Creativity Center Grows: AIU Grants Fuel STEAM

Educators are always looking for creative ways to engage their students. They’re getting a big hand in promoting STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity. Rosanne Javorsky, assistant executive director at the AIU3, oversees the Center, which last year provided more than two dozen grants to 25 different school districts to create innovative STEAM spaces, STEAM programs and digital media events for their students. It’s helping students learn 21st century skills, Rosanne explains, creating spaces and places for innovative learning.

Q: What are some of the programs?
A: They range from the creation of "maker" spaces to STEAM labs, the use of digital media, robotics, coding and game design and creating environmental and outdoor spaces. Two of my favorites: At Butler High School, they run their own business using design thinking and producing skateboards. At Allegheny Valley, they're doing wonderful things around Rachel's Neighborhood Garden, an outdoor classroom named for Rachel Carson.

Q: What funds these grants?
A: Since 2009, more than $2 million in STEAM grants have been given to 150 schools in the region. The monies come from the Benedum and Grable Foundations, and last year, 25 schools received $20,000 each.

Q: What is the AIU3?
A: The AIU3 is part of Pennsylvania's public education system, providing specialized educational services to Allegheny County's 42 suburban school districts as well as vocational and private schools. We also work regionally with Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland, Fayette and Greene County school districts. We believe in promoting STEAM because it's how learning happens in the real world. STEAM is really about creativity, problem solving, creative thinking and collaboration.

Learn more here.



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