If you’re an educator, parent, or business owner who wants a say in what Pennsylvania students learn in science class, the state Department of Education wants to hear from you.
The department recently announced a statewide listening tour to collect public input as Pennsylvania prepares to reboot its K-12 science standards for the first time in 20 years.
The standards guide science education for 1.7 million schoolchildren.
But they’ve been in place since 2002, and educators say that drastic changes in the climate, technology and the labor market have left the framework long-overdue for a refresh.
The Education Department will hold 13 meetings — including two virtual ones — across the Commonwealth between Feb. 19 and March 12 to take comment.
Department officials say they want to hear from a broad group of stakeholders, including educators from the pre-k to college level, business and industry representatives, parents, students, and advocacy and non-profit organizations.
Jeff Remington, a nationally recognized science teacher in Lebanon County who helped advocate for the science standard refresh, said the sessions will be critically important for anyone concerned about scientific literacy and workforce development in the Commonwealth.
He especially encouraged elementary school teachers to attend the meetings.
“For years, science, technology, and engineering have taken a back seat in classrooms, especially elementary classrooms,” Remington told the Capital-Star in an email. “These are the STEM job sectors in demand in Pennsylvania. Interest and engagement starts at the elementary level for workforce development.”