Whitaker Center
Central PA’s Nonprofit Center for the Arts

PNC Innovation Zone

PNC Innovation Zone

PNC Innovation Zone at Whitaker Center encompasses the new Purposeful Gaming Studio and Select Medical Digital Cinema in a state-of-the-art space that engages today’s youth in the topics of science, technology, engineering and math. This is accomplished through purposeful gaming and innovative programming.

 These new spaces have a special focus on experiential learning and deeper engagement in programming for students and families.  Whitaker Center is committed to breaking boundaries and making STEM education programming accessible to everyone.  This new project addresses gender and equity barriers, as well as bridges the digital divide that exists with underserved and underrepresented youth.     

 Programs will include:

  • After school programs
  • Girls in STEM
  • Emerging Healthcare Professionals: Science of Surgery Camp
  • Programs that offer STEM Scholarships: Summer Camps, Surgery Live!, Field Trips to Whitaker Center, Innovation 101

 In addition to educational programming, PNC Innovation Zone and Purposeful Gaming Studio will provide businesses and organizations transformative spaces to create, meet and connect.

 Purposeful Gaming Studio

Purposeful Gaming Studio

Purposeful Gaming Studio on the Arcade Level of Whitaker Center is open for drop-in programming. Programs and activities will change from week to week, and include coding with Minecraft Education and Bloxels, building with Scrap Mechanic and Poly Bridge, and much more. Drop-in programs are included in your price of admission to UPMC Science Center.

Whitaker Center's newest program, Gamers and Coders, occurs every Wednesday from 9:30-11 am. These  programs include STEAM topics for students  grades 3-8. Each session will include innovative, technology-based activities designed to introduce and reinforce computational thinking skills. No prior experience is needed, and each session will aim to encourage exploration of a wide range of STEAM concepts.  The cost is $8 per member and $12 per non-member. Only children need a ticket to attend.


 Coding: Animation - The Amazing World of Gumball Cartoon TV Series - Agest 8+ -Guests will learn how to animate a short story using Scratch coding language in the  cartoon style from the tv series “The Amazing World of Gumball”. The goal of the activity is to introduce new mechanics such as looping, conditionals, movement and painting animations. A “glitch” is causing miscommunication between characters and it’s up to the learner to problem solve and create a new dialogue. Learners can customize their story through costume changes, character selections and scene selection. The activity is typically 45 mins.    

Coding: Game - Platform Jumper (Intro & Design) - Ages 8+ - Guests will learn how to code the basics to a platforming game. Platforming games introduce collision detections and physic simulations between the character and other game objects in the scene. Coding mechanics will include “if & then statements”, where the learner will experience how interactions with game objects influence their various movements  to reach a goal. Guests can customize their experience by choosing their own sprite, in-game rewards, and platforms.         

Team Play: Esports - Ages 8+ - Multiplayer games will be available for guests to play as a team or individually in a local online game format. Game modes can be tailored to include a squad (3 or 4 players) playing together to achieve a goal or compete amongst each other. Titles include: Fall Guys, KartDrift Racing, Rocket League, MineCraft for Education and KnockOut City (Dodgeball).      

Learn More

 Media Kit

Press Release | Speaker Bios | Photos | B-Roll

For all media inquiries, please contact Kim Lehman, KAL Public Relations, kalehman@ptd.netor Olivia Lammel, PNC, olivia.lammel@pnc.com, 412-952-4880.


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