Last week at its Great Night Gala, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh honored Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian(opens in new window) with the Great Friend of Children Award for Jahanian’s and CMU’s efforts to create lasting and impactful experiences for K-12 students across the Pittsburgh region.
“Receiving the Great Friend of Children Award is very humbling,” Jahanian said. “I am grateful for this recognition as a representative of the many CMU faculty, staff and leadership who have nurtured the long legacy of engagement between the Pittsburgh community, the Children’s Museum and Carnegie Mellon for decades.”
Jahanian said as advances in technology are rapidly transforming how children are learning in K-12 environments, it is imperative to continue investing in immersive, hands-on and interactive learning programs — like those occurring at the museum — so that all young students in Pittsburgh and beyond have access to high-impact educational experiences.
On CMU’s campus, faculty, staff and researchers lead initiatives like the Cyert Center for Early Education(opens in new window), the Children’s School(opens in new window) and the Simon Initiative(opens in new window) to improve learning outcomes in K-12 students and facilitate programs like the Girls of Steel(opens in new window), the Robotics Academy(opens in new window) and the CS Academy(opens in new window), which engender passion for STEM-based disciplines in students locally and across the country.
The Children’s Museum and Carnegie Mellon share a rich history of collaboration, with CMU faculty and staff working with museum teams to create transformative spaces, exhibits and programming over the years.
The Entertainment Technology Center’s(opens in new window) (ETC) work with the museum may be most widely known. It led to the creation of the MakeShop, one of the first maker spaces ever inside a museum, as well as the ETC’s continued involvement in MuseumLab.
The ETC’s latest collaboration with the museum was on display the evening of the event: an immersive, waveform synthesis platform described as a “mixed reality Rube Goldberg machine.” The exhibit was produced in partnership with CMU School of Design(opens in new window) faculty and will be permanently installed at MuseumLab.
The Great Night Gala is the Children’s Museum’s annual fundraising event. This year, it doubled as the museum’s 40th birthday celebration, raising over $750,000 to support the Children Museum’s exhibits and programs. The event featured remarks from Executive Director Jane Werner, Board President Karen Larrimer and gala committee co-chairs David J. Malone and Amy Baron Brourman. Carnegie Mellon leaders in attendance included Board Chair David Coulter, trustees Joel Adams, Jeanne Cunicelli and Anne Molloy and members of the administrative and academic leadership teams.