The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

Pennsylvania set to change STEELS Standards for STEM education

Abigail Eckenrod
The STEM department at Bellwood-Antis is gearing up to take on the new STEELS Standards adopted by the board of education.

Effective by the 2025-26 school year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be integrating an updated set of STEELS (Science, Technology & Engineering, Environmental Literacy & Sustainability) standards for teachers to follow.

The purpose of the new standards are to shift away from memorization of facts and vocabulary to having students productively participate in scientific studies and practices. It’s also trying to involve students in longer investigation to support a deeper understanding, and recognizing that even young children are capable of more advanced scientific reasoning than thought before.

Along with that, the standards also include a new domain for “Environmental Literacy and Sustainability” across all grade levels. This incorporates important aspects of environmental education organized by the following:

  • Agricultural and Environmental Systems and Resources
  • Environmental Literacy Skills
  • Sustainability and Stewardship

These new standards were originally adopted by the State Board of Education in January 2022, however, it’ll take a few years to fully instate these new standards. Effective June 30th, 2025, the academic standards for Science and Technology, and Environment and Ecology will be instated.

Dr. Alice Flarend, Physics/Engineering/Environment Teacher here at our high school, weighed in on the matter:

“The new STEELS standards are a change in the way science is taught K-12.  I have taught this way for several years because these standards are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that I learned about in my doctoral work at PSU. It will be a big change because every unit has a phenomenon to explain and the work is to gather scientific evidence to show your explanation is correct.”

The new standards will help create the perfect environment for all students to be scientifically, technologically, environmentally, and engineering literacy, both to support Pennsylvania’s economic vitality and civic strength.

These updated standards will impact the students more than the teachers as it’s a new way to view learning. Most students are unaware about this shift, however, Jayden Bartlebaugh, a senior at Bellwood-Antis, is rather educated on the matter due to his reading of news articles.

“I believe that this is the best way to teach classes about science since it helps students learn practices that they will use in a future science career. It focuses on research and problem solving rather than remembering definition and info.” commented Bartlebaugh.

The standards will overall be used to help students understand the importance of science and why it’s more than remembering definitions and info.

According to Dr. Flarend, “Bellwood teachers have been preparing for this shift starting towards the end of last school year.”

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Abigail Eckenrod, Staff Writer
Abigail Eckenrod Grade 12 Years in BluePrint: 1 What you hope to do this year: I hope to spread more positivity towards everyone and grow my writing style. I'd also like to win some awards! Outside activities: Marching band, Jazz band, Mock trial, and Home Ec Club Why did you take BluePrint? I took Blueprint because I wanted to expand myself as a writer and feed people facts about the school and the people in it.

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