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Noyce Scholar Network
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PRNP locates and provides an extensive array of informational, instructional and professional resources for STEM educators. Learn More
PRNP hosts and sponsors a variety of professional development events for STEM teachers. Learn More
Support Network Portal
In October 2016, PRNP will lanuch a portal to allow STEM educators to make connections to other STEM educators who seek or offer teaching help or resources. Learn More
New Teacher Support
PRNP provides individualized mentoring, a monthly cohort networking experience and opportunities for new teachers to take on leadership roles with their peers. Learn more
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PRNP News & Events
Integrating STEM in Everyday Life
Conference Series Kick-off
The Kick-off Conference for the PRNP Integrating STEM in Everyday Life Conference Series successfully brought together 85 STEM pre-service and in-service teachers and math and science majors from area institutions and school districts. Offering 10 different workshops focused on the socio-scientific issues approach, the conference challenged STEM educators to bring the local community and local issues into their classrooms. Using the socio-scientific approach, students can become engaged in real issues that impact their lives and learn to find out about and value the perspectives of others. Based on scientific evidence they collect, students can make better decisions and effectively solve problems that they encounter in the course of their lives. We were fortunate to have six out of the ten workshops presented by classroom teachers which helped to underscore the feasibility of including this approach in practice. Some examples of the socio-scientific issues that workshops explored included
- The Sugar Tax and My Body
- Who Chooses the Kind of Car I Drive? Me or the Government?
- Are Herbal Remedies helpful in fighting cancer?
- Should the Olympics be held in Philadelphia?
The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Paul Morgan, Director of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in education for sustainability at West Chester University. Dr. Morgan’s keynote speech challenged participants to think about “What Are We Teaching For?” This inspirational message elicited these remarks from some teachers
“I thought that the keynote speaker really set the tone for the day. He asked us to consider what the classroom of the future looks like, especially in light of the effects of climate change on younger generations. Given the importance of this issue and how scientists have brought it to our attention, we have to be intentional about how we educate our kids for science literacy. His talk highlighted for me how critical it is to reflect on what I am introducing in my classroom and why.”
“The opening keynote talk was amazing and invigorating!”
“Paul Morgan’s presentation was very inspiring and informative. It highlighted the need to change the way we educate students in STEM in this current time. I want to be part of this movement to change the vision of our worldview.”
Dr. Morgan co-facilitated the PRNP Education for Sustainability with Dr. Victor Donnay, Founding Director of PRNP in 2017-18.
Dr. Augusto Macalalag, Arcadia University, led participants in an engaging exercise to more fully understand the Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI) Framework for participants. Participants worked together in groups to come up with controversial topics that would be meaningful to students such as designer babies, vaccinations, impact of cell phone use on health, bottle vs. tap water, etc. The buzz in the room was high as participants looked at the multiple perspectives surrounding these issues and thought about the ways their students might find scientific evidence to support claims for any one perspective. You can see some of their work in the picture gallery to your right.
You can find presentations and materials from the Integrating STEM in Everyday Life Kick-off Conference here.
The National Science Foundation awarded PRNP a grant to hold five (5) conferences, including the full day Kick-off Conference held on October 26, 2019, three (3) half-day Intensives to explore the topic of socio-scientific issues more in-depth and a full day wrap up session to highlight the work of the teachers involved in the Intensives. You can read more about this project here. 30 pre-service and in-service teachers can sign up to participate in the three (3) paid Intensives here.
STEM Teachers Attending Events in 2016-17
Mentoring Hours Provided New Teachers in 2015-16
Events Hosted or Sponsored in past 5 years
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School District of Philadelphia Launches a New Effort to Hire 800 New Teachers! Many will be Math and Science Teachers!
Spotlight on Scholars
Featured Scholar – Somi (Sridevi) Somireddy
Sridevi Somireddy (Dunddumalla) has a master’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in education from India. Growing up in India, she saw education as a path towards success. Somi’s school teachers expressed the importance of education in breaking cycles of poverty and disprivilege, highlighting the United States of America as a beacon of hope with its world-class education. Recognizing how education has shaped her as a person, Somi became a mathematics teacher in India with the hopes of offering not only instruction in the classroom but also guidance through life to her students. After giving birth to her first daughter, Somi pursued a teaching position with The Philadelphia School District.
Over the past eighteen years, Somi watched herself and her family grow in their new country. Adapting western ideals, they embraced new people and new ideas. Somi’s teaching style changed from the methodical approach she used in India to a more creative and investigative approach, instilling her core belief that education is a path towards success.
After seeing the importance of project based learning and a multidisciplinary teaching style, Somi felt the need for her students to develop creative and problem-solving skills to become lifelong learners. She implemented EFS teaching strategies in her classroom by bringing sustainability and mathematics together to give a more holistic approach to education that helps students recognize the importance of math in creating a better future.
At her current school, Mastbaum, Somi teaches mathematics and is the mathematics department head. Somi believes that teaching is an ever-changing profession that constantly adapts to new generations, technologies, and resources. As department head, she works hard to strategize with other teachers the best way to address all student needs. She believes that teaching cannot be confined to one approach. She encourages teachers to make their classrooms exciting by experimenting with different approaches and openly share what worked and what might not have worked to learn from both successes and failures.
Somi is most excited about the adaptive nature of teaching. Technology in the classrooms twenty years ago was seen as a privilege but now it becomes almost a necessity. Moving forward, Somi hopes to educate other teachers on the constantly changing process of teaching and learning and to help bring EFS standards more prominence in classrooms across the math curriculum.