This groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind facility will capitalize on the massive popularity of video games and esports while providing educational and experiential science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) learning for children aged eight and up. .
“The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts was founded more than 20 years ago by a group of extraordinary community and business leaders whose vision was to bring science and the arts together under one roof,” said the CEO of the Whitaker Center, Ted Black. “Focused gaming at the PNC Innovation Zone is a natural extension of the visionary leadership of our founders. By leveraging the popularity of video games and esports to drive interest in STEAM activities such as coding, graphic design and computer networks, the PNC Innovation Zone will break down gender and equity barriers to technology and ultimately inspire the digital leaders of tomorrow through the science, art and technology of purposeful play. “
With over 90% of kids playing video games and the explosive growth of esports around the world, Whitaker Center and its partners saw an opportunity to provide students and their families with a cool space to reconnect, share passions for gaming and esports and learning more about coding, art and embedded technology in video games. The PNC Innovation Zone will host weekly activities, led by certified educators, including creative design coding with Minecraft and Bloxels, building with Scrap Mechanic and Poly Bridge, as well as esports competitions, Girls in STEM and Surgery Live! fields.
“The PNC Innovation Zone at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is a wonderful resource that combines play and learning to help our youth explore their interests in STEAM,” said Jim Hoehnregional president of PNC Bank Central Pennsylvania. “As a Main Street Bank and a technology leader, PNC is committed to making investments like this in our community to plant the seeds of the skilled, diverse and innovative workforce of tomorrow.”
Features of PNC Innovation Zone:
- Useful 2,000 square foot play studio
- Capacity up to 30 game stations and 12 game consoles
- 10 75-inch high-definition flat-screen televisions
- 12 foot high definition projection screen
- Esports tiered seating for spectator viewing
- High-tech conference room
- Renovation of the 3,000 square foot lobby
- 40ft high screen for targeted games in Select Medical Digital Cinema
“When we first heard about this visionary project, we were immediately interested in joining the design team to help build this space,” said shaun clear, Vice President of Sales at Clair Global. “As a global technology and manufacturing leader, we’re excited about the prospect of empowering young people to explore STEAM in new and exciting ways.”
The PNC Innovation Zone is home to one of the largest Comcast “lift zones” in the region, which offers free Wi-Fi outside the home at neighborhood community centers. This effort is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive, 10-year program, $1 billion commitment to help build a future of unlimited possibilities.
“Comcast is proud to provide connectivity to everyone who spends time in this incredible new space at the Whitaker Center,” said Alka Patel, vice president of government and external affairs for the Keystone region of Comcast. “We look forward to partnering up to provide a truly unique opportunity to advance digital equity and STEAM education.”
“CrabtreeRohrbaugh & Associates’ is proud to provide architectural and interior design services for the new dedicated game studio within the new PNC Innovation Zone,” said Arif Hasanbhai, senior project designer for Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates. “We understand the importance and impact of the educational spaces at the Whitaker Center on our community, having recently provided these services to the STEM Design Studio at the Harsco Science Center.”
The PNC Innovation Zone at the Whitaker Center has been made possible by many organizations, including:
- Clear Overall
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Honorable Tom Wolf, Governor in partnership with Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority
- CrabtreeRohrbaugh & Associates
- Dauphin County Commissioners
- Alexander Grass Foundation
- Bill and Sue Rothman
- Carole DeSoto
- Hal McGinnes
- Lois Grass
- Senator John DiSanto (RACP grant)
- The Kline Foundation
- The McCormick Family Foundation
- The Nexstar Media Charitable Foundation
- The PA Esports Coalition
- very good anne Fund donations for a 2020 need
- NCP Bank
For more information about PNC Innovation Zone at the Whitaker Center and a full list of STEAM education programs and camps, visit https://www.whitakercenter.org/pnc-innovation-zone.
About PNC Bank
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and a local offering of personal and business banking services, including a full range of lending products; specialized services for businesses and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For more information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.
About the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is a non-profit center for the arts, education, entertainment and cultural enrichment located in the heart of from Harrisburg bustling city center. The Whitaker Center is home to the PNC Innovation Zone, Sunoco Performance Theater, Harsco Science Center, STEM Design Studios, and Select Medical Digital Cinema. To visit Whitakercenter.org for a complete list of events, shows, opening hours and ticket prices.
SOURCE Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts