Science: It's Elementary

Published 08/04 2009 09:51AM

Updated 07/19 2013 08:35PM

"Every dollar invested in today's children is a down-payment on a brighter future for the commonwealth." Governor Rendell

One in five American jobs require intensive math and science training, and every high-skill career demands employees with strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Pennsylvania's students must build a strong foundation in these skills beginning at an early age so they will be prepared to fill the needs of the high-skills 21st century economy.

Science: It's Elementary

Forty-eight school districts across southwest Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Bayer Foundation-funded ASSET, Inc., outperformed their peers throughout the world on science tests by transforming how elementary school teachers teach science to their students.

In 2006-07, Governor Rendell invested $10 million to take those proven strategies statewide by launching Science: It's Elementaryin 2006-07, paving the way for all Pennsylvania elementary students to be scientists in the classroom.  Science: It's Elementary provides inquiry-based science instruction in grades K through 6, intensive teacher training, coaching, professional development and fully stocked science kits so that every child in the classroom can experience hands-on learning.

In the 2006-2007 school year:

  • 74 elementary schools across 68 districts are participating.

  • 1,368 teachers have received intensive training and professional development in how to transform their science instruction for elementary school-aged children.

  • Almost 37,000 K-8 students will benefit from better science instruction, a stronger science curriculum and hands-on work that is engaging and fun.

Building on Success:

In 2007-08, Governor Rendell is expanding access to this innovative and proven science program with $15 million – a 50% increase – adding up to 85 more schools to the 74 that are already participating.

The 2007-08 expansion will train 1,660 more elementary science teachers to benefit 49,800 additional students. By 2007-08, over 90,000 elementary students will have benefited from enhanced science education through Science: It's Elementary. Pennsylvania fully expects these students to be better prepared for the rigorous statewide PSSA science assessments that will first be administered in 2007-08.

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