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FCASD Receives $480K Grant to Lead STEM Advancement Effort

The Fox Chapel Area School District was recently named a recipient of a $480,000 PAsmart Advancing Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help support quality educational opportunities and experiences for students in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. 

Through the grant, the Fox Chapel Area School District will partner with six other Western Pennsylvania school districts: Aliquippa, Duquesne City, Freeport Area, Grove City Area, Leechburg Area, and New Kensington-Arnold.

The STEM A.C.E.S. initiative has four main objectives:

A: Increase Access to quality digital fabrication learning experiences;
C: Cultivate a Cohort of educators to increase sustainability and success;
E: Increase educator Efficacy in the facilitation of STEM learning and teaching; and
S: Increase STEM activation, especially among traditionally underrepresented students. 

Through the initiative, STEM teachers at the elementary level will receive professional development sessions in next-generation concepts such as engineering design theory, systems thinking, and sensemaking aimed at creating a cohort of educators proficient in the effective facilitation of STEM learning ahead of the rollout of new science education standards in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Professional development sessions will be conducted by representatives from the Consortium for Public Education, the National Science Teaching Association, and the Fox Chapel Area School District.

The STEM A.C.E.S. initiative is expected to encompass nearly 200 educators and more than 5,600 students in the region.