Whitaker Center
Central PA’s Nonprofit Center for the Arts

PNC Innovation Zone

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

Join us this fall for STEAM exploration for the whole family using the newest technology! Purposeful Gaming Studio on the Arcade Level of Whitaker Center will be open for drop-in programming starting this September. Programs and activities will change from week to week, and will include coding with Minecraft Education and Bloxels, building with Scrap Mechanic and Poly Bridge, and much more. Drop-in programming will be included in your price of admission to Harsco Science Center.

Whitaker Center's newest program, Innovation 101, is also coming this September! These two-hour, drop-off programs include topics for students from grades 2-8. 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.

Grades 2nd-4th grade programming will include:

 Basics of Innovation - No coding experience? No problem! We will begin by reinforcing physical computer skills and then introduce students to programming concepts using visual, interactive tools - both on and off the screen.

 Creative Coding - Using Minecraft Education Edition as a canvas, students will become familiar with game mechanics and basic coding concepts as a means of expression. We will design a personal logo and complete a story, then learn to capture images from the game to share them with other students!

 Think Like a Computer! - Participants will complete unplugged, physical computing challenges and then practice writing block code. We will learn and reinforce concepts such as using conditionals and loops and working through the debugging process.

Game Design - Discover the basics of coding in Scratch or Scratch Jr. and see your ideas for an interactive game come to life! Participants will create a simple playable game and have the chance to playtest those of other students.

Grades 5th and 6th grade programming will include:

 Coding for Good - Students will collaborate within the Minecraft Biosphere to code a solution to a real-world problem. We will learn how artificial intelligence and our own programming skills can help us create change. Participants will build their own codes and test codes from other students.

 Game Design - Students will develop coding and computational thinking skills that can be applied to real-world interests like art, gaming, and science. Working step-by-step, students will be able to see their ideas for an interactive game come to life. 

 Grades 7th and 8th grade programming will include:

 Game Design - Students will be introduced to fundamental programming concepts using Python, one of the easiest coding languages to learn. We will write code and learn new concepts together as students make a playable game.

 Coding for Good - Students will collaborate within the Minecraft Biosphere to code a solution to a real-world problem. We will learn how artificial intelligence and our own programming skills can help us create change. Participants will build their own codes and test codes from other students.

 Can't wait until this fall?

We still have spots open in our Innovation Summer Camps. Learn more here.

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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