Code for the CommonWealth Initiative Reaches Out to Elementary STEM Event


posted April 21, 2017

Pitt-Johnstown’s Code for the CommonWealth initiative reached out to students and their families at East Side Elementary School in Johnstown for a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event.


East Side Elementary School STEM activities inspired practical creativity.
Photos by Allie Mundy.

Family Engagement Night featured activities such as engineering with Legos, robotics, and creative play were all available for students and their families.

Frank Frontino, East Side Elementary principal, said the event was extra special because Pitt-Johnstown students participated.

“I wanted the college to be here to show the kids about STEM, and for our kids to see that college is achievable,” he said.

Pitt-Johnstown students gave presentations based on their different STEM projects, while Greater Johnstown High School students were present to give a helping hand during the event.

The university, along with several partners, recently launched Code for the CommonWealth, with the goal of enhancing digital literacy for workforce competitiveness, beginning in K-12 education.

“Right now we’re are providing a range of after-school activities as well as in-school activities in three to four school districts,” said Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar.

“The goal is to get kids interested in science to build their capacity for problem solving using coding.

“Over the long term,” he said, “young people in this region will have the same kind of opportunities that people in other parts of the country are enjoying and they will be able to compete for the jobs of the future.”

To learn more about Pitt-Johnstown’s Code for the CommonWealth initiative, contact Roxanne Jenner, Director, Community Outreach - Coding Initiatives, at 814-233-7894 or email

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is marking its 90th anniversary well as the 50th year of the campus in its Richland Township location. Pitt-Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.