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Assemble connects local makers, technologists, and artists through interactive gallery exhibits, workshops, camps, and events around Pittsburgh. Founded by Nina Marie Barbuto in 2011, Assemble is a nonprofit started to create an educational space for creative minds to learn and connect. The organization provides a platform for makers of all ages to engage in experiential learning and build confidence through making, and is committed to improving and sustaining opportunities to create and learn about art and technology in the community. Assemble’s programs provide opportunities to learn more about science, technology, engineering, art, and math while building confidence in one’s ability to create. Most programs are free or pay-what-you-want because we aim to make learning and creating accessible to everyone. High school students can get involved as assistant educators, interns, and volunteers. Amir, a student at Pittsburgh Milliones (UPrep) and Assemble intern, appreciates the opportunities to sharpen his art skills. He created a hand-painted illustration on wood for the Hyper Local show, a two-month exhibit featuring the work of local artists and makers of all ages. By working with Assemble, Amir has learned how to step out of his comfort zone and work with students in first through eighth grade. Over time, he has gained more confidence in his ability to educate and help younger students. He appreciates the welcoming atmosphere and values the one-to-one conversations with the staff. He has found that these conversations help him process the challenges of high school and figure out his next steps in life. Amir offers advice to other high school students to improve themselves before attempting to change other people. He encourages students to get involved in programs that better the community, and to surround themselves with friends who influence them positively. He advises, “stay focused while in school, look to the future, and work toward a goal.” Veronica, a student at Pittsburgh Obama, has participated in programs at Assemble since she was in middle school. She now serves as a high school volunteer. Veronica has gained many creative skills since getting involved about four years ago. She appreciates the opportunities to learn and teach at Assemble. She regards coding as one of the most valuable skills she has gained. “Coding is so important,” Veronica notes, “you can do many fun things with coding such as makey-makey, hummingbird kits, and even making your own website.” Her coding knowledge continues to help her at school and at home. Veronica’s advice for fellow students who want to make a difference is to “Be kind, be understanding, and get involved. Get involved with volunteering groups, book clubs, soup kitchens, whatever you want. There are so many opportunities out there that you can do even with your friends,” she notes. Veronica appreciates how everyone is treated equally at Assemble, and she looks forward to continue working with Assemble in the future.

GET INVOLVED High school students can help with program outreach and support teachers. During the summer, high school students help with camps, workshops, and community events. Learn more about the opportunities that Assemble offers by visiting


GET A HEAD START ON COLLEGE By taking classes through CCAC’s Dual Enrollment program while still in high school, you can earn college credits toward a degree at CCAC, or you can transfer these credits toward a degree at another college or university upon graduation from high school. To learn more, contact or call 412.237.3100.

Use your Promise scholarship at CCAC.

Hannah Saunder is Assemble’s Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator.





55 ideapod // 2014 ideapod 5 ideapod // SPRING SPRING // SPRING 20172017

Idea Pod Magazine Spring 2017  
Idea Pod Magazine Spring 2017