Penn State hosts in-person STEM activities for Central PA Remake Learning Days

Adult and child work on nature journals outdoors

A nature journaling session run by Shaver's Creek Environmental Center is one of more than 50 events for pre-K through high school students that are part of Central Pennsylvania’s “Remake Learning Days” this spring.

Credit: Alexa Sarussi

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Central Pennsylvania’s “Remake Learning Days” are back and in person this spring with more than 50 events for students in pre-K through high school, including more than a dozen hosted by Penn State.

Students and their families and caregivers can learn to make and code programmable lanyards with the College of Education and try solving design challenges at the Berks LaunchBox Makerspace, among a host of other Remake Learning events.

Remake Learning Days in Central PA will run from May 12-23, with some events starting earlier. Central PA is joined by the Southwestern and Southeastern PA regions this year for the first statewide Remake Learning Days, with more than 300 events altogether. Most of this year’s events — unlike last year — will be held in person.

The Pennsylvania events are part of “Remake Learning Days Across America,” a festival of innovation intended to encourage creativity, perseverance and curiosity among youth from pre-K through high school.

“Remake Learning Days is a great opportunity to elevate the many amazing innovative experiences for students and their families and a way to showcase Penn State and what we provide to the pre-K to 12 school audience,” said Amanda Smith, director of K-12 engagement at Penn State and executive director of ENGINE of Central Pennsylvania, a Penn State-led STEM organization.

Smith said she hopes many more Penn State campuses and colleges will become involved in future festivals.

The first University-connected event is a free, in person and socially distanced morning of Nature Journaling on April 30 hosted by Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center at Tait Farm Harvest Shop and Greenhouse. Activities include technique demonstrations, natural history interpretation, and time to draw and write.

Other Penn State-hosted events include:

May 3: Penn State College of Education holds a Coding Wearable Technology event, where participants can create a programmable lanyard using craft materials, a pocket-sized programmable computer, and simple, block-based coding.

May 3-5: Penn State Extension and 4-H host a STEM Symposium – youth educators and volunteers from across the country collaborate, learn and share STEM practices.

May 4: Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research present an in person Sea Air Land Challenge, where robotic systems built by teams of high school students will compete in a series of challenges.

May 7: The Berks LaunchBox, a collaboration between Penn State Berks and Penn State Health St. Joseph, hosts a STEM Innovation Hands-On Open House at the Berks LaunchBox Makerspace, located in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts.

May 10: WPSU and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center host a virtual field trip to Shaver’s Creek.

May 12: Shaver’s Creek hosts a Family Science Night with Juniata Valley Elementary School families.

May 14: Shaver’s Creek hosts a workshop on Felting Wool Wildflowers

May 15: Penn State Extension hosts Growing Gardeners, a multiday workshop for youth to learn more about gardening through hands-on activities.

May 17: Shaver’s Creek hosts What’s Inside an Egg? Egg Dissection. Participants will dissect a chicken egg to learn how each part supports a growing chick and also learn about eggs as food and nutrition.

May 21: WPSU and Shaver’s Creek staff host a tour of Shaver’s Creek and an outdoor learning adventure.

May 25: HUB Robeson Galleries – Happy Valley Movie Night. An hour of animated shorts created by independent artists and teams of animators.

A full list of events and registration information for central Pennsylvania is available on the Remake Learning Days website. Some events will allow students to earn digital Career Ready PA badges from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Remake Learning Days events are hosted by schools, museums, libraries, after-school organizations, child care centers, universities, media centers and tech startups to provide relevant and engaging educational experiences for young people and their families, caregivers and educators. Events are organized by themes such as arts, maker, outdoor learning, science, technology and youth voice. For more information, visit

Remake Learning Days Across America are sponsored by the Grable Foundation, and supported by national partners PBS Kids, Digital Promise, Common Sense Media and Learning Heroes. The central PA festival is sponsored by Schuylkill Technology Center and three PBS stations — WPSU, WITF and PBS39.