PITTSBURGH, Jan. 6, 2015 — Local middle and high school students will work together this weekend to transform their ideas about scientific topics into videos – in just a few hours – during Carnegie Science Center’s Digital Video SMASH JAM Workshop. The intensive workshop, held on Saturday, Jan. 10, is part of the National Science Foundation “Intersections” grant awarded to the Science Center and the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Pennsylvania Writing Project.

Staff from the Science Center and the Writing Project developed the concept for the video project, focusing on the intersections between science and literacy. The Pittsburgh program is one of 10 grant recipients in the nation.

During the free workshop, 16 students will explore a scientific concept, such as gravity, momentum, or friction, through video. They’ll select a genre for their film, develop a storyboard, film footage on iPads in the Science Center, and then edit their video short.

“The integration of curriculum is essential in quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and through this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore how science and literacy intersect. Regardless of their video experience, all students will learn a tremendous amount, have a lot of fun, and make some great new friends in the process,” said Alana Kulesa, the Science Center’s Director of Strategic Education Initiatives. “It is our hope that by creating narratives using digital video technology, we are providing opportunities for learning new skills and knowledge in a dynamic new way.”

Each organization selected for the grant chose its own direction for the project. The team from Charlotte, N.C., for example, is focusing on tinkering and making, while the team from Missoula, Mont., is incorporating an urban archeology theme.

In continued partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, Carnegie Science Center plans to offer the Digital Video SMASH JAM Workshop again at a mini-camp July 16 and 17. The student workshop will be offered as well as an educator professional development workshop following the same model, with dates to be announced in the future.

This project is part of Pittsburgh City of Learning, an initiative of The Sprout Fund. Pittsburgh City of Learning is part of a nationwide movement to leverage community resources to ensure learning doesn’t stop when school lets out. By participating in City of Learning programs happening in schools, museums, libraries, parks, and community centers, young people can explore their interests, develop new skills, and connect their learning to real world opportunity by earning digital badges. Learn more at

For more about the Science Center and its programs, visit or call 412.237.3400.