Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: (412) 261-0710 Email: Get Directions

Design Lives Here

Design Lives Here is a semester-long engineering initiative that equips teachers and students to participate in engineering activities within their school or afterschool program. Professional engineers serve as mentors to students throughout the year. Schools who participate are diverse – public, parochial and private – and have the option of making this part of their school day or an extended program. Each spring, all the participants come together for a day of engineering challenges, grouped in new teams to compete for prizes. Design Lives Here activities are inspired by the popular PBS KIDS program and website, Design Squad Nation.

Gwen Anderson, WQED Education Department Outreach Coordinator explains the program in more detail and the relationship with ESWP “WQED has received funding and support from ESWP from the inception of the Design Lives Here program. ESWP collaborates with WQED Education to pair local engineers with students from participating schools. These engineers will mentor the participants through the duration of the engineering challenges that are presented through the in-school portion of the program.  The overall goal for Design Lives Here is to provide students with opportunities to learn about the engineering design process, develop creativity and team building skills, and to begin exploring careers in engineering.”

ESWP supplied eleven mentors to the program this year. One of the eleven mentors is Jonathan Shimko, ESWP Member, International Water Conference® Executive Committee Member, and Senior Project Manager at McKim & Creed explained how his experience with Design Lives Here has impacted him. “The opportunity to support ESWP and Design Lives Here has been extremely rewarding.  I have had a great time teaching engineering principle to the young people and they have taught me new ways to approach problem solving.  I’m confident that I’m a better professional for having worked with this dynamic group of individuals.”

The 2018-2019 Design Lives Here initiative is a project of WQED Multimedia, with major underwriting by The Arconic Foundation, MSA, PPG, ANSYS, and additional support from Rolls-Royce, Arconic, Daedalus, Independence Excavating, and founding partner the Engineers’ Society of Western PA.


2018-2019 Participating Schools:

Blessed Trinity Academy

Deer Lakes Middle School

Elizabeth Forward Middle School

Franklin Regional

Haines Middle School

Independence Middle School

J.E. Harrison Middle School

Marshall Elementary- North Allegheny

Moon Middle School

New Kensington Arnold School District

Our Lady of Most Blessed Sacrament

Propel East

Ryan Gloyer Middle School-Seneca Valley

Schiller STEAM Academy

St. Phillip


Design Lives Here’s day of engineering challenges are taking place on March 13 and 14, 2019 at WQED Multimedia. Good luck to all the schools participating in this event. To learn more about the program, please visit


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