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Education Secretary Stresses Importance of STEM at Annual Science Teacher Conference

Lancaster, PA - Pennsylvania students are learning the knowledge and skills to succeed in their future careers thanks to Governor Tom Wolf’s $20 million investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training through his PAsmart initiative, the state’s top education official told science teachers gathered here today for the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association.

“Governor Wolf knows that Pennsylvania's economic future depends on a well-educated and highly trained workforce,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “Grants like PAsmart are critical in funding programs to prepare educators like you to teach students the skills they need for the careers and professions of the future.

“It’s through your commitment to teaching that our students will be prepared to successfully enter the workforce or to pursue post-secondary education,” he added. “Your efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you for all that you do for your students, for your districts and for your communities.”

During his comments, Secretary Rivera also discussed the State Board of Education’s decision last month to direct the Department of Education to begin the process of updating Pennsylvania’s science standards to align them with current research and best practices, including a review of Next Generation Science Standards. Science standards serve as the basis for curriculum development and instruction in schools.

Pennsylvania has been a leader in STEM education, including Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a groundbreaking approach to provide skills training for jobs in high demand. Through PAsmart grants, the administration will award nearly $20 million to bolster STEM, computer science and career-readiness efforts and $10 million for hands-on skills training and apprenticeships. The 2019-20 state budget also includes an increase of $10 million for career and technical programs and grants.

Investing in schools and improving education for all students has been the hallmark of Governor Wolf’s vision for Schools That Teach. Under his leadership, Pennsylvania has increased access to high-quality education to ensure all students, regardless of zip code, are college and career ready.

Through the Schools That Teach Initiative, Wolf Administration officials from multiple agencies have visited dozens of schools across the state since 2015. View a Google map of all tour stops.

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis - 717-783-9802 or

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