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New Pennsylvania science standards on display at 2024 STEELS Expo in Montgomery County

Pennsylvania teachers learn new science, technology with hands-on activities
Pennsylvania teachers learn new science, technology with hands-on activities 01:53

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) - New science standards are on the way to children's classrooms, and teachers found a fun and hands-on way to learn about those standards.

Teachers dropped marbles, golf balls and tennis balls on snack crackers Tuesday. They were in the classroom, not as instructors, but as students.


About 450 educators packed into Upper Merion Area High School for the second year of the hands-on STEELS Expo, organized by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. STEELS stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Environmental Literacy and Sustainability.


Upper Merion science teacher Pete Vreeland said these new standards can prepare students for an ever-changing career landscape.

"The future is unknown," Vreeland said. "We don't know what challenges they're facing, but we want them to leave us with the skills and the talents to know what to do when they don't know what to do."

Students were excited too. Mason Yu is a junior at Upper Merion Area High School. He loved the LEGO education booth. He was also excited that environmental literacy will be part of most science programs in the future.  


"Global warming is a thing," Yu said. "Seeing innovators actually teach the newer kids about sustainability, how to be sustainable, it's really working toward our future."

The Pennsylvania Department of Education adopted the new standards in 2022. So far, three of the 22 school districts in Montgomery County have implemented the new lessons.

With a 2025 deadline, expo organizer Patrice Semicek said educators welcomed this hands-on opportunity to expand their skills in the classroom.

"So, we didn't learn this way as students," Semicek said. "Giving opportunities for teachers to experience it gives them the background knowledge to be able to practice that in classrooms."

Fellow organizer Andrew Kuhn said the expo also empowers teachers.

"There's absolutely a buzz," Kuhn said. "The reason that we do this expo is so that our educators can feel that excitement about being part of this change."

The hope was that the lessons teachers learned could excite their students, too.

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