Ohio River Consortium
The Ohio River Consortium is a collaborative effort between Avonworth, Cornell, Moon Area, Northgate, Sto-Rox, and Quaker Valley school districts with the Teacher Education Programs of Robert Morris University, with the aim of embedding active learning strategies into every student's learning experience.
With funding from the Grable Foundation, these six school districts are partnering with Robert Morris University to advance their students' learning and invention. The consortium builds active engagement experiences into the curriculum at all levels and across disciplines by developing and borrowing projects, techniques, games, simulations, and instructional plans that push student engagement and challenge students to think creatively. See media coverage of the project here.
Preparing students for the 21st Century workplace means changing education today. With easy access to information through technology, today's learners need to know how to use information, work collaboratively and solve problems. The Institute of Play portrays a current crisis in education, in which we fail our children by not engaging them in learning. This is the challenge that the Ohio River Consortium is taking up.
The goals of the project are:
- To make project-based learning, creation of products, teamwork, and simulation learning a major part of the student experience
- To codify this approach through integration with each district's curriculum and the Pennsylvania Core Standards
- To educate pre-service teachers by involving them first-hand in the most authentic form of learning – discovery and invention – so that they may bring these skills to future classrooms
Weaving experiential lessons into every subject and every grade level will be achieved by work teams made up of teachers from the four districts and university faculty members. The consortium will cooperate in building and borrowing projects, techniques, games, simulations, and instructional plans that push student engagement and challenge students to think creatively. Key to the project's success will be an emphasis on research, teamwork, divergent thinking, and decision-making in problem-solving.
Infusing active play into the K-12 curriculum will be accomplished by:
- Integrating project-based learning into the curriculum so that it becomes a standard and regular event
- Utilizing the makeshop movement to ensure all students have access to a creation laboratory
- Building simulation and gaming exercises into every classroom
- Makerspace Resources
Maker education is embedded throughout the education curriculum of RMU. Students’ training culminates with delivering maker lessons during pre-student and student teaching field experiences.
How to Build your Makerspace
Project Based and Maker Resources/Networking
- Project Zero Quaker Valley School District
- ASSET STEM Education
- Children’s Innovation Project
- Remake Learning
- Assemble - a community space for arts + technology
- Buck Institute
- Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
- ABC Create
- How Pittsburgh Created an Innovation Hub for Learning
- The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough – Recommended by Dr. Ron Perry, Robert Morris University, Education Department
- The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun: Classroom Technology Projects, by Josh Burker – Recommended by Aaron Thomas, Superintendent, Cornell School District
- Ish, by Peter Reynolds – Recommended by Melissa Butler and Jeremy Boyle from Children's Innovation Project
- The Dot, by Peter Reynolds – Recommended by Melissa Butler and Jeremy Boyle from Children's Innovation Project
- Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis – Recommended by Melissa Butler and Jeremy Boyle from Children's Innovation Project
- Not a Stick, by Antoinette Portis – Recommended by Melissa Butler and Jeremy Boyle from Children's Innovation Project
- Beautiful oops!, by Barney Saltzberg – Recommended by Melissa Butler and Jeremy Boyle from Children's Innovation Project
- Rosie Revere, Engineer , by Andrea Beaty – Recommended by Mary Ann Rafoth, Dean. School of Education and Social Sciences
- Iggy Peck, Architect, by Andrea Beaty – Recommended by Mary Ann Rafoth, Dean. School of Education and Social Sciences
- What Do You Do with an Idea?, by Kobi Yamada – Recommended by Mary Ann Rafoth, Dean. School of Education and Social Sciences, Robert Morris University
- The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes , by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein – Recommended by Mary Ann Rafoth, Dean. School of Education and Social Sciences
- The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires– Recommended by Avonworth School District Worlds of Making: Best
- Practices for Establishing a Makerspace For Your School, Corwin Connected Educators Series, by Laura Fleming – Recommended by Avonworth School District
- Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, by Ron Ritchart