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  • Writer's pictureAnna Leonhard Lacerda

Forging the Future of Learning in Pittsburgh, PA

“Sometimes you are in just the right place.” ― Fred Rogers (American television host and author)  

Over two days in May, Laura and Anna attended the Forge Futures Convening along with 200 education leaders from around the country. The gathering, sponsored by Remake Learning and the Grable Foundation, showcased Pittsburgh’s network of in- and out-of-school learning spaces, academia, and civic and industry partners. Each tour highlighted the potential for cross-sector learning.   


Suburban General was an abandoned hospital that the Bellevue community reimagined as a tech and innovation hub. The repurposed structure houses an accelerator for health care start-ups, with the 7th floor dedicated to a partnership with the 1,000-student Northgate School District. Through proximity to entrepreneurs, high schoolers have direct access to job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships in life-sciences and tech.


MCG Youth Center combines The Arts and career exploration through personalized pathways for middle and high school students. The center has been a pillar of Pittsburgh’s out-of-school-time space for over half a century. Youth participants can explore creative endeavors at their own pace with the support of industry mentors, experiencing trailblazing arts education offered at no cost.


High school students immerse themselves in cutting-edge research at the world-renown Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center. The institution’s K12 programming creates access to real-world opportunities with leading robotics firms through micro-certification, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships in robotics. https://www.nrec.ri.cmu.edu/  


We are grateful for the pioneering work of Remake Learning and The Grable Foundation. Our team left Pittsburgh inspired by the city’s vision; this model provided valuable insight for WPS’s work to cultivate learning ecosystems in New England. 


Remake Learning is a free peer network for educators and innovators in the greater Pittsburgh region that enables people to “connect, exchange knowledge, collaborate on new ideas, improve their practice, and find funding to spark more engaging, relevant, and equitable opportunities to enrich Pittsburgh’s learning ecosystem.” Curious about the Pittsburgh model? Check-out the Pittsburgh Principles.



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