Agency by Design Pittsburgh (AbDPGH) is a research practice partnership meant to connect educators from diverse maker-based learning environments to develop mutual understandings of maker-centered learning and assessment. Specifically, teachers come together in the community to address their need to assess and document learning in maker-based learning experiences.
Jeff Evancho, from South Fayette Township School District, and Peter Wardrip, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, lead AbDPGH. AbDPGH consists of 30 educators from 24 different organizations within Western Pennsylvania. These educators work with learners from grades Pre-K to 12.
We are only beginning to assess the impact of this program on the learning community. The direct beneficiaries of the community are the teachers that give up one school day a month for nine months. Despite that difficulty, we average 87 percent attendance each month. Those teachers visited and observed learner engagement in eight different schools and one museum over the course of the year.
Those learning community members reach students as well. Collectively, they serve 7,741 students in the respective schools and organizations. Those members also enacted specially designed projects with the support of mini-grants that served 1,823 students.