ADDITIONAL FUNDING WILL SUPPORT FAB LAB, TO OPEN IN AUGUST
PITTSBURGH, July 1, 2015 — Carnegie Science Center announced today that Chevron has renewed its long-term support as the title sponsor of the Science Center’s Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development. Chevron will contribute $900,000 over a three-year period through 2017. Carnegie Science Center launched the Chevron STEM Center in 2011 to focus its educational efforts on regional – and national -- workforce needs and to encourage and inspire more young people to consider and pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The Chevron STEM Center’s other current Founding Partners are Bayer, Duquesne Light, Eaton, Kennametal Foundation, NOVA Chemicals, and PPG Industries Foundation.
“The need for STEM education regionally has never been more acute, with thousands of jobs going unfilled for lack of STEM-skilled workers,” said Ann Metzger, Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “It’s extremely gratifying that Chevron recognizes this need and will continue to support our STEM Center so generously.”
“Our Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development was a natural outgrowth of our longstanding role as a community convener,” said Ron Baillie, Co-Director of the Science Center. “Because of our ongoing relationships with families, teachers, students, corporations, foundations, higher education, and legislators, we are positioned to foster collaboration to address the need for high-quality STEM education. Our highly engaged STEM Advisory Board, composed of representatives of these stakeholder groups, exemplifies the strength of that collaboration and the commitment of our local community.”
Carnegie Science Center’s Chevron STEM Center encompasses numerous student programs and competitions to engage students in hands-on science including interactions with practicing STEM professionals as a way to inspire and expand students’ awareness of job possibilities.
The Chevron STEM Center also engages in innovative partnerships with formal education to strengthen STEM education practices through a collaborative approach. One such initiative is the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway, a process developed by the Science Center to help schools engage in continuous improvement of their STEM programs, which includes family engagement and helping students make real-world connections. In just one year, 137 schools or districts spanning nine states and the District of Columbia have become so-called Pathway Partners, involving 2,000+ schools and 2.1 million students.
The Chevron STEM Center also has given rise to STEMisphere (STEMisphere.org), a searchable online database of STEM education resources. Carnegie Science Center launched STEMisphere in 2013 as a community service, creating a portal for students, parents, educators, and others who are interested in STEM education.
“We are proud to partner with and support Carnegie Science Center’s work in STEM education,” said Trip Oliver, public affairs manager at Chevron, based in Moon Township. “We are also pleased to announce funding to build a Fab Lab at Carnegie Science Center, which also includes a mobile Fab Lab to bring hands-on, project-based learning opportunities to students and the community.”
Chevron’s support for the Fab Lab, a suite of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping machines, such as 3-D printers, is made possible by a grant it made to the Fab Foundation, an educational outreach component of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Fab Foundation is an extension of MIT’s research into digital fabrication and computation. The Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center will be located on the lower level of the Highmark SportsWorks® building. The Science Center will also operate a mobile Fab Lab, which will travel to schools around the region beginning this fall.
Equipment in both the Carnegie Science Center and mobile Fab Labs will include: 3D printers; laser cutters; ShopBot CNC milling machines; video conference equipment; a large format printer; arduinos; electronics workbench equipment, including robotics; two mini-mill/3-D scanners; sewing/embroidery machines; and projectors and documentation cameras. The Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center will join a global network of more than 500 Fab Labs spanning 30 countries worldwide.
“The Fab Lab will be a workshop brimming with opportunities for learning and innovation. We will be able to introduce young people to the digital equipment that so many STEM jobs rely on,” said Ann Metzger. “The Fab Lab adds a whole new dimension to our partnership with formal education, particularly for schools that don’t have these digital devices on their premises.”
“Carnegie Science Center is honored to be able to offer to people of all ages, throughout our region, access to high-tech resources that allow anyone to be an inventor or entrepreneur,” said Ron Baillie.
The Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center will welcome children and adults of all ages and skill levels. Special field trips and afterschool opportunities are being planned for school-age children, as is programming for the general public.
The official grand opening of Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center will be Aug. 18, 2015. Carnegie Science Center's Fab Lab is currently in a pilot phase during which staff are being trained and professional development programs are offered to orient teachers on using the Fab Lab with their students.
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.
About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie 120 years ago, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.3 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.