PA Department Of Education Advocates For Youth Involvement In STEM

On Wednesday, the “Be a Biologist” event took place as part of GSK’s Science in the Summer program. Pennsylvania’s Department of Education Executive Deputy Secretary, Dr. Debora Carrera, was there to advocate for young Pennsylvanians to consider the STEM field.

Glasko Smith Kline’s Science in the Summer is an inquiry-based science education program that helps elementary school children grow to love science through classes held in public libraries and other community-based organizations. Science in the Summer is sponsored by GSK in partnership with The Franklin Institute. “Be a Biologist” took place at the Newtown Public Library in Newtown Square, PA.

“Libraries provide valuable learning opportunities and programs for students of all ages during the summertime. These productive programs keep students’ minds engaged and active while they’re out of school and can help ready and propel them into a new school year,” said Dr. Carrera. “Programs like the Be a Biologist program hosted at the Newtown Public Library today give students – our future leaders and workers – a fun environment to learn and explore career options in STEM-related fields that are vital to the commonwealth.”

A $1.25 million increase for libraries, which includes a $1 million increase in the Public Library Subsidy, was included in the 2022-23 budget proposal. The subsidy goes directly to local libraries, library systems, and 29 district library centers.

Both during the school year and the summer, STEM education and programming provide students with critical skills they will need for careers. Libraries lead the way in providing equitable and accessible learning experiences through programs centering on art, story times, special presenters, literacy, and STEM.

Pennsylvania has invested $116 million in STEM education over the past seven years and has secured an annual $20 million investment for PAsmart. Additionally, 495 PAsmart grants have been awarded by PDE to expand computer science, STEM education, and teacher training at more than 760 schools across the commonwealth since the 2018-19 school year.

According to their website, PAsmart connects Pennsylvanians with the information they need to succeed in the evolving economy. PAsmart includes resources on education and training opportunities, apprenticeships, and STEM careers.