Celebration

Join SLB members and supporters on August 2nd from 6pm-8pm at the studios in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for a listening celebration. Interns from the Heinz Endowments Summer Youth Philanthropy Program have created three-minute public service documentaries about important issues in Pittsburgh. Food, beverages and opportunities for comments and encouragement will be provided. Registration is required, RSVP today!

Monday, August 6: The Anywhere/Everywhere of Play – A Lunch & Learn

Spark will host a lunch & learn on the Sandbox Summit at The Children’s Home & Lemieux Family Center on Monday, August 6th at noon. The luncheon will feature presentations by Seema Patel, CEO of Interbots, and Patrick Mittereder, CEO of Electric Owl Studios, based on their experience at the Sandbox Summit earlier this year. RSVP for your spot today!


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 26, 2012