Carnegie Mellon University

Educating the Next Generation

As a higher education institution, CMU has a special obligation to equip both learners and educators with the tools they need to succeed. Our education initiatives mentor and support learners of all ages and backgrounds. Many of them focus on computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics – fields that offer important pathways to opportunity and mobility.

Brickwolves team photo

Francis Schaeffer, teacher at Waring School in Beverly, MA, used CMU's Robotics Academy resources to start the Blackwolves robotics teams.

Few things pique people’s interest in science and technology like robotics. The Robotics Academy, housed in CMU’s Robotics Institute, explores this fascinating field through research-based and classroom-tested curricula. On a global scale, the Institute has trained over 3,000 teachers and its materials have been used in over 16,000 schools. Locally, through a pilot with the non-profit Bridge Pittsburgh, the Institute also runs the SMART Robotics Technician Curriculum. These micro-certification courses in mechanical design, circuitry, fabrication, software, and robotics integration help people quickly track into careers in advanced manufacturing and robotics.

Training the teachers is another important aspect of our outreach. Each year, on average, 175 educators from around the region participate in professional development sessions led by CMU’s Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach. The sessions are designed to help them introduce cutting edge research and the latest technology to their classrooms.

Civic Engagement in Action

At CMU, service isn’t just the right thing to do. Nurturing and strengthening the communities where our neighbors live, work, and play is an essential part of every student’s education, from day one through graduation.

CMU community packaged over 30,000 meals for families in need at the Rise Against Hunger event

In November 2019, the CMU community packaged over 30,000 meals for families in need at the annual Rise Against Hunger event.

On Service Saturdays, students volunteer to help Pittsburgh non-profits such as Computer Reach, which refurbishes and donates used hardware to underserved schools and non-profits, and Family House, which offers a home away from home for families of patients visiting Pittsburgh for life-saving medical treatment.

CMU students are free to serve in the way they find most meaningful. There are more than 40 student-run organizations on campus whose primary purpose is community service. Some of these include FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment), which provides mentoring, tutoring, and support for immigrant families and their children; Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for low-income families; Camp Kesem, which runs a summer camp for kids whose parent or parents have cancer; and Strong Women Strong Girls, a national mentorship program for girls and college women in the Pittsburgh area.

Learn how the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement (SLICE) connects CMU students with service organizations and activities.

Research with Impact

When CMU faculty and students collaborate with government and neighborhood leaders, non-profit organizations, and businesses or startups, it is an expression of our deep commitment to societal impact.

COVIDcast map visual

CMU's Delphi Research Group partnered with numerous organizations, including Facebook and Google, to track COVID-19 and better forecast its spread at the county level.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit during the last academic year, CMU faculty leveraged years of research and expertise in forecasting nationwide influenza activity to predict the spread. Through a partnership with Facebook and Google, the research team estimated the spread of the virus weeks in advance. CMU researchers used those estimates to provide forecasts that helped hospitals, first responders, and other health officials anticipate the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions likely to occur in their locales several weeks in advance. As a result, local, regional, and national leaders were ready to respond and deploy resources to the communities where the virus hit hardest.

Motivated by the need to improve the region’s air quality and community health, CMU researchers were recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor regional pollution. They deployed air quality monitors in neighborhoods throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, gathering hyperlocal, real-time pollutant levels for which the EPA had no existing data. The resulting data was valuable for determining exposure levels, implementing traffic control strategies, and tracking progress in reducing pollutants.

Get Involved

Volunteer or partner with us to help create lasting economic and community impact in the region.

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