CMU1.jpgA group of teachers from GEMS World Academy Chicago recently visited Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab, which deploys robotics in an effort to support and inspire innovation in education and the community as a whole. Our teachers' visit was part of a larger partnership between GEMS schools and CMU, which we will use to build upon the robotics programs already in place in our school and find new ways to explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts. 

CMU3.jpgThe GEMS teachers who visited CMU were Elysia Sheehan, art & design teacher; Jennifer Schmidt, art teacher; Shannon Hurst, Middle School science teacher; Deb Lasala, lower school STEAM and innovation leader; and Peg Keiner, technology and innovation leader.

The teachers met with CREATE Lab leaders and examined projects that the lab is working on. The teachers also toured a Pittsburgh school and worked with CREATE Lab leaders to brainstorm ideas for innovative projects that could be developed at GEMS.

Elysia Sheehan said she was particularly excited about the idea of creating an air-quality monitor that displays drops in air quality in interesting ways.

"The sensor would be connected to sculptures designed by the students in the lobby at GEMS. If the air quality around pickup and drop-off times became bad due to idling cars, the sculpture could start moving in some way, or it could light up or even make sounds alerting parents not to idle their cars, and perhaps improve the air quality within the building.

"This sort of project ties in perfectly with the way our students view the world around them and think of ways to take action and improve the world around them."


Shannon Hurst said she explored ways "to create a particle sensor with looping feedback that will allow students to have a conceptual model that can help them create, solve, and test a working prototype with relation to the cosmos and water."

Hurst also learned about virtual-reality platforms that allow students to interact with forums that explore other parts of the world.

"This accomplishment will allow students with disabilities or who live in remote places the opportunity to create a virtual platform full of science wonders of the world," she said.

More details about our partnership with the CREATE Lab, and the projects that result, will be released soon. 


Our work with Carnegie Mellon underscores the commitment teachers have at GEMS to be on the forefront of STEAM thought and practice.















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