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In September 2019, the State Board of Education directed the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to begin the process of updating Pennsylvania’s science standards to align them with current research and best practices, including a review of Next Generation Science Standards. The State Board of Education’s current regulations include two sets of science standards – Science and Technology, and, Environment and Ecology – which serve as the basis for curriculum development and instruction in schools. Both sets of standards took effect on January 5, 2002.
PDE will examine the state’s current standards, outline the various components that must be addressed when changing regulations, and develop a proposed timeline for making the changes – with the overall goal being to provide the best framework possible to prepare all students to be productive citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PDE’s examination of the current standards includes input from the public. A series of stakeholder engagement sessions will be held across the state and virtually – the public is invited to attend and provide input. The stakeholder session dates, times, and locations appears below.
Register to attend a stakeholder session
PSTA understands the complication of these sessions being during the day since most of the stakeholders are teachers. We highly recommend participating in the virtual sessions to share your thoughts and input with PDE.
The World of 7 Billion student video contest bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges students to create a short video connecting world population growth to one of three global challenges: Sustaining Water Systems, Ensuring Economic Opportunities, and Improving Climate Resiliency. 80+ cash prizes will be awarded, and participating teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The deadline for submissions is February 27, 2020 – use this lesson plan to get started now! Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found here.
LabXchange at Harvard University is a free online platform for science education launching in January 2020. If you want a sneak peek, we invite you to join our preview this fall as a beta tester!
LabXchange allows educators to remix and share content to support differentiated, personalized learning. The content library contains high-quality digital resources from universities and scientific organizations worldwide - including interactive lab simulations, videos, assessments, and more. Educators can combine this content with their own materials to create customized learning pathways. As well as facilitating content creation and remixing, LabXchange connects learners, educators and researchers through social features such as private classes, discussion forums, and the ability to mentor or be mentored. By providing tools that foster hybrid learning, LabXchange allows users to engage in design, iteration, and problem-solving, while supporting individual exploration.
Take our Educator Tour or visit our website to learn more! And for the latest LabXchange news, updates, and testimonials, we invite you to join our mailing list.
The winners from this year's drawing were:
PSTA is looking for passionate, dedicated educators to join our board of directors. If you have ideas for PSTA, please consider joining our team! The following positions are currently vacant on the board:
K-12 Regional Representatives (Eastern - Region IV, Mideastern - Region V, Midwestern - Region VII and Southern - Region IX)
Eastern College Representative (open to college and university faculty only)
If you are interested in running for any of these positions, please e-mail the Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you reply, please indicate your interested position, your school/institution affiliation, a short bio about your qualifications, and that you are a PSTA member in good standing. If you have any questions, email the Board of Directors!
Nominations are due by Friday, October 18th!
Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications for 2020 Earth Expeditions graduate courses that offer extraordinary experiences in 16 countries throughout the world. http://EarthExpeditions.MiamiOH.edu
Earth Expeditions can build toward the Global Field Program (GFP), a master's degree that combines summer field courses worldwide with web learning communities so that students can complete the GFP master's part-time from anywhere in the United States or abroad. http://GFP.MiamiOH.edu
Project Dragonfly also offers the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) master's degree that combines web instruction from Miami University with experiential learning and field study through several AIP Master Institutions in the U.S. Applications for Miami's 2020 cohorts are being accepted now with place-based experiences provided at zoos and botanical gardens in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis. New for 2020: residents of the Jacksonville, Florida area can study and earn the AIP master's through Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, AIP's newest Master Institution. http://AIP.MiamiOH.edu
Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University.
Girls Who Code, a leading national non-profit with the mission to close the gender gap in technology, offers free after-school Clubs for 3-5 and 6-12 grade students to join our sisterhood of supportive peers and role models using computer science to change the world. The application for the 2019-20 school year and is now open. To start a free Club, visit www.girlswhocode.com/Clubs.
6-12 Grade Clubs
Using our online curriculum, students engage in fun online coding tutorials, build community through coding and learn about inspiring role models. No CS experience is required to run a Club. Using their new CS skills, Club members work together on a project to impact their communities. We offer grant funding for our Clubs! For students in 11thgrade and up, we also offer our alumni network, #HireMe. We provide ample resources, access to our community, and no big commitment is necessary, just the desire to learn code in a fun, supportive setting.
3-5 Grade Clubs
Students learn basic CS principles with our unplugged Clubs. Guided by our free books (we provide 5 free copies per Club), students read, discuss and work on activities, encouraging learning and bravery. Clubs can be run entirely offline, with optional online activities. No CS experience is required to run a Club and we offer grant funding. The time commitment is entirely flexible.
If you would like to start 5 or more Clubs, we would love to partner with you, providing additional grant funding, resources and a dedicated partnership manager at Girls Who Code, Eve Balick, to help you.
To join our 500+ Clubs in NJ or PA or for partnership, contact Eve Balick at email@example.com.
Students are invited to design the 2019 PSTA Conference Logo to represent the 2019 PSTATheme: Preparing Students and Teachers for Next Generation Science! The deadline to submit is May 13.
Check out more details HERE.
Early bird registration is now open for our annual conference. Check out the events page to register now.
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