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MSC Awarded PA Smart Grant

Storytime STEM-Packs Collections

The Allegheny Intermediate Unit Math & Science Collaborative has been awarded a $497,344 PAsmart Advancing Grant to support Storytime STEM-packs™: STEM + Computer Science. Storytime STEM-packs support young children in STEM and computer science, making it easy for educators from all backgrounds to engage children in standards-aligned integrated STEM+C materials. The latest grant will focus on high-needs schools and libraries in urban and rural communities and will serve approximately 300 educators and 6,000 children in 2023.

This award from the Pennsylvania Department of Education builds on the successful implementation of Storytime STEM-packs in Pennsylvania and Iowa through prior grant funding. The latest grant will engage educators from more than half of PA’s counties. Intermediate units will recruit PreK-2 educators and librarians from communities who have been underserved and underrepresented in STEM+C instruction.

Children working with Bee-Bot on Storytime-STEM mat

As a result of this new funding, educators will receive one comprehensive kit that includes one Storytime STEM+C Adventure, one science/engineering Storytime STEM-pack and one mathematics Storytime STEM-pack. Additionally, each intermediate unit will receive two kits for inclusion in their lending library, which allows any educator in their footprint to use the materials in their classrooms.

Storytime STEM-packs™ integrate popular children’s books with STEM and computer science, using problem-driven STEM activities and Bee-Bot robots for story-themed challenges on colorful vinyl mats. Educators will be able to choose from four different Storytime STEM Adventures and 16 Storytime STEM-packs to best fit their curriculum needs. Participating classroom educators and children’s librarians will be involved in a half-day of Storytime STEM-packs synchronous virtual professional learning. This professional learning has a proven track-record of making educators comfortable with implementing STEM and computer science with their children.

Partners already committed include 13 IUs (including Head Start), 35 public libraries, the University of Pittsburgh’s Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity, AIU Mon Valley School, and AIU member school districts.

Recently, Storytime STEM-packs was included in the National Science Foundation funded 2022 STEM for ALL video showcase and garnered praise and positive comments from fellow researchers and the public.