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Our Plan: Teaching Science & Technology by Exploring Real World Issues

Through your engagement with Stony Brook University Personnel, you will uncover the ease at delivering lessons geared to NGSS and the new
The Smart Start Grant program promotes the development, implementation, and sharing of innovative programs that provide professional development and support to increase expertise in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subject areas, including computer science, as well as educational technology among teachers in grades K-8, to allow such teachers to become in-house experts in the school and district.​ 


Rigorous Meaningful Professional Development 

The BUFSD has a paucity of PD modules for STEAM related fields, our current proposed program changes that.  STEPD-UP addresses the needs of at-risk subgroups in the BUFSD by providing teachers with meaningful professional development geared toward engaging teachers of SWD and ELLs in computer science and STEAM learning.  Our program uses STEAM activities to create Digital Fluency and employ the new NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards.  By engaging educators in real-world investigations of the natural world and honing in on issues surrounding technology STEPD-UP addresses the need to create global citizens. The STEPD-UP program is built on the U.S. Department of Education tenant “technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and hand-held devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning”.  


Through face-to-face course work, on-line learning, laboratory experience, field trips and collaborative group discussion, STEPD-UP welcomes the participation of novice teachers, bilingual, TESOL and veteran teachers who strive to improve their technology content and pedagogical skills.  The program presents educators with experiential learning where they are involved in active learning and data collection that can be used to develop new and novel curricula for the classroom.  We include thirteen building leaders from our four middle schools and 9 elementary schools in 30 hours of professional development. Building leaders will attend all of PD in module 3 (15 hours) and pick activities from the modules to total 30 PD hours. A thorough investigation of the NYS K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards will occur through experiential learning.   

Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Needs 

The 2019 report from the Regional Economic Development council projects a 528% increase in STEAM related industrial growth in the Long Island region over the next ten years.  The STEPD-UP program provides educators with the training to support these workforce needs.   Our program promotes the implementation of the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards as a means to provide training to teachers that engages and encourages them to turnkey to their classrooms.   

Promoting Digital Fluency Using a Standards-Based Approach.

Our STEPD-UP teachers will create videos, blogs, and podcasts to strengthen the family and community engagement as we implement the new K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards. Teachers will create videos from mining real-world data collected by scientists from local governmental and non-governmental organizations (i.e. NOAA and the Nature Conservancy.) For this portion we will focus on Data and Artificial Intelligence, Networks and System Design and the Impacts of Computing. The videos created will be bi-lingual and provide information regarding the integration and application of computational thinking and programing, data acquisition and analysis and Digital Fluency.  These materials will be available on our website.  We will develop videos in English and Spanish to encourage students to code Arduinos and use these for real-world data collection. 


We have a proven track record through a Title II MSP using the STEPD-UP program to train teachers to employ the NYSLSS learning standards.  By adopting a working model to the NYS Digital Fluency Standards we aim to train over 250 teachers in five years. Professors from the Department of Ecology and Evolution and the School of Professional Development will facilitate three 15-hour course modules throughout the 2020-2021 school year. We will include a collaboration with Shared Spaces PD to assist in the deployment of hands-on technology modules for educators.  Each of these modules will incorporate Learning Standards where teachers will be involved in applying problem solving strategies, using manipulatives in hands-on laboratory work, writing lesson plans, addressing ethics, and learning techniques to provide in-service training to others. By engaging educators in computer science and Digital Fluency investigations of global and local relevance with experts, STEPD-UP creates novel student-centered activities that educators can use to further students’ 21st century skills. Personnel from the Department of Ecology and School of Professional Development have direct experience with teacher PD as they advise the Stony Brook PhD program for science education and train our educational staff respectively.  


In each of the modules, teachers will interact with University professors and leaders in vocational fields.  We will employ PD modules that offer teachers experiential learning. The instructional strategies we utilize provide teachers with professional learning experience that will help teach students about the importance of computer science and computational thinking.     


Yearly Focused Cohort Training 

Through face-to-face course work, on-line learning opportunities, laboratory experiences, field trips and collaborative group discussions, the STEPD-UP program facilitated by the BUFSD will help 50 teachers yearly develop the pedagogical skills required to cultivate the most sought-after 21st century workforce skills, in the varied contexts that our students will be called upon to use them. These skills will be further developed and refined through the program’s conceptual framework, predicated upon iterative and recursive, Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles 

Lesson Plan Ideas

Our team will help you develop and deliver rich content specific lessons. 

Scientific Knowledge

Through real-world scientific experiences you will increase your core science knowledge.

Data Collection 

Real-world data collection will allow you to uncover new ideas for uncovering and discovering phenomena in your classroom.

STEAM Powered into the Future

  • Shaping STEM through the implementation of student-driven project-based learning with a workforce development twist​

  • Implementation of the NYS Digital Literacy Standards through VEX project based learning​

  • Professional Development geared toward NGSS and Digital Literacy Initiatives.

STEAM Centers for All

  • STEAM centers for all of the BUFSD elementary schools.  ​

  • Steam Centers to include VEX kits, 3D printers, prototyping software​

  • Laser cutters and project resources​

  • Technology Specialist will oversee the deployment of resources and will be trained to assist in implementation.

PD Plan Year 1

  • Elementary School (Grades 4-5) Training 10 hours intensive workshop on VEX GO Bundles ​

  • Middle School Training (6-8 Technology Educators) 10 hours intensive workshop on IQ Bundles​

  • Job-embedded PD to include assistance from grant Team        (Incorporate NGSS)​

  • Archiving of Lessons (Stony Brook and Mosaic) Videos will be made available to all staff  ​​​

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