Grateful and Thankful


We are so grateful for all of our Matt's Maker Space Family!

We wish all of our donors, administrators, teachers, students, partners and friends a peaceful and refreshing

Thanksgiving holiday!

Listen to the

Matt's Maker Space story

I am so excited to share this podcast from The PAST Foundation Foundation where I chatted with founder and President, Annalies Corbin. In this podcast, we discuss how our maker spaces are more than just rooms filled with tools; they are hives of creativity where the process is king. If you have a few minutes, please listen to hear how Matt's Maker Space came to be!

Recent Matt's Maker Space openings

This has been a busy fall for us! We have been working on 6 spaces this year. Here are some photos from our openings at Point Park University, St. Paul's Episcopal Preschool and Cancer Bridges. We still are planning openings at Carnegie Elementary and Pittsburgh Public Schools - Sci-Tech and Carmalt!

Brick-by-Brick Clubs

Since our last newsletter, the Matt's Maker Space team has been to Play Included in Cambridge twice! We are ready to train teachers to become Brick Club facilitators.

We already have several brick clubs open in our Matt's Maker Spaces and many more are in the process of getting training.

If you would like to start a Brick-by-Brick club, please reach out to Noelle at as soon as possible. New classes are forming! Two of our board members, Matt Mikesell and Emily Sanders are now trained to teach these classes.

In the meantime, if you would like to follow along with one of our clubs, follow Mellon_Brick_buds on Instagram!


Emily Sanders is heading up our training division for Matt's Maker Space. Thanks to a generous grant from the Grable Foundation, we have funding to provide professional development for teachers, facilitators and all Matt's Maker Space coordinators. If you need training, please reach out to Emily and we will get you scheduled. Below is an example of the classes we offered VIRTUALLY this fall. We also offer in person classes. You can reach Emily at



We would like to welcome:

Abby Briscoe,

Cancer Bridges

Christine Mains,

Leanne Simmonds

St. Paul's Episcopal Nursery School

Bell-opoly created through Pittsburgh hospital's support program

This past February, UPMC Children's Hospital Child Activity Coordinator, Kaleena Dilts, was hosting a game night in Matt’s Maker Space at the Hospital, a S.T.E.A.M.-inspired room on the 6th floor of the hospital. That night, a couple – Luke and Cass – came down from the NICU where their daughter was admitted to unwind and play some games. The couple shared with Kaleena their keen love for the game MONOPOLY®, telling her how they had a collection of MONOPOLY boards at home, including the Pittsburgh-themed one.

Read more about their story here.

Travel to Dublin

Matt's Maker Space had the opportunity to travel to Dublin recently with Matt's Maker Space Board members and Point Park University School of Education professors, Virginia Chambers, Kamyrn York and Former Dean, Darlene Marnich. The purpose of the trip was to observe schools and maker spaces in Ireland. We visited 4 schools and got to see how they were integrating maker spaces into their learning. We were especially interested in the SEK International school in Dublin, County Wicklow known as SEK Dublín. This school serves Spanish students who board there as well as local Irish students. We are currently seeking a way to have a relationship with this school. Stay tuned!

Designing for Empathy Summit

Noelle Conover and Matt's Maker Space Design partner, Anne Fullenkamp, Senior Director of Creative Experiences, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, traveled to New York on October 25th for the 6th Annual Designing for Empathy Summit. Held at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Anne and Noelle presented Fostering Empathy Through Making. Noelle presented Matt's story and together, we described our work with hospitals and mental health facilities and how important making has become in those settings.

From our introduction:

When the pandemic forced remote communication and social distancing, the importance of in-person interactions for meaningful social connections, especially for digitally literate children, became more clear than ever. Now, we recognize physical engagement and tangible activities are essential to honing soft skills like communication and empathy. Maker spaces have become the places in museums, schools and other informal learning environments where people of diverse ages, abilities and learning styles can come together to practice these soft skills, using STEAM content as the framework. At a time when societal anxieties are high, hands-on creative activities can provide the basis for more empathetic interactions with our families, friends, and neighbors.

Board News

Matt's Maker Space is always looking for candidates for our Board of Directors. We are proud of our Board, made up of educators, administrators, and professionals dedicated to the mission of bringing maker spaces to children in schools, libraries, community centers and hospitals. We are happy to welcome our 2 newest board members.

Brett Bielewicz

Principal, Jefferson Elementary School, Mt. Lebanon School District

Career goals: To be the change we wish to see in the world by advancing and enriching the field of education. My goal is to embrace each and every opportunity to create safe and supportive school communities for staff, students and families.

We are so excited to have Brett as part of our organization. He brings passion, enthusiasm and great technology skills!

Welcome, Brett!

Matt Henderson

Matt Henderson, a 20-year veteran teacher in the Upper St. Clair School District, with a background in math and science, teaches the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) Design class.

The National School Boards Association named Henderson one of “20 to Watch” educators. The award identifies emerging education technology leaders who have the potential to impact the field for the next 20 years.

We are thrilled to have Matt as part of our organization and excited to have him working on our curriculum team. Welcome Matt!

Micayla Reynolds

Micayla is a Child Activity Coordinator at Western Psychiatric Hospital. She coordinates program development for the first Matt's Maker Space in a psychiatric hospital.

Patients are welcome to create independently or collaboratively in a safe space that fosters self-awareness, self-expression, innovation, open mindedness, focus, and positivity. Adapted from Maker Spaces originating in schools and children's hospital, Western Psychiatric Hospital's Maker Space allows patients safe use of materials appropriate for individual and group settings as a means for growth during treatment.

We are thrilled to have Micayla as part of our team! She is so creative and innovative!

Ana Diaz-Young

Student Assistant

Ana is our latest student from Carnegie-Mellon University to work for Matt's Maker Space. Ana is originally from Washington, DC, and is studying design and anthropology as a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon. Some things she’s involved with on campus include the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Habitat for Humanity, and the Industrial Designers Society of America

She will be helping Matt’s Maker Space maintain the website and keep in contact with our spaces.

If you see an email from Ana, please be sure to answer it! She is helping us to keep our information current and up-to-date!

Welcome, Ana!

Matt's Maker Space

Board of Directors

Noelle Conover, Co-Founder and Executive Director

David Conover, Co-Founder

Megan Conover

Anna Conover

Bridget Belardi

Brett M. Bielewicz

Virginia Chambers, Ed.D.

Nancy Dapper

Emily Sanders

Kamyrn York, Ed.D.

Barbara Helmeci

Matthew Mikesell

Michelle Murray, Ed.D.

Micayla Reynolds

Julie Snyder

In the News

Matt's Maker Space mentioned in the recent news

On A Positive Note: 2nd Matt's Maker Space opens at Point Park University

Transforming integrative maker education for STEM: Empowering pre-service teachers

Matt's Maker Spaces keep memories alive, create new ones


Thank you to our donors

We would like to thank the following individuals for their recent contributions.

Ronald Pyle

Karen and Pat Fletcher

The Mt. Lebanon Class of 2023, in memory of Jonathan Baum

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