Changemakers Lab Offers a Summer Experience Unlike Any Other


The world is rapidly changing. Together, girls can shape what the future looks like. Is your daughter ready to dive in? Now is the time to sign her up for a summer experience that will inspire her to create a better tomorrow. Changemakers Lab, a new summer institute from The Ellis School, will give her the opportunity to explore big questions, roll up her sleeves, and work alongside a cohort of girls who, like her, are committed to making an impact.

Centered around an interdisciplinary, real-world project, Changemakers Lab offers five innovative 10-day experiences from June to August for girls ages 10 to 17. Participants will collaborate on Labs that explore topics related to the arts, ecology, STEM, and digital citizenship in collaboration with community organizations Grow Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and CodeJoy. Through off-site excursions and hands-on learning with these local partners, girls will delve into their projects and discover different ways community members initiate and influence change.

Join Changemakers Lab

During the Labs, participants will learn about the skills and characteristics needed to be a successful leader—including active listening, empathy, facilitation, flexibility, communication, and negotiation. They will also address four essential questions: What and who is a changemaker? When does change need to happen and why? What kind of change is possible? How do we create change together?

The first program of its kind in Pittsburgh, Changemakers Lab intentionally brings together groups of mixed-age girls for each session. This team-focused approach gives younger girls an opportunity to learn from older teens, and older girls an opportunity to practice mentorship and to be leaders in the program. There’s no other girl-focused, girl-led intensive like this in Pittsburgh—don’t miss the opportunity for your daughter to be part of the inaugural class of summer changemakers. Join Changemakers Lab today and save $200 when you sign up for two labs!

Art in Community: Mosaic Project 

June 14–June 25, 2021 

What role does visual art play in shaping a changing world? In this Lab, changemakers will investigate how art impacts people, perspectives, and public spaces. In collaboration with the Pittsburgh Glass Center, participants will spend two weeks creating a glass mosaic mural that reflects the past, present, and a shared vision for a better future. 

Register for Art in Community

Urban Ecology: Community Garden Project

June 28–July 9, 2021

Sometimes girls have to get their hands dirty to make a difference. Changemakers will dig into the relationships and vital connections between plants, animals, and the world around them during Urban Ecology. In collaboration with Grow Pittsburgh, changemakers will design, develop, and contribute to a community garden while learning about the impact ecological systems have on communities. 

Register for Urban Ecology

Digital Citizenship: Virtual Communication Project

July 12–23, 2021 

How can girls use technology to their advantage? In this Lab, changemakers will explore how our interconnected world presents an opportunity for them to responsibly express their ideas and raise awareness about causes they care about in the virtual space. Together, participants will experiment with different design tools, apps, communication platforms, and creative processes as they practice thoughtfully analyzing, communicating, and presenting real-world data, information, and experiences. 

Register for Digital Citizenship

Performance by Design: Theatrical Production

July 26–August 6, 2021 

There’s no better place to practice taking risks than in the theater. Changemakers will be challenged with creating and leading all aspects of a theatrical production in Performance by Design. In partnership with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, participants will cultivate technical skills in acting, vocal music, movement, set design, and playwriting in an immersive experience designed to develop a sense of voice, confidence, and enhance technical expertise.  

Register for Performance by Design

Engineer the Future: Prototype Project

August 9–20, 2021 

What would the future look like if it was designed by girls? As advancements in STEM propel us into the future, now is the time for girls to equip themselves with innovative and forward-thinking skill sets. In partnership with CodeJoy, participants will prototype a solution to a human-centered design challenge. They will learn the foundations of coding and robotics, explore how design thinking and programming can unlock complex problems, and how they can work together to build a better blueprint for the next generation.

Register for Engineer the Future