RLD’s Youth Ambassadors Are Ready for Hands-on Learning Events That Will Help Them Change the World

Posted on Wed, April 28, 2021 by

As Sydney Dawson and Tomi Olaore look ahead to the Remake Learning Days Across America festival, these teens are excited about many of the technology-related and art-related events planned for the Pittsburgh area.

Dawson is curious about a free class called Level Up Your Photoshop happening on May 6, May 11 and May 13 at the Homewood Brushton YMCA Lighthouse Project (make sure to RSVP at those links), as well as Stronger Together Spring Sculpting, happening via Zoom on May 7 and 8, hosted by the Baldwin Borough Public Library. And both teens are looking forward to the virtual session on May 10 called Learning about Machine Vision with CMU’s Robotics Academy.

“I think I’d really enjoy that class and definitely learn a lot,” says Dawson, a senior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts charter school.

Olaore, a junior and saxophone player at Pittsburgh CAPA, is also curious about What’s the Scoop? The Science of Making Ice Cream happening virtually on May 13 and the CMU Entertainment Technology Center’s virtual EdTech Showcase on May 7 and the 3D Toy Making class happening May 10 at the Estelle S. Campbell Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA.

Alexander Zielinski and Lauren Smith share that this focus on merging artistic creativity with technological skill: Both are planning to attend the Intro to JavaScript event happening on May 11, where youth of all ages will learn to code LGBTQ+ flags.

At this virtual event, you can learn coding “to make Pride flags, such as the Rainbow flag and the Trans flag, and hopefully any other flag you want, while also learning about LGBTQ history,” says Zielinski, a sophomore at Valley Junior-Senior High School.

A photo of a group of five teens building a robot car together.
At the Remake Learning Days Kickoff in 2018, teens worked together to construct robot cars.

 

STEAM-focused events like these “interest me the most, because when I was in my STEAM class it was my favorite class to be in,” says Coleman Connelly, a junior at Brashear High School.

These high schoolers are excited to build new technology and art skills. But that learning is just the beginning: Their goal is to use those skills to share their voices with the world and help other young people get their voices heard. 

Events like the LGBTQ+ flag coding class are “really appealing, especially for someone who’s involved in student voice,” says Smith, a senior at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy.

This group of students have been combing through the listings of upcoming RLDAA events in the Pittsburgh-region to help further their personal goals.

Tomi Taiwo, a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School, is looking forward to the Entrepreneurs in Action: The Year of the Pivot event because she’s an entrepreneur herself and is looking to support other student entrepreneurs in the future.

And they have also been helping out the festival as Youth Ambassadors — sharing their perspective on community learning in the Pittsburgh area and helping spread the word among their peers about all the cool events coming up on the RLDAA calendar. The Youth Ambassadors program was created in partnership with Carlow University’s Center for Youth Media Advocacy and Saturday Light Brigade, with support from American Eagle Outfitters Foundation

Many of these students consider themselves hands-on and visual learners. So they’re drawn to RLDAA’s focus on innovative, relevant hands-on experiences where young people can develop their sense of creativity, perseverance and curiosity.

“I like to learn through my senses,” says Amira Johnson, a senior at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy. “If I had a magic wand, I’d remake learning by making it more interactive, more hands-on, and by showing us how to take the stuff that we’ve learned and apply it to stuff in the real world.”

The organizers and hosts of hundreds of Remake Learning Days events happening all around the country this year are aiming to do just that. 

 

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