ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown School District said Wednesday it is expanding its science, technology, engineering, and math partnership.
The STEM partnership between the district and the Da Vinci Science Center will now include PPL Electric Utilities and the Smithsonian Science Education Center.
The district said the collaboration will provide all 2,574 ASD fourth and fifth grade students and their teachers with books and hands-on science education materials to complement their virtual classrooms.
Due to a gift from PPL, fourth grade students will each receive the book, “Everyday Energy” which features short stories that incorporate reading into the lessons of “How Can We Provide Energy to People’s Homes,” while fifth grade students will read “Water Works” which features short stories that incorporate reading into the lessons of “How Can We Get Fresh Water to Those in Need.”
Along with the books, students will receive a hands-on science kit from Da Vinci Science Center that will enable them to perform their science curriculum activities from home in a virtual classroom setting, the district said.
Da Vinci Science Center and SSEC will also provide a full day of professional development, exclusive to ASD staff, to prepare teachers to launch the science curriculum in their virtual classrooms. Da Vinci Science Center science educators will then provide further training and co-teach five sessions to support implementation of new hands-on experiences.
“This partnership will provide access to engaging STEM materials, helping to bridge the gap of science education in this virtual environment,” said Greg Dudkin, President of PPL Electric Utilities. “We’re proud to collaborate with SSEC and the Da Vinci Science Center on this critical initiative in our community to enhance the education of students and nurture further interest in STEM subjects.”
“This collaborative effort delivers significant benefits to students,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of Da Vinci Science Center. “It prevents learning loss in science; provides students with hands-on STEM materials during virtual learning, thereby increasing their engagement in STEM; and supports teacher implementation of new STEM curriculum in a virtual environment.”