State education official visits Pittston Memorial Library during Remake Learning Days

PITTSTON—Dr. Debora Carrera, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) executive deputy secretary stopped by Pittston Memorial Library to note Remake Learning Days and highlight Pennsylvania’s proposed investments in K-12 as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education on Thursday afternoon .

The day before, Gov. Tom Wolf visited Wilkes-Barre Area High School to promote his proposed $1.9 billion budget for public school funding.

During the past seven years, Wolf has secured an additional $1.8 billion in funding for pre-K through college, including more than $1.1 billion for basic education, $190 million for special education, and $40 million for career and technical education.

While visiting the Pittston Memorial Library, Dr. Carrera interacted with students as they participated in STEM learning through stations to explore tower building, robots, drones, and the scientific method in observing capillary action.

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The partnership between PDE and Remake Learning is to prepare learners with the employability and STEM skills needed for future careers, students can submit a digital badge for their career portfolios to the Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge ( .

“For so many years we waited too long and waited until the kids were older (in teaching STEM courses) and now we’re actually focusing on grades K through 12, it’s the way to go,” Dr. Carrera said. “The results won’t be an immediate thing and it takes a lot of coordination and planning for these kinds of opportunities and it gives the kids the excitement to create and think.”

dr Carrera said STEM is also geared to girls to get them excited about science, technology, engineering and math.

“This program will gets kids access and gives family access and if you look around the room, it’s not just the children getting excited but the parents are also,” Dr. Carrera added. “Parents are pretty much primary teachers of their children so if the parents can see their kids doing this type of learning and it’s not threatening if it’s presented in an exciting way. These are child-centered activities; they are engaging in coding, without knowing they are coding.”

According to Dr. Carrera, over the past seven years, $160 million has been budgeted for STEM learning in Pennsylvania by Wolf.

Remake Learning Days is a festival of events hosted by organizations like schools, museums, libraries, after-school groups, early childcare centers, universities, media centers, and tech startups — designed to be hands-on, relevant, and engaging educational experiences for youth of all ages (pre-K through high school) and their families, caregivers, and educators.

There are several Remake Learning Days over the next 10-days including:

• May 14:

— Pittston Area Martin L. Mattei Middle School – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., towers, clay, capillary, code, fly drones, journal

• May 15:

— Camp Kresge – 4 to 7 pm, nature hike

— Camp Kresge – 6 to 8 pm paddle

• May 16:

— Greater Wilkes-Barre YMCA – 1 to 5 pm, coding, flying, towers, clay, slime, capillary

• May 18:

— Nescdeck State Park – 6 to 7 pm games on bird behavior

— Northwest Area Junior-Senior High School – 5 to 7:30 pm learn to paint with your child

• May 19:

— Wyoming Area Catholic – 9 am to 2:30 pm coding, flying, towers, capillary

• May 23:

— Greater Pittston YMCA – 1 to 5:30 pm, coding, flying, towers, clay, capillary action

— Camp Kresge, 4 to 7 pm nature hike

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