HazelWood Workshop

Published: by
William Scott

HazelWood Workshop

Thanks to the Build Back Better federal grant awarded to the South-Western Pennsylvania Region and collaboration with the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC)- Carnegie Mellon University has recently announced the renovation of an old steel mill, Mill 19, into a new $150 million robotics manufacturing facility in the heart of the Hazelwood community. In response to this new construction, the Social Haptics Robotics and Education (SHRED) Laboratory is supporting local Hazelwood youth through a community workshop series called the Art of Sound. We are motivated to preserve existing community members’ sense of belonging by installing multiple art pieces that describe the stories and experiences of those local to the region.

What is it about?

In this active monthly workshop series, we guide middle-school and early high school students in constructing five distinct interactive artwork installations. These five paintings utilize capacitive touch technology to play various noises and sounds, correlating to each painting’s unique theme. In conversation with the community stakeholders prior to this work, they outlined the local Hazelwood library, coffeeshop, and family support center as the most impactful locations to display their youth’s hard work. With the support of local artist Edith Abeyta and singer Erika Johnson, we aim to leverage an interdisciplinary approach to support their sustained engagement with STEM learning. This work contributes to the over-arching research of the SHRED Lab’s community outreach personnel Will Scott, whose research focuses on decentering educational technology from its colonial heritage by leveraging historically “feminized” practices from artistic and craft-based disciplines. This series will run for from the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters.

Students working at the Hazelwood library.