PDE Search

Science Education

Areas of Interest

Science Resources on SAS

Science Standards

Keystone Exams

Project Based Assessments

Biology Eligible Content and Assessment Anchors

PSSA Eligible Content and Assessment Anchors

Science in Motion

Presidential Awards in Excellence for Mathematics and Science

National Youth Science Camp

Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness


Science is the use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.  Science and engineering are significant parts of human culture and represent many of the pinnacles of human achievement.  Not only is learning about the world around us important, science and engineering can improve people’s lives in significant ways.  In order to make informed decisions, it is imperative that we have knowledge of science to help with those decisions.  Many of the challenges we face today are rooted in science, and it is important that we focus on the need for science and engineering professionals to keep Pennsylvania competitive in both the national and international arenas.

Learning experiences for students, from PreK through high school must actively engage students in the scientific practices to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in the sciences.  These investigations must engage students with questions about the world and how scientists have investigated and answered questions.

In Pennsylvania schools, it is our expectation that all students have experiences within all areas of science, which include the Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Earth and Space Science.

STEM

STEM education is an intentional, integrative approach to teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Students become adept problem solvers, innovators, and inventors who are self-reliant by asking questions, investigating, making informed decisions about how they live their daily lives and engage in their vocations and communities.

Standards Aligned System

The Standards Aligned System is the Pennsylvania Department of Education digital curriculum and instruction resource site.  The SAS is comprised of six distinct elements which provide a common framework for continuous student, teacher, school and district growth.  The elements are Standards, Assessment, Curriculum Framework, Instruction, Materials and Resources and Safe and Supportive Schools. Numerous resources for teaching and developing high quality science education programs are available on the Standards Aligned System website.

Professional Learning Community

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) provide users with the ability to communicate and collaborate with educators from across the Commonwealth via threaded discussion forums and blogs. Learning Communities may be comprised of educators who teach the same Subject Areas or Grade Levels, or may focus on a particular instructional strategy or professional interest.

We encourage you to join the Science Learning Community. The Science Learning Community provides not only the ability to communicate with individuals interested in science education but also access to numerous resources.  Join the Science PLC by becoming a registered user of the Standards Aligned System.  Once you are a registered user, sign-in to your account, select Teacher Tools, My Communities.

Assessment

The assessments in Science include the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for Grades 4 and 8, and the Biology Keystone Exam which is an end of course assessment for Biology I. 

Project Based Assessments are alternative assessments for students who are unable to meet Chapter 4 requirements relating to high school graduation requirements through the Keystone Exams.

Certification

Certification and Staffing Policy Guidelines (CSPG) that pertain to science education certification and course assignment include: CSPG 30 – Agriculture; CSPG 32 – Biology; CSPG 34 – Chemistry; CSPG 40 - Earth and Space Science; CSPG 43 - Environmental Education; CSPG 46 - General Science; CSPG 54 - Middle Level Science; and CSPG 56 – Physics.  

Questions regarding certification requirements should be directed to Karen Turner, kturner@pa.gov , Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.

Teacher Opportunities

Science in Motion is a consortium of twelve colleges and universities providing laboratory science equipment and activities at no cost to over 200 school districts in the commonwealth.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science.

Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Program (OTDA) was created by Act 102 of 1994.  Act 102 established The Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund and designated the responsibilities of the Departments of Health, Transportation, Education, and Revenue to support statewide efforts that foster an understanding of the importance of organ and tissue donations. The Department of Education OTDA program strives to develop an awareness of organ and tissue donation and transplantation through  education in Pennsylvania's secondary schools. The OTDA program provides educators with curriculum resources, professional development and implementation mini-grants.  The OTDA program is managed by Lancaster/Lebanon IU 13 in partnership with the Department of Education.

Student Opportunities

National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education program for young scientists the summer after they graduate from high school.  Each year, two students from Pennsylvania are selected as delegates to attend the National Youth Science Camp. 

Safety Guides

Pennsylvania Safety Guide for Elementary and Technology Education Teachersis intended to alert science education teachers, teacher educators, school administrators and technology education supervisors to the importance of a strong safety program.  It is also intended to provide the instructional resources for instituting safety instruction in the public schools, for the in-service training of technology education teachers and for the education of undergraduates in the teacher education programs of Pennsylvania.

Disclaimer: The Safety Guide is intended to be a convenient reference for Elementary and Technology Education teachers. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has carefully considered applicable industry practices in the development of this guide. However, the standards provided herein are by no means absolute. The Department hereby disclaims all liability incurred through the use of this document.

Council for State Science Supervisors Safety Guide These guides were published by the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) with support from the American Chemical Society, the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, DuPont Corporation, Intel Corporation, American Chemical Society, and the National Institutes of Health.


For additional information, please contact:

David Bauman | Science Education Advisor
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Bureau of Teaching and Learning, Division of Curriculum
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.6598 | Fax: 717.783.3946
davbauman@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us