Learning center

New Tech Learning Center for Youth Opens in Pittsburgh’s Hill District

New Tech Learning Center at Ammon Recreation Center in Pittsburgh’s Hill District aims to provide city youth the opportunity to learn more about technology and spark interest in fields such as computers and artificial intelligence.

Part of the Rec2Tech program, the new site will allow young people to access computers in their neighborhood leisure center.

“The kids in our town will no longer just get a basketball and a cup of juice and be told they can go out and be safe, which is important. They’re going to have these opportunities, plus job skills, plus life skills, plus workforce development, mentorship programs, programs that let kids know there is a career path for them. them, ”said Dan Gilman, Chief of Staff to Mayor Bill Peduto.

The new technology learning center is equipped with laptops installed in a recently renovated space of the recreation center, allowing children participating in after-school programs to have access to technology and public wifi.

“They now have a new opportunity and this is just the start to build a ramp to not only their future, but also to step into technology and all the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Max Dennison, coordinator digital inclusion for the city. Department of Parks and Recreation.

Julia Felton | Tribune-Review

At the Ammon Recreation Center in the Hill District, the Rec2Tech program is bringing new technologies to the neighborhood.

Children visiting the center will have the chance to start learning computer programming and coding, he said, potentially paving the way for future careers in fields such as robotics or artificial intelligence. It’s a program that is well suited for a “tech-centric” city like Pittsburgh, he said, adding that the initiative had been in the works for about two years.

The recreation center had not been updated for “a long, long, long time” and probably would not have been updated for a long time without the partnerships that have helped city officials find the resources to modernize space and equipping it with new technology, said City Councilor R. Daniel Lavelle.

The project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to help integrate STEM programming into local recreation centers, as well as by local partners like the Pittsburgh Penguins and the First National Bank.

“We’re excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Delvina Morrow, senior director of strategic community initiatives for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The improvements will “be of the greatest benefit to residents of the Hill District,” Lavelle said.

“This is the start of some very good things to come,” he said, explaining that he hopes to offer further improvements to the recreation center in the future. “It’s not the end, that’s all, but it’s the beginning.”

Julia Felton is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .