CodeJoy and Assemble: Empowering Pittsburgh's Youth Through STEAM Education

In the heart of Pittsburgh, a city known for its innovation and technological advancements, CodeJoy and Assemble have joined forces to revolutionize education for young minds.
March 8, 2024 by
CodeJoy and Assemble: Empowering Pittsburgh's Youth Through STEAM Education
CodeJoy, Susan Willems

CodeJoy is proud to have recently forged a meaningful partnership with Assemble, a Pittsburgh-based STEAM program dedicated to inspiring children in grades 1-9 through hands-on learning experiences. This collaboration not only showcases the commitment of these organizations to education but also reflects the spirit of community engagement, echoing the values of the beloved Mr. Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. 

“It’s very important, no matter what you may do professionally, to keep alive some of the healthy interests of your youth. Children’s play is not just kids’ stuff. Children’s play is rather the stuff of most future inventions.”
― Fred Rogers, Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way

The Power of Partnership

CodeJoy's collaboration with Assemble is a testament to the belief that education should be accessible and enjoyable for all. Recognizing the vital role of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education in shaping future leaders, both organizations are making significant strides in bringing innovative learning experiences to children across Pittsburgh.

Assemble's Penn Avenue studio serves as a creative haven where children can explore, experiment, and build a better future. The partnership with CodeJoy enhances Assemble's commitment to providing a holistic STEAM education by incorporating cutting-edge coding and robotics elements into their programs. "[...] working with CodeJoy has been an absolute pleasure!" Said Tany Hanes, Afterschool Coordinator and Assemble Educator, of Assemble's partnership with CodeJoy. "Having CodeJoy in our afterschool space at Assemble has been endlessly interesting and enjoyable."

CodeJoy, inspired by the values of community engagement that Assemble holds, decided to take the chance give back to the Pittsburgh community by offering four Free Student Shows for Assemble's Afterschool program from November 2023 to January 2024. These shows, consisting of two Robot Rovers and two Robot Aerobics performances, catered to different age groups, providing an immersive and entertaining learning experience. "The kids' eyes light up when Kelsey reads their names during the coding session," said Tany of the event. "Interacting live with the students gives the kids a sense of truly being a part of the lesson and not just a spectator."

Community-Centric Values

“All we’re ever asked to do in this life is to treat our neighbor—especially our neighbor who is in need—exactly as we would hope to be treated ourselves. That’s our ultimate responsibility.”
― Fred Rogers, Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way

Much like the legendary Mr. Rogers, CodeJoy embraces the importance of caring for and engaging with the community. This commitment is evident in our partnership with Assemble, an organization that is dedicated to bringing STEAM education to underserved communities in Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood and beyond.

Nina Barbuto, the founder and CEO of Assemble, played a pivotal role in CodeJoy's CEO Kelsey Derringer's professional journey, having been her first boss in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Museum of Science. Together, they ran STEM Stars and TechGYRLS, laying the groundwork for their current collaboration. When asked about the impact of CodeJoy's work, Nina said, "CodeJoy makes learning computer science an engaging experience for youth." This connection demonstrates the long-lasting impact of mentorship and how individuals can come full circle to contribute to the growth and development of their community. "I think it's so wonderful how CodeJoy has been expanding!" Said Nina when asked about CodeJoy's recent growth and initiatives in the community.

CodeJoy's partnership with Assemble exemplifies the positive impact that collaboration between educational organizations can have on the community. By providing free Student Shows, CodeJoy is not only enhancing STEAM education but also fostering a sense of community spirit and goodwill. As the legacy of Mr. Rogers lives on in the values of these organizations, the future of Pittsburgh's youth looks brighter than ever, thanks to the commitment and innovation of CodeJoy and Assemble. Together, we are building a foundation for a generation that will undoubtedly shape the future through the power of knowledge and creativity.

If you'd like to bring an event like Assemble's to your school, district, or afterschool program, email We'd love to be a part of bringing coding and robotics support to your community!



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