Obama’s MPower Makerspace Makes Its Debut


Ashish Badjatia speaks at the MPower makerspace grand opening

This past Thursday, Obama officially opened the doors to its brand new MPower Makerspace, located in the school’s basement. The space, which was made possible by a $75,000 grant from Google, features a wide variety of innovative technologies intended for the intrepid young thinker.

Attending the event were dozens of prominent figures from throughout Pittsburgh, including Dr. Hamlet, Dr. Walters, Ms. Colbert, Mr. Williams, and Matt Dunne, the community affairs leader for Google, all of whom spoke. Sophomore Cecil Price III was the emcee. Others in attendance included Councilman Dan Gilman, School Board President Regina Holley, and State Senate candidate Stephanie Walsh. Correspondents from Trib Total Media, Public Source, and WESA 90.5 were present to document the occasion.

The speakers focused on the opportunities the space presents to students, and the importance of developing new leaders and thinkers. Google, parents Jana Vogt and Ashish Badjatia, and the PTSA were all thanked for their roles in making the new Makerspace possible. Mr. Williams also related a parable about seeing one’s goals, not the obstacles in front of them, before handing the podium over to Cecil for the summation speech.

Certain students were given the opportunity to participate in the ceremony, and were tasked with explaining the space to the guests. The equipment currently in the space includes 20 high-tech microscopes, two laser cutters, a CNC router, sewing machines, seven 3D printers, an embroidery machine, a heat press, and a screen printer. Mr. Williams is working on making the space accessible to all students, and he hopes to spur creative growth and familiarity with technology. The space will be open most days after school starting second semester.