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South Fayette to host Pixar Animations Studio director for 'Inspire Talk'

| Monday, May 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
South Fayette Township High School
South Fayette Township High School
South Fayette grad Justin Watson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 28, 2018.
Penn athletics
South Fayette grad Justin Watson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 28, 2018.

Leaders in the South Fayette Township School District say they hope people will be motivated as the director of archives and exhibitions from Pixar Animation Studios and an innovative author both speak in the district on May 8 at 7 p.m.

“Inspire Talk,” which is open to anyone, will feature members of BLK SHP — or black sheep — a group of some of the nation's leading creative thinkers, writers, policy-makers, artists and entrepreneurs, whose mission is to unlock the inner artists and creator in everyone.

Speaking on the South Fayette stage will be Elyse Klaidman, director of archives and exhibitions for Pixar Animation Studios, and Peter Sims, co-founder of BLK SHP and author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, a book about the emergent innovation process.

Klaidman will share information about Pixar in a Box, which helps students tell their own stories, as well as ask how story-makers can partner with students, parents and educators to accomplish learning goals in a creative and fun way.

“I really hope this inspires everyone,” said Kenneth Lockette, district superintendent. “I hope it hits a good nerve for the kids and they see, ‘There's careers in this.' I hope it lights a fire.”

South Fayette has used Sims' book “Little Bets” in the district, to emphasize the importance of growing small ideas.

The “Inspire Talk” will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the South Fayette High School theater, 3640 Old Oakdale Road, McDonald. Registration for the free event is available online .

South Fayette connected with members of BLK SHP after several leaders from Fremont, California toured the district as part of a visit to Pittsburgh, where they were looking to discover the secret behind Remake Learning, Lockette said.

A member of that team was associated with BLK SHP. And there, the connection was made.

Members of BLK SHP are touring the country this spring, on the back of an old Willie Nelson bus, to visit counterparts in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee and elsewhere. There, they're focusing on connecting with black sheep educators, both in and out of school, and working to create connections.

“They're looking at the ‘A' in STEAM,'” Lockette said, which stands for “art” in the science, technology, engineering and math based approach of learning.

BLK SHP will be visiting Pittsburgh through May 8.

The group also held an event at the Federal Gallery, 200 Children's Way, on May 7, and visited the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

On May 8, they'll join a twice-a-year briefing at South Fayette, where the district, which is a member of the League of Innovative Schools, opens its doors to share its secrets with other educators.

Middle school girls at South Fayette, joined by students from several area districts, also will participate in a workshop that day, conducted by the Stanford Design School. The program focuses on girls in STEM and possible careers in the area.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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