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Localización: Hogar / Technology / Pa. commission approves updated science standards for K-12 students

Pa. commission approves updated science standards for K-12 students

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140sharesBy Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com

A state regulatory review commission on Thursday approved an updated set of K-12 science standards that will guide future instruction for Pennsylvania in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, areas.

The new standards replace ones that were adopted in 2002 and were no longer aligned with current research or best practices in science education, said Lee Williams, chairwoman of the State Board of Education’s Council of Basic Education who headed up its academic standards committee.

Instead of memorization of facts, the new standards developed over the past two years will have students “productively participate in scientific discourse and practices,” she said. Further they put greater emphasis on STEM teaching in the elementary grades.

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted unanimously to approve the new standards. They will take effect July 1, 2025.

“This is a great step forward,” said Jeff Remington, a former Palmyra Area School District teacher who now works for Penn State as a STEM outreach liaison. “These standards will mark a new era in Pennsylvania’s science (STEM) education. They will focus on the specific, authentic practices that scientists and engineers use every day. “

He added, “Proper, intentional implementation of these standards will be very important. It will require a collaborative group lift.”

Williams told the commission after learning 44 other states had updated their science standards, the State Board made updating these standards a priority. It recognized that it was essential to provide instruction to help all students be scientifically, technologically, environmentally, and engineering literate to support the state’s economic vitality as well as its civic strength.

Pa. commission approves updated science standards for K-12 students

“Pennsylvania needs to have a STEM-ready workforce in order to compete in the global economy,” Williams said.

Citing a workforce needs assessment, she said Pennsylvania is projected to have 600,000 new and replacement jobs in STEM fields and more than 13,000 unfilled computer science and software engineering jobs by 2026.

“The jobs outlook demonstrates a sense of urgency for Pennsylvania to create pathways for equitable access to STEM experiences for all Pennsylvania students,” she said. “And to position the commonwealth to retain current businesses in the STEM fields, to compete to attract new STEM-related industries, and to prepare our future workforce with the skills and competencies that are necessary to promote these industries.”

Both the House and Senate education committees deemed the regulations approved. A State Board official said state exams in science will be updated over the next three years to align with the new standards.

Jan Murphy may be reached at jmurphy@pennlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

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