Below is a listing of programs for elementary school students and parents. Programs are conducted by a variety of Carnegie Mellon Faculty, Staff and student organizations. Click on each program link for contact and general information.
The Center for Architecture Explorations (CAE) develops research, programs, and products that serve unique Kindergarten-professional architectural education paths. The CAE builds on our School’s experience with youth education, university service learning projects, engagement with the architectural practice, and academic research to explore ways we can support architectural education pedagogy and foster equity and diversity in building industry professions.
The CAE's mission is: 1) to expand our work managing the Architecture Learning Network to facilitate links between building industry organizations, K-12 educators, and K-12 students, particularly in underserved neighborhoods; 2) to provide scalable training courses, workshops, and mentorship opportunities for professionals and undergraduate/graduate students to better prepare them to teach in K-12 and higher education contexts as well as better communicate with the communities they serve as designers; and 3) to conduct research into STEM and design pedagogy to develop innovative educational materials and curricula for an entire architecture education pipeline.
A variety of camps and clinics are offered each summer. Programs include soccer camp for children ages 5-14, Learn to Swim Classes and more! See the Camps and Clinics website register and/or contact coaches directly.
Carnegie Mellon Children's School
Traditionally, the Children's School's program is designed to offer options for morning or afternoon preschool and full-day kindergarten for children in community as well as CMU families (constituting approximately 85% and 15% of our population respectively). Consistent with the 1990 CMU Work and Family Report, they offer offer a high quality program equitably to diverse families. To this end, the Children's School offers tuition waivers to low-income families.
In addition to providing a quality educational program, they support our families by providing written information and seminars that might be of interest to all families, age appropriate family activities (e.g., family festivals, school visits, etc.), and individual counseling and referrals as needed.Phone: (412) 268-2199
Circulo Juvenil de Cultura, Spanish Heritage Outreach Program
El Círculo Juvenil de Cultura supports the maintenance and development of Spanish as a heritage language and cultural literacy for children of Latino families in the Pittsburgh community. The program provides a space where families and children can develop social networks with other Latino families in the community. El Círculo promotes heritage language and culture development by creating an environment in which bilingual children can explore and maintain their identities and cultures. The program aims to strengthen students' awareness of the relationship between the arts and society through music, poetry, stories, songs, theater, art, and dances. Through interaction with Spanish-speaking professional teacher-facilitators and college students, children are encouraged to develop and be proud of their heritage language and cultures and appreciate the social and cultural value of being bilingual-bicultural citizens of their new country, the United States.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (412) 268-1895
CoBox (Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy)
CoBox was a special activity created during the COVID shutdown of schools. It helped children co-design video games with CMU researchers and designers, even under restrictive quarantine conditions. Children completed fun and engaging activities in the box and then upload pictures and narrations of their work. The submissions help the CMU researchers with big ideas and little ones, from how the game looks to the story it tells.
Materials are now available through the CS STEM Network.
Computer Science STEM Network
This learning management system offers hundreds of hours of research-based, outcomes-driven curriculum. Students and teachers can freely use the site to learn and earn badges in a variety of topics, including robotics, computer science and related fields. The site has nearly 27,000 users who have earned more than 2 million achievements.
The Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab (CREATE Lab) explores socially meaningful innovation and deployment of robotic technologies. The CREATE Lab is both a technology breeding ground and a community partner. It is this unique combination that enables a new form of local change: one that empowers the citizens to chart their technology future and, most important of all, their community's prospects for quality of life.
We specifically aim to:
Empower a technologically fluent generation through experiential learning opportunities in and outside of school. We define technology fluency as the confidence to author / creatively configure technology to pursue individual and collective goals.
Empower everyday citizens and scientists with affordable environmental sensing and documentation instruments, and powerful visualization platforms for sense-making and sharing of gathered scientific data - to promote evidence based decision making, public discourse and action.
In this virtual program during the Spring semester, 5th grade students are presented with several fictional scenarios for which they will need to collaborate with their CMU team leaders and each other to generate solutions that will help improve communities with varying demographics, environments, and resources using the engineering design process.
At the end of the program, groups will present their solutions to a panel of judges from the CMU academic community.
Contact: Rita Canton
DNA Zone, Mellon College of Science
Organized by members of Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology, DNAZone is an educational outreach program focused on students in grades K-12. DNAZone attracts students to science by exposing them to modern and exciting, state-of-the art aspects of nucleic acids science. Through this program, CNAST hopes to foster students' interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as cultivate an appreciation for collaboration and interdisciplinary work. The program works to improve student engagement, attitudes and beliefs towards science through three distinct outreach endeavors:
Leading hands-on scientific demonstrations at university, community, or other local events
Providing professional development to Pittsburgh-area middle and high school science teachers
Loaning free resources such as materials and experiment lesson plans to 4th-12th grade science teachers through its Classroom Kit Lending Library
ETC: Entertainment Technology Center
The Educational Technology Community is a unique project of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center made possible through the generous support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Grable Foundation. The network focuses on exploring and developing experimental educational initiatives in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern OH through collaboration.
Transform teaching and learning approaches by sharing educational applications and curricular innovations developed at the ETC with the community.
Co-create, develop and deliver teacher and student training in the use of ETC crafted applications and experience.
Grow Professional Learning Communities of teachers to share experiences, ideas, and expertise while they try new pedagogy, applications, and e-tools.
Work with school districts, their teachers, and students already using ETC educational application to expand and improve their use in their schools.
Every academic semester the ETC holds a Playtest Day when graduate student teams make available their project work for guests for playtesting. The work is “in progress” with the playtests useful to help improve the final project delivery. The term playtest indicates the use of an experience or game by a guest to see whether it is performing as expected. Guests have in the past tested from three to six projects over the course of two hours, along with an optional tour of the ETC and a meal break that starts off or ends the visit. Some projects have experiences requiring two or more guests at once, while others are meant to be used alone.
Exploring Engineering Expo
The Explore Engineering Expo, hosted by CMU’s Engineering Ambassadors, is an in-person experience held on CMU’s Pittsburgh campus in the spring. This interactive event features engineering demos and activities for students in grades 3 through 8.
The focus of the expo in Spring 2022 was on the environment. Attendees learned about clean water, bioremediation, recycling, self-watering gardens, the importance of pH, and even how certain fruits and vegetables can conduct electricity. During the expo, attendees had an opportunity to interact with CMU engineering students in small groups to learn about these topics and to ask questions, allowing participants to be fully engaged in each demo.
Contact: Rita Canton
Gelfand Outreach Programs
The Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach hosts programs during the summer (June/July) and on select Saturdays in the fall and spring for students in grades K-9. These classes are developed by Carnegie Mellon University Faculty and Staff and are designed to be rigorous, educational, STEM focused, hands-on, and fun.
Check out our upcoming K-12 classes & program information.Email: GelfandCenter@andrew.cmu.edu
Phone: (412) 268-1863
Moving 4th into Engineering
Each spring, the Engineering Research Accelerator hosts Moving 4th into Engineering, an engineering outreach event. Approximately 40 fourth-grade students from area schools are invited to visit Carnegie Mellon's campus and participate in a full day of engineering activities. This program provides the students with an interactive introduction to the exciting world of engineering and exposes them to fun and educational, hands-on activities geared toward their age and ability level. Through various experiments and exercises, students learn how engineering plays a part in many of the ordinary things they see every day.
Contact: Rita Canton
NREC Tours for Schools and Educational Organizations
The National Robotics Engineering Center provides tours for schools and groups to show kids the real-world application of the robotics concepts they learn in school. Participants see all of the robots and technology that the centers develops for use out in the world from different sectors like agriculture, defense, maintenance and more.
*NREC has restrictions and a process to sign-in due to it being a secure research facility.*
Improve learning outcomes for individual learners while collectively advancing our larger understanding of human learning.
The vision behind OpenSimon is a more integrated and easier-to-use toolkit, used and expanded by a larger community of educators to drive deliberate, iterative improvements in education. This approach supports educators as citizen scientists, and helps the people who support them — at universities and companies that make educational products — provide help that is grounded in the science of learning.
Contact: Erin Czerwinski
The CMU Physics Department offers a variety of outreach opportunities for elementary school students that can be done remote, onsite at schools, and/or onsite at CMU. Topics include: Astronomy and Cosmology, and Partical & Nuclear Physics.Email: email@example.com
PROGRESS: Program for Research & Outreach on Gender Equity in Society
PROGRESS takes a fresh approach to address the need for gender equity in society by teaching middle school aged girls (8-12 years old) how to negotiate.
PROGRESS has three core objectives:
- develop local and national tools to teach women and girls how to harness the power of negotiation
- form networks between nonprofit organizations to efficiently disseminate information about issues impacting women
- explore obstacles to and potential solutions for the advancement of women.
The tendency for women to negotiate less than men is a current and persisting problem, even among young college-aged women and those in business schools today. Unless society makes changes to the way we socialize our children and change our attitudes to allow women to be more direct in asking for what they want, this problem will continue to have an adverse impact on women for decades to come. Targeted programs that seek to educate women and girls about this issue and teach them to negotiate effectively can have a very tangible impact on their well-being. Furthermore, raising awareness of a critical gender biases that create long term inequities can be instrumental in societal change.
Contact: Ayana Ledford
Phone: (412) 268-8650
Robotics Academy: Robotics Camps, Clubs, and Competitions
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy (CMRA) is a research, development, and outreach component of the Robotics Institute. CMRA studies how educators can use robots to teach Computer Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM). Their mission is to use the educational affordances of robotics to create CS-STEM opportunities for all learners. They fulfill their mission by developing research-based solutions that are classroom-tested and foreground CS-STEM concepts.
CMRA offers programs that include teacher training, curriculum, virtual tools, and certifications for both K-12 Robotics Education and Workforce Development. They collaborate with regional and national community to bring their programs to underserved populations in sustainable ways. All programs are delivered through their CS-STEM Network learning management system (www.cs2n.org) which enables educators to create free accounts and track participant progress.
Robotics Education Laboratory
The Robotics Education Lab is a central resource to support courses and individual projects. Equipment includes manipulators, mobile robots, electronics & mechanical fabrication benches, Lego, a video editing workstation, machine vision systems and more.
Anyone affiliated with CMU and interested in robotics is welcome. Stop by and see what the lab has to offer. Lab address: Newell-Simon Hall 3206 x8-5561.Contact: Greg Armstrong
Phone: (412) 268-2007
Robotics Merit Badge (Merit Badge University)
This programs gives young BSA scouts the opportunity to earn the Robotics Merit Badge as part of Alpha Phi Omega's Merit Badge University days.
Contact: Vu Nguyen
Strong Women, Strong Girls
Strong Women, Strong Girls is a group-based mentoring program that uses the study of contemporary women role models, mentoring relationships between college-aged women and girls in grades 3-5, and activities focused on skill-building, to help enhance the lives of at-risk girls. Through building positive self-esteem and skills for life-long success, Strong Women, Strong Girls is working to strengthen the futures of all women and girls involved in the program. Approximately 25 women at Carnegie Mellon serve as mentors for over 70 girls in the Pittsburgh area. Carnegie Mellon partners with five different local elementary schools and community centers as programming sites. Each week, smaller teams of mentors travel to the sites to engage and work with the girls.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Phone: (412) 488-0791
Voices Against Violence (VAV) Robotics Initiative
Voices Against Violence (VAV) Robotics Initiative delivers a beginner and intermediate robotics course to summer camp participants. The students also learn elementary programming skills, which they continue to learn throughout the year via in-school and after-school delivery. The program develops digital literacy while providing safe spaces for vulnerable youth during out-of-school time.
Women@SCS - Outreach Roadshow
This is a highly interactive presentation by undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon who talk about why/how they began studying the area, their current experiences, what Computer Science means to them now, and their future hopes and expectations. The middle and high school presentations include a guessing game, a slide show of CS applications, algorithm style puzzles, a robot demo, and much more. The spin-off graduate level Roadshow (presented to undergrads) includes general information on going to graduate school and short research talks.Contact: Jodi Forlizzi
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com