Pennsylvania recently adopted the 2022 Science, Technology, Engineering, Environmental Literacy, and Sustainability (STEELS) academic standards, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to maximize the impact of STEM innovation, workforce development, economic development, and educational excellence. Amanda Smith, director of K-12 Engagement Network and co-lead of the Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem (PSSE), collaborated with PSSE leadership to make recommendations to the Pennsylvania governor’s office on how to provide resources and support to implement and assess these standards.
The new STEELS standards replace outdated 2002 standards and are built upon hands-on, integrated, interdisciplinary learning that mirrors the work of STEM professionals. PSSE calls for support for these standards to include:
- funding for higher education institutions to re-imagine educator and administrator preparation programs
- innovation grants for local education agencies and STEM Learning Ecosystems to improve and update teacher development and teacher mentorship programs
- encouragement for Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Labor and Industry to work collaboratively to expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs and align them to the STEELS standards.
- innovation funds that incentivize collaboration between school districts and STEM Learning Ecosystems in the implementation of the STEELS standards