PITTSBURGH, November 13, 2018 – ASSET STEM Education (ASSET), a national provider of professional development and hands-on materials in STEM, recently kicked off its Academy for Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning, funded by Arconic Foundation. The pilot program is a five-month in-person and online professional development initiative designed to guide educators in Southwestern Pennsylvania through the rationale and mechanics of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Three Dimensional Learning.
“This new and innovative program represents a transformation of practice in teaching students about STEM,” said Dr. Cynthia Pulkowski, Executive Director at ASSET. “We see many school districts eager to explore these cross-cutting concepts but don’t know where to start. With the Academy, our professional development specialists are helping educators incorporate NGSS and three-dimensional learning in their classrooms. We are excited to work with these forward-thinking schools as they take the lead in enhancing their teaching practices and fostering student achievement.”
A radical departure from the traditional instructional framework, NGSS approach science not as an accumulation of knowledge, but as a way of thinking which can be applied across all academic subjects. At the heart of this holistic approach is three-dimensional learning, where students (1) actively engage in science practices using (2) concepts that apply in all areas of science in order to (3) strengthen their understanding of core ideas which apply across disciplines.
During ASSET’s Academy for Three-Dimensional Learning, educators will explore NGSS and three-dimensional learning through a blended approach of synchronous in-person instruction and asynchronous online learning through a Learning Management System (LMS). At the conclusion of the course, participants will report on their transformation of practice in an online Compendium of Three Dimensional Learning designed to encourage other schools and districts to take on NGSS.
The program consists of six school-based teams from five local districts, including Big Beaver Falls, Hampton Township, Norwin, Ringgold and Yough. Each team includes at least one administrator and three to four additional educators.
Day one of the program, funded by Arconic Foundation, kicked off at the Bayer Professional Development Academy in ASSET’s Southside office on Friday, October 26. The next two in-person sessions will be held on Thursday, December 20 and Tuesday, February 19, supplemented by online activities through a Professional Learning Community (PLC) throughout the program. Thanks to this generous grant from Arconic Foundation, educators are able to participate in the program at no cost.
About ASSET STEM Education
Founded in 1994 by the Bayer Corporation and a coalition of community partners, ASSET STEM Education provides more than 200 different professional development courses to more than 2,500 educators annually. ASSET also equips classrooms and educational programs with hands-on, minds-on STEM materials. Each year, these activities impact nearly 70,000 school-aged youth. ASSET’s holistic approach to STEM education fosters youth interest, engagement and achievement in other subjects. For more information, visit www.assetinc.org.