PA Smart Grant

This website is brought to you through the generous support of a PAsmart Advancing Grant entitled The STEAM Studio Model for Innovation: Building Robust Learning Ecologies and Pathways in Computer Science. Submitted under the 2018-2019 Governor’s PAsmart Expanding K-12 Computer Science and STEM Education Initiative, this program directly impacted 4,399 students and over 400 teachers, including teachers benefitting from the published lessons and resources established through this grant and found on this site. The pilot districts served through this grant are a microcosm of the education systems in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During this 18-month period we built a vertically aligned K-8 CS/STEAM pathway, based on South Fayette Township School District’s model, in each of the participating schools. The process includes: Vision Casting; Developing an Innovation Mindset; Professional Development through the STEAM Innovation Summer Institute; and the Implementation Process.

The pilot districts represent rural and urban high-need school districts serving a diverse population. We are so proud of our partner schools for their commitment and dedication to this process. The districts include: Carmichaels School District, Greene County; Jefferson-Morgan School District, Greene County; Brownsville Area School District, Washington County; Charleroi School District, Washington County; Beechwood Elementary, Allegheny County; Manchester Academic Charter, Allegheny County; Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5, Allegheny County and South Fayette Township School District, Allegheny County.  

As you scroll through this website you will find examples of vertically aligned lessons designed to address computational thinking competencies and practices, student agency, classroom management suggestions, examples of student artifacts and more. You will find educational research results provided by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Clemson University on increasing equitable participation in the CS activities, particularly among girls and students of color by focusing on technology-driven collaborative problem-solving. In addition, researchers from Digital Promise Learning Science research team focused on gauging students’ and teachers’ conceptual understanding of computer science, evaluating to what degree the implemented activities support an understanding of key computing competencies. We wish you success and hope that we can support you in your vision.

With appreciation,

Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation, South Fayette Township School District

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