NEXT Up: Gregg Behr

The Behr family making pizzas.

The Behr family making pizzas.

In his 10th year as executive director of The Grable Foundation, Gregg Behr manages a grantmaking portfolio advancing high-quality early childhood education, great teaching and learning in public schools, and amazing out-of-school time programs. Nationally, Gregg is a trustee for Grantmakers for Education and GreatNonprofits.org, while in Pittsburgh, he co-chairs the Remake Learning Council. In 2015, Gregg was recognized as one of America’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers by the Center for Digital Education, and in 2014, he accepted the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award on behalf of Pittsburgh’s Remake Learning Network.

Before heading into one of the most exciting weeks of his year, Gregg takes a minute to reflect, inviting the public to join him in celebrating Remake Learning Days all around the city and region:

“As an avid reader of this column, I often guffaw. Not possible, I think. What? Did this guy dump his kids off for a week? How did she do all of that? Aha, I’ve learned. It turns out that the fine folks at NEXTPittsburgh cleverly find people when they’re in the thick of it,” says Behr. “So, here I go. But don’t guffaw. Rather, join me for an amazingly special week for parents and families: Remake Learning Days. Think of it as a great big open house during which you can check out what it means to learn today. Coding? Check. Making? Check. STEM, STEAM, digital learning? Check, check, check. Come find out what it means to remake learning. You can choose from among nearly 300 events all across southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”

Gregg Behr with his daughter at the Pittsburgh Kids Marathon.

Gregg Behr with his daughter, Catheryn, at the Pittsburgh Kids Marathon.

Monday, May 9

From Silicon Valley to the Big Apple, national leaders in making and learning will converge on Pittsburgh today. Together, at LUMA Institute, we’ll anticipate what’s next, as schools, museums, libraries, and others embrace hands-on learning that engages today’s digital kids.

Later that day, this group will join other national and local leaders as we launch Remake Learning Days. At an event hosted by Google Pittsburgh, our Mayor and County Executive, along with officials from the White House, will announce more than 100 commitments made by regional companies, universities, school districts, and foundations to support innovative teaching and learning during the year ahead, cementing the Pittsburgh region’s place at the forefront of reimagining education.

Tuesday, May 10

Today, I hope to attend at least six events, if not more. I’ll start by attending a youth-led summit that will spotlight how young people are using media as creative expression to advocate for positive change. Over at the University of Pittsburgh, I’ll listen to the experiences of 250 students who traded their traditional classrooms for a day to visit Maker Spaces and SMALLAbs; I know they’ll have great ideas about how schools can embrace their futures.

On Carnegie Mellon’s campus, I’ll hear about the local intersection of entertainment, education and technology at the Steeltown Entertainment Summit. Crossing the Allegheny up to Avonworth High School, I’ll test my own skills as a maker during the Ohio River Consortium School Maker Faire, hosted jointly by the Avonworth, Cornell, Moon, and Quaker Valley school districts.

I’ll end the night back in the city, celebrating creative industry at the Elly Awards at the Ace Hotel, and, if I’m still awake, I’ll close the night at an event hosted by Thrival Festival.

Courtesy Remake Learning.

Courtesy Remake Learning.

Wednesday, May 11

I’m ready for more awesomeness. How about this lineup of things I’ll learn about today? Design thinking in the Montour School District, engineering design at Fox Chapel, making and learning in Millvale, digital learning at the Carnegie Library in East Liberty, hands-on learning at Assemble, and deeper learning in the Hill District. Wow. To be a kid again . . .

Thursday, May 12

Once again, I’ll be all over Pittsburgh on this Remake Learning Day. At the beginning, I’ll attend a showcase of media and music learning at Perry High School. In the middle, I’ll explore the Remake Learning Zone at the EQT Children’s Theater Festival.

And I’ll end the day being wowed by 3D design and printing during FabSLAM at the Carnegie Science Center and by game design during an open house at Schell Games.

When I finally settle in for the night, I plan to watch WQED’s newest documentary about innovative teaching and learning. You should, too!

Friday, May 13

The Bucs won’t be home on Friday, but PNC Park will still be abuzz during the Remake Learning Rally. Bring your kids and join everyone at this family-friendly event. Like me, you may also want to make the short walk over to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for Family Make Night or to The Andy Warhol Museum for Youth Invasion.

Courtesy Remake Learning.

Courtesy Remake Learning.

Saturday, May 14

LEGOs! I love LEGOs. And I love to play along with my kids. So, I plan to head down to the Carnegie Science Center on Saturday morning to PAEYC’s event called Maker Tots. There, I’ll learn more about what I can do as a dad to enrich playtime. The bonus? Someone from the LEGO Foundation is speaking.

Teachers! We all love teachers. And I’ll be lucky enough to spend the afternoon with some innovative and inspiring teachers as they explore tough issues about equity and innovation during EdCamp.

Sunday, May 15

This is a day for rest, right?! Ideally, I’ll play outdoors with my little girls, though I’m sure we’ll start the day by watching some episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. And, when they finally nap, I plan to get online and learn more about all the great resources I learned about this week, like Common Sense Media and Graphite, the Fred Rogers Center’s blog, and Kidsburgh.org.

Is there possibly a better place on Planet Earth to be a kid, or to raise a kid?

Read NEXTpittsburgh’s preview of Remake Learning Days here.