Nov. 18, 2022
USCHS welcomes Pennsylvania science teachers
Upper St. Clair High School hosted the 15th annual Pennsylvania Science Curriculum Council (PASCC) Conference on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. The annual event provides an opportunity for science instructors to collaborate and share effective methods of science instruction and assessment.
Nearly 100 middle and high school science teachers, department chairs, curriculum leaders and administrators attended the day-long event. Most attendees represent schools from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Montgomery, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Dawn Mostowy, an USCHS biology teacher who has been a member of PASCC for 10 years, served as this year’s site host.
“This annual conference gives biology teachers the opportunity to collaborate and share effective methods of both science instruction and assessment – including the implementation of the new science state standards,” Mrs. Mostowy said. “Teachers of elective courses, such as AP Biology, are also given the chance to collaborate and share ideas.”
During the morning, attendees had the opportunity to visit numerous stations that offered engaging lessons on a variety of instructional topics, including basic biological principles, chemical basis of life, bioenergetics, homeostasis and transport, cell growth and reproduction, genetics, evolution, ecology, and Keystone Exam preparation and remediation strategies. In addition, science curriculum leaders attended a session with Dr. David Bauman, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) science education advisor, to review resources developed by PDE to support science education.
Three break-out sessions were offered in the afternoon: Advanced Placement Biology, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 5E Lesson Development, and Using Games as a Daily Review. NGSS are K–12 science content standards that set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do. The 5E model of science instruction is an inquiry-based approach that allows students to understand a concept over time through a series of established steps, or phases, which include engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.
In addition to Mrs. Mostowy, Upper St. Clair High School science teachers Ben Cramer and Lynn Kistler, who serves as the science department curriculum leader, participated in the conference. Mr. Cramer presented a lesson titled, “Classifying Solutions Using Water Beads,” on the concept of homeostasis and transport.
Jen Henney, a biology teacher at Penn-Trafford High School, served as the 2022 conference coordinator. PASCC is led by Andrea Redinger, a biology teacher, science department chair and coordinator of gifted education at Greensburg Salem High School. For more information about PASCC, contact Ms. Redinger at email@example.com.