Office of Mayor William Peduto
Mayor Celebrates National Week of Making

PITTSBURGH, PA (June 12, 2015) - Mayor William Peduto today celebrates the first day of the National Week of Making, drawing attention to Pittsburgh’s vibrant ecosystem of makers, and announcing new considerations in response to President Obama’s call-to-action to support a generation of Americans who are “makers of things not just consumers of things.”

Throughout the region, new tools – things like 3D printers, laser cutters, and advanced software design programs – are increasingly giving everyday citizens the ability to make just about anything. This renaissance in American manufacturing may have profound benefits for entrepreneurs, students, and citizens of all ages and backgrounds.

In Pittsburgh’s TechShop, for example, citizens have access to a remarkable array of next-generation tools and techniques. For the price of a gym membership, these innovators are making all sorts of things – from steel guitars to 3D printers to underwater robots. Some of these makers are growing their innovations, starting companies, and putting people to work. The Maker Movement also benefits those hoping to re-enter the workforce. Pittsburgh’s MAKERSHiP Project retrains laid off industrial workers, equipping them with the skills needed to find positions with advanced manufacturers and start-ups. That’s why President Obama came to TechShop last summer to taut the promise of this movement, and celebrate 2014’s National Day of Making.

The Maker Movement also holds remarkable potential for students, and Pittsburgh is home to a thriving community of maker educators and learners. Over 200 regional organizations have focused these efforts through the Remake Learning Network, enabling educators to infuse making into classrooms, after school programs, libraries, museums, and community centers. Remake Learning Network members are building and sharing world-class maker learning practices that combining physical and digital skills—from science and engineering, technology and media, crafting, and the arts—so that all children and youth can learn, be creative, and work together and reshape their world.

Last year, on June 18, President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire and issued a call to action that “every company, every college, every community, every citizen joins us as we lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.” Also last year Mayor Peduto and the City of Pittsburgh hosted the first innovation roundtable on making. This year, the White House is celebrating a National Week of Making.

In response to the President’s call to action, Mayor Peduto is proud to draw attention to Pittsburgh’s vibrant community of makers and announce new considerations and commitments from local stakeholders to expand this work:

  • The Mayor’s Office will explore possibilities to provide better support to the larger maker community.  Considerations include:
    • Connect makers to city resources;
    • Work on the continued development and integration of city programs engaging the maker community, including the Learn and Earn summer youth employment program;
    • Explore the possibilities of enhancing technical resources at city recreation centers and facilities;
    • Incorporate Pittsburgh’s maker community into the forthcoming Innovation Roadmap; and
    • Work with Pittsburgh’s Maker community to support the development of a long-term regional vision.
  • Event organizers will publicly release a call for makers to participate in the first-ever Maker Faire Pittsburgh, a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness to be held October 10th and 11th on the Northside. Individuals, groups, schools, and organizations are invited to apply to demonstrate what they make and share what they have learned. For more information, see www.makerfairepittsburgh.com.
  • The Sprout Fund will premiere the Remake Learning Playbook, an ambitious project to document Pittsburgh’s vibrant learning innovation ecosystem that has produced powerful new learning programs for youth, with a central focus on maker learning. A tangible product, the Remake Learning Playbook will document in rich detail how Pittsburgh has become a national leader in learning innovation and share strategies, lessons learned, and case study examples of how Pittsburgh is remaking learning.
  • The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh will announce the ten schools chosen to participate in the pilot stage of the project, "Kickstarting Making in Schools." This first-of-its-kind effort seeks to connect educators around the region, and eventually around the nation, with the financial, curricular, and training support they need to embed making into their schools. These schools will participate in ongoing professional development facilitated and coordinated by the museum and raise funds for their projects using Kickstarter, an online funding platform and an educational partner on the project.
  • The Remake Learning Council will convene local maker stakeholders to advance the collective agenda for “Pittsburgh Makes.” These discussions will work with regional stakeholders and the Mayor’s office to develop a cross-sector, “all hands on deck” effort to increase the number of children with access to the space, tools, mentors, and projects they need to design, create, and make.
  • Maker leaders from the region will join colleagues from other major cities to form the American Maker Cities (AMC) North. This emerging partnership will include site visits and events multiple cities, and will include documenting best practices for contribution into an open sharing platform. This unique partnership will enable collaboration, cross-pollination, resource and idea sharing, stakeholder buy-in, and maker community building.

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