Below is a listing of programs for middle school students and parents conducted by Carnegie Mellon Faculty, Students and Staff. Click on each program link for contact and general information.
Alice Software / Curriculum
Alice is an innovative block-based programming environment that makes it easy to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D. Unlike many of the puzzle-based coding applications Alice motivates learning through creative exploration. Alice is designed to teach logical and computational thinking skills, fundamental principles of programming and to be a first exposure to object-oriented programming. The Alice Project provides supplemental tools and materials for teaching using Alice across a spectrum of ages and subject matter with proven benefits in engaging and retaining diverse and underserved groups in computer science education.
Alice is used by teachers at all levels from middle schools (and sometime even younger) to universities, in school classrooms and in after school and out of school programming, and in subjects ranging from visual arts and language arts to the fundamentals of programming and introduction to java courses.Contact: Eric W. Brown
Phone: (412) 268-5551
The Architecture Explorations program encourages Pittsburgh youth to look closely at their built environment, be open to creative expression, ask questions, think critically, and understand civic responsibility - all through the lens of architecture. Architecture Explorations is a collection of architecture-based extracurricular and academic enrichment programs for students in kindergarten through high school, offered through Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture. Our organization partners with several Pittsburgh communities, schools, and museums to provide an array of architecture education programs. Whether you are a student, parent, counselor, teacher, or community organization, we would love to hear from you and help devise a plan to provide a program that is tailored for each appropriate age-group and organization.Contact: Julie Kachniasz
Phone: (412) 268-2355
The Arts Greenhouse is a hip-hop music education program for Pittsburgh teens that is affiliated with the Carnegie Mellon’s Studio for Creative Inquiry. With the help of faculty and students, as well as local hip-hop performers, teens write, compose, and then record songs in a state-of-the-art recording studio. Through the process teens develop musical and verbal skills, gain familiarity with historical and contemporary issues, and form connections that open new routes to community participation and to higher education.Contact: Richard Purcell
Phone: (412) 268-2614
A variety of camps and clinics are offered each summer. Programs include FITT Camp for children aged 7-14, soccer camp for children ages 5-14, Learn to Swim Classes and more!Phone: (412) 268-1236
How our world works and the environment we live in is driven by the ingenuity of engineers. Join us to Explore Engineering! at an interactive, hands-on festival designed to expose K-12 students to a variety of engineering disciplines through demos and activities.
This FREE annual event is conducted by the College of Engineering, usually in February or March.Contact: Kelly McQuoid
ECE Outreach began creating sessions for the SPARK Saturdays program in Fall 2012, and held our first two sessions in Spring 2013. In Spring 2015 we expanded our reach to middle school students and local high schools through the Snap Circuit Lab and the Mobile Labs programs, respectively. We hope to keep expanding in the future. Professor Tom Sullivan has been the faculty sponsor at CMU for ECE Outreach since its onset.
SPARK Saturdays is structured to be six sessions, held on campus about every other Saturday. Each session lasts two hours and consist of a learning portion and a hands-on activity, led by CMU students. The entire SPARK Saturdays series is held once every semester, and aimed at high school students. No prior knowledge on the part of the students is assumed. The sessions are structured to introduce students to a wide variety of electrical and computer engineering concepts to help them decide whether this might be a good career path for them.
Mobile Labs is an adaptation of SPARK Saturdays, still geared toward high school students, but brought to schools. The labs are typically held after school for interested students.
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. The goals:
- 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 who share experience, 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.Contact: John Balash
Gelfand Outreach Programs
The Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach hosts week-long programs during the summer (June and 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.
Click here for Gelfand Outreach classes & program information.Email: GelfandCenter@andrew.cmu.edu
Phone: (412) 268-1863
International Science & Engineering Fair
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. This event will bring more than 1,600 high school competitors from 60+ countries to our city and other participating cities.Contact: Judith Hallinen
Leap@CMU (formerly: Andrew's Leap)
Leap@CMU was a summer enrichment program run by the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. All local area high school students were encouraged to apply (and occasional middle school students). Through special classes and guest faculty seminars, students were exposed to the frontiers of computer science. They could "leap" ahead approximately ten years. Students had an opportunity to interact with some of the country's leading scientists, and emerged from the program with a vivid overview of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. Leap@CMU was held from until 1991 until 2017. Outreach programs like Leap are constantly under review, and the School of Computer Science has chosen to pursue new programming opportunities.Site: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~leap/
This olympiad is a contest in which high-school students solve linguistic puzzles. In solving the problems, students learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary. Professionals in linguistics, computational linguistics and language technologies use dozens of languages to create engaging problems that represent cutting edge issues in their fields. The competition has attracted top students to study and work in those same fields. It is truly an opportunity for young people to experience a taste of natural-language processing in the 21st century.
There is NO participation fee!Contact: Dr. Lori Levin or Mary Jo BensasiPhone: (412) 268-7517
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgSite: http://www.nacloweb.org and http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/project/llab/www/naclo/
My True Voice
With a passionate interest in Outreach for the School of Drama, Natalie has developed a community based outreach course for her sophomore students, who teach distinct speech to disadvantaged children to help fifth grade students at Holy Rosary School improve speaking skills. To have a teaching tool for this work, she is working with research scientists at Cepstral, LLD to adapt vocal synthesis software. It is being tested in her outreach course The My True Voice Project. The My True Voice Project combines the teaching of pronunciation with an exploration of poetry and the use of voice synthesis software. The program is featured on the PBS program hosted by Robyn MacNeil: "Do you Speak American?"Contact: Natalie Shirer
Phone: (412) 268-5751
Physics Concepts Outreach
Inner-city middle school students come to the CMU Physics Department weekly during the academic year to carry out science fair projects with the help of CMU undergraduate mentors during the Fall semester, present their project at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) science fair the first Saturday in February, and during the rest of the Spring semester attend lecture demonstrations on Physics Concepts given by CMU Physics faculty. The program is funded by the Grable Foundation, paying for bus transportation, student stipends, and equipment for science fair projects. Professors Thomas Ferguson and Gregg Franklin participate, and Dr. Barry Luokkala and his assistants help the mentors design and get equipment for the projects. The CMU physics department provides laboratories and support for the Program. Science teachers from the schools bring the students and help ensure consistent student participation.Contact: Dr. Leonard KisslingerEmail: email@example.comPhone: (412) 268-2768 Address:CMU Physics Department
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, and 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.Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: (412) 268-8650 Fax: (412) 268-5338
Project LISTEN (Literacy Innovation that Speech Technology Enables) is an inter-disciplinary research project at Carnegie Mellon University to develop a novel tool to improve literacy; an automated Reading Tutor that displays stories on a computer screen, and listens to children read aloud. To provide a pleasant, authentic experience in assisted reading, the Reading Tutor lets the child choose from a menu of high-interest stories from Weekly Reader and other sources including user-authored stories. The Reading Tutor adapts Carnegie Mellon's Sphinx-II speech recognizer to analyze the student's oral reading and intervenes when the reader makes mistakes, gets stuck, clicks for help, or is likely to encounter difficulty. The Reading Tutor responds with assistance modeled in part after expert reading teachers, but adapted to the capabilities and limitations of the technology. The current version runs under Windows (TM) 2000 on an ordinary Pentium (TM) with at least 128MB of memory.Contact: Jack MostowEmail: email@example.comPhone: (412) 268-1330
Robotics Academy: Robotics Camps, Clubs, and Competitions
The Robotics Academy is committed to using robotics to excite children about science and technology and to help create a more technologically literate society. Programs include summer camps and First Lego League competitions, held in May and December each year.
- To develop a mathematically competent and technological literate workforce;
- To influence children to become interested in robotics and related technologies as an area of study and employment;
- To grow future entrepreneurs and employees for the region and nation;
- To enhance the economic development of these technologies in Southwestern Pennsylvania;
- To develop standards-driven curriculum for middle and high school teachers;
- To catch kids having fun experimenting with science and technology.
Contact: Robin Shoop
Phone: (412) 681-7160
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
Summer Engineering Experience for Girls (SEE)
The Summer Engineering Experience (SEE) is a two-week summer experience for girls entering the 8th and 9th grades who are interested in math and science. SEE gives girls hands-on experience in different forms of engineering. The theme of SEE is "Energy," and girls have an opportunity to learn about different forms of energy that are efficient and environmentally friendly. They explore forms of energy that interest them and learn how they can make a difference through engineering.Contact: Kelly McQuoid
Society of Women Engineers High School Day and Middle School Day
High School Day is an annual event in which approximately 250 Pittsburgh high school girls are invited to CMU’s campus. It is one of our largest outreach events and collaborates with CMU professors and students from various campus organizations. The girls are able to participate in activities related to electrical, mechanical, civil, biomedical, material science, and chemical engineering. The event aims to help young girls get a better idea of what engineering entails and offers them guidance and advice for pursuing engineering. At the same time, it allows CMU students and faculty to share their knowledge and passion for engineering and inspire young women. The event has been a great success in the past and continues to grow. Each year, we have had more and more students participate in the event and we expect the trend to continue for next year.
SWE hosts about 100 middle school girls from surrounding Pittsburgh schools and Girl Scouts every spring. Attendees are given an opportunity to learn about math, science, and engineering at CMU and in general through various fun activities. This event helps our collegiate section meet national and local goals by growing the engineering profession through outreach. Middle School Day is also a rich opportunity for the campus to recruit females for STEM degree programs, which would potentially contribute to CIT’s diversity in the future. Finally, CMU SWE members are given an opportunity to share their knowledge with young girls and inspire passion about engineering in them. Accomplishing these goals is very fulfilling for SWE members and further encourages them to pursue their personal and career goals.Contact: Dr. Nisha Shukla
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Phone: (412) 268-4827
Tech Nights for Girls
TechNights (Creative Technology Nights for Girls) is a program focused on exposing middle school girls to creative technologies. Using computer animation, web design, programming, robotics, and interactive medias, we hope to engage a future generation of women in technology. The workshops are designed and presented by Carnegie Mellon undergraduate and graduate students. The program is offered at no charge.Contact: Laura Lewis
Teknowledge's impact on K-12 STEM learning in the region is twofold: 1) offering afterschool programs in under-resourced middle schools, where mentors work closely with students to teach them coding; and 2) developing CS K-12 curricula, which teachers and other program providers can use to teach CS to their students. One of the ongoing goals is to establish sustainable pipelines, such that students can continue to engage with CS throughout their 6th-12th grade schooling experience. Teknowledge has partnered with organizations such as Homewood YMCA, South Fayette School District, and Pittsburgh Public Schools (Obama Academy and Westinghouse Academy).
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: Olivia Zane
Phone: (412) 268-9071