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This September, something big is happening at the City of Pittsburgh’s rec centers—they’re turning into tech centers where kids will learn to use technology to express their creativity, solve real-world problems, and build job-ready skills.
During the week of September 12th, Pittsburgh will enhance its recreation centers into technology-enabled learning spaces where youth from across the city will cultivate the science, technology, engineering, and math skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.
It’s called “Rec2Tech” and all Pittsburghers ages 7 to 12 are invited to participate in free after school fun.
President Obama’s Call to Action
Two years ago, President Obama issued a call to action that “every company, every college, every community, every citizen joins us as we lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.” Since then, the White House has prioritized opportunities for students to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects and foster the development of technology and manufacturing education across the country.
In response to the President’s call, cities across the United States are enhancing underutilized recreation and community centers with youth-centered, technology-enabled, maker learning spaces. For urban and rural populations that often lack reliable broadband internet service and access to technology, these “Rec2Tech” enhancements have the potential to increase digital literacy and cultivate STEM skills connected to future employment.
What’s Happening in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is answering the call with a Rec2Tech demonstration project that tests the concept and determines the best path toward a city-wide implementation.
The demonstration, a partnership between the City of Pittsburgh, the Department of Parks and Recreation, The Sprout Fund, and the Remake Learning Network will take place September 12-17. Approximately 200 youth ages 7–12 will participate in innovative informal learning activities at 5 municipal-owned sites across the city. The week will culminate in a celebration open to all local youth.
Every afternoon during the week of September 12th, youth will tackle a design challenge relevant to their neighborhood. Educators from diverse education organizations from across the city will incorporate maker, STEM, and digital learning activities into each day, along with a snack, physical activity, and dinner. This approach gives youth access to the basic resources they need to stay healthy as well as the experiences, tools, and skills that will help them succeed in college and career.