HU partnership takes STEM to forefront of K-12 learning

Degrees in science, technology, engineering and math lead to lucrative, in-demand careers that are fueling the 21st Century economy.

Still, a disconnect exists in teaching STEM to K-12 students across the U.S. Many school districts are not adequately preparing students to succeed in science and technology courses beyond high school. It’s a significant national problem that has forced many universities to put in place remedial STEM programs.

To buck the trend, and grow the pool of talented, bright students interested in attending STEM-focused schools like HU, Harrisburg University has partnered with a seasoned teacher development company dubbed LearnSTEMic. Via the partnership, HU will help develop content, strategies, technology and measurement tools aimed at improving STEM teaching performance at the middle- and high-school levels.

“By partnering with LearnSTEMic, we are marrying decades of expertise in teacher development with HU’s resources and know-how in the STEM fields. Investing in LearnSTEMic is an investment in HU, and the future of STEM education across the U.S.” said HU President Dr. Eric Darr

LearnSTEMic founding partner Christine Smith and her colleagues have built relationships with school districts and intermediate units throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. HU will help grow the company’s professional development portfolio to better serve school districts, Smith said.

“Teachers are limited in their time for professional learning and course planning. As a result, we created our solution to be on-demand and personalized based on individual teachers needs,” she said. “Schools subscribe to our solution because they aim to create a more inquiry based learning culture, promote academic growth and achievement, and speed adoption of new technology and curriculum. Our focus is on STEM organizational priorities in support of sound instructional practice, cross-curricular learning and real-world connections.”

Parkland School District in Allentown has worked with LearnSTEMic for four years.

LearnSTEMic has helped Parkland create a “more learner-centered” environment that uses technology more effectively, said Tracy Smith, Parkland’s assistant to the Superintendent for operations.

“LearnSTEMic has helped Parkland School District make significant progress as we move to a more learner-centered environment with technology, and has become a true partner in the process,” Smith said. “Their knowledge of technology and pedagogy, and how the two can be married effectively to achieve higher levels of student success is unparalleled.”

Tony Grieco, executive director of the Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18, believes the relationship the intermediate unit has forged with LearnSTEMic will help the IU incorporate STEM activities into the regular daily activities of schools it serves through the intermediate unit.

“I am extremely excited to be partnering with Harrisburg University and LearnSTEMic to be able to work with school districts and teachers from across the Commonwealth as we strive to transform the teaching and learning process to include STEM activities on a regular and ongoing basis,” Grieco said. “We believe that our philosophy of STEM4ALL and STEM across the curriculum is well aligned with Harrisburg University’s mission of education, transformation and innovation. We look forward to our continued work with LearnSTEMic, initially beginning with Practical STEM, and expanding that relationship with Harrisburg University to meet the professional development needs of schools and their teachers.”

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email, Connect@HarrisburgU.edu.