August 17, 2022
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PA Department of Education Explores STEM Careers During Science in the Summer at Newtown Public Library

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Newtown Square, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Education Executive Deputy Secretary Dr. Debora Carrera today visited Newtown Public Library for Be a Biologist, part of the GSK Science in the Summer programming, sponsored by GSK in partnership with The Franklin Institute.

“Libraries provide valuable learning opportunities and programs for students of all ages during the summertime. These productive programs keep students’ minds engaged and active while they’re out of school and can help ready and propel them into a new school year,” said Dr. Carrera. “Programs like the Be a Biologist program hosted at the Newtown Public Library today give students – our future leaders and workers – a fun environment to learn and explore career options in STEM-related fields that are vital to the commonwealth.”

Both during the school year and during the summer, STEM education and programming provides students with critical skills they will need for careers of the future. Libraries lead the way in providing equitable and accessible learning experiences through programs centering on art, story times, special presenters, literacy, and STEM.

“Public libraries play a vital role during the summer by providing innovative programs that fill an educational gap and encourage learning and exploration,” said Catherine Bittle, director at Delaware County Libraries. “We are pleased to be able to offer GSK Science in the Summer™ again this year. This amazing learning experience is supported by GSK in partnership with the Franklin Institute and administered through Delaware County Libraries. Opportunities like this highlight the need and the importance of continued funding to public libraries.”

In his 2022-23 budget proposal, Governor Tom Wolf has requested a $1.25 million increase for libraries, including a $1 million increase in the Public Library subsidy. The subsidy goes directly to local libraries, library systems, and 29 district library centers, and provides every Pennsylvanian access to statewide resource center libraries at the State Library of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the libraries of The Pennsylvania State University.

During the past seven years, the Wolf Administration has secured $40 million for career and technical education and has invested $116 million in STEM education, an area in which Pennsylvania remains a leader.

Since 2018, the governor has secured $20 million annually for PAsmart, which expands STEM and computer science education to learners of all ages. Targeted and Advancing PAsmart grants support high-quality STEM and computer science learning and professional development opportunities to communities across Pennsylvania, including within early learning centers, libraries, out-of-school time providers, career and technical education centers, post-secondary institutions, and K-12 schools. PDE has awarded 438 PAsmart grants since the 2018-19 school year.

Science in the Summer is a free summer education program that aims to inspire the next generation of scientists by providing opportunities to children to embody science careers, think scientifically, practice authentic science techniques, and have fun.

This year’s GSK Science in the Summer theme, Be a Biologist, invites children to play the role of professional biologists and tackle real-world challenges in fisheries, plant biology, paleobiology, and wildlife biology.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith – casesmith@pa.gov

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