The Children's Innovation Project aims to engage young children in broad interdisciplinary learning, with a focus on creative exploration, expression and innovation with technology. Children explore and learn about electricity and simple circuits through hands-on engagement with Circuit Blocks and other raw materials, developing habits of mind to inquire - notice - persist. Children make connections to objects in their world - specifically through imagining about the insides of electronic toys, opening them to notice carefully, identifying components and then repurposing and reconfiguring their internal components into new circuits and new ideas. Our approach to technology as raw material permits us to view it as a means to learning, not an end. Inside and across many subject areas, children develop precision of language, collaboration, and flexibility and fearlessness in problem solving. Children are empowered with new relationships and understandings of the world around them, and learn a new set of expressive tools.
The Children's Innovation Project is a project of CMU's CREATE Lab and has been in development as a project at Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5 (Pittsburgh Public Schools) since 2010. Pilot funding for the project came from SPARK, a program of The Sprout Fund. Project partners include Carlow University Department of Education, ASSET STEM Education, The Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College, Clarion University of PA, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, among others. Children’s Innovation Project is a member of the Kids+Creativity Network.
Children's Innovation Project is generously supported by Pittsburgh's foundation community. The Grable Foundation supports child and teacher learning at Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5 and other Pittsburgh Public Schools, including program evaluation and development with the Fred Rogers Center. Heinz Endowments supports the development of our classroom materials and educational supports for both in school and out of school communities. Benedum Foundation supports the CREATE Lab Satellite Network, including Carlow University and other universities involved in Children's Innovation Project teaching and learning work.
You can support the Children's Innovation Project, and obtain some tools to teach a young person, or yourself, using the materials and methods we've developed, by purchasing a set of Circuit Blocks at our Learning Store.
To learn more about the Children's Innovation Project, please contact us: