Through the generous support of PNC Grow Up Great, Trying Together is proud to present a series of UnConferences as part of its leadership and professional development courses.


The UnConference is an innovative, hands-on professional development training format where a deeper experience is provided around a particular theme. Local and national speakers are invited to present and participants are encouraged to engage hands-on in the workshops.

The day concludes with a roundtable discussion on how to apply these experiences and ideas in the early childhood environment as well as share ideas on how to partner with new colleagues.

Upcoming UnConferences

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 Past UnConferences


Maker Tots, May 20 (part of Remake Learning Days)

Mindfulness, August 10

Get Dirty!, September 22

Friedberg-Segel Early Literacy featuring Hervé Tullet, October 14


An unprecedented six UnConferences were held including:

Total Leadership, March 9

Maker Tots, May 14

Children+Arts 2.0

Get Dirty!

Fred Rogers—The Friend, Teacher, Advocate

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood


The UnConference: Children+Arts was presented with the Reggio Emilia Pittsburgh Initiative, NAREA and the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh. In addition to a private tour of the “Wonder of Learning” exhibit presented by NAREA, this UnConference explored the importance of arts in early childhood education and highlighted its evolution of innovation through the lens of Reggio Emilia’s philosophy.

Keynote speaker was Reggio Emilia expert Jennifer Strange.

Workshop presenters included: Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Attack Theatre, Gemini Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, Carnegie Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Museum.


The inaugural UnConference, Game On! was presented in collaboration with the CREATE Lab and Google Pittsburgh.

This UnConference focused on how to embrace and appropriately use old and new technology with young children. In addition, Trying Together presented a “hackathon” where app ideas presented by teachers were brought to life through a hackathon team of programmers, designers and teachers.

Keynote speaker was Illah Nourbakhsh from CREATE Lab.

Workshop presenters included: Google Pittsburgh, TechShop, Dream Flight Adventures at Shaler Elementary, Pittsburgh Center for Creative ReUse, Schell Games, MAYA Design, Education Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, CREATE Lab, MakeShop at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Etcetera Edutainment and Assemble.