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GEAR UP: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs

Supported by the School District of Philadelphia

What if you could bring the best science teachers in Philadelphia and international experts in STEM education from Drexel together in one room to create a new science curriculum for thousands of public school students? You would probably end up with an incredible program that will prepare students to better understand, appreciate and even pursue a career related to science. That’s what faculty at Drexel’s School of Education are working towards with its partnership with the School District of Philadelphia as part of its GEAR UP grant.

Through the partnership, Drexel School of Education faculty and 12 Philadelphia science teachers are working together to develop a new science curriculum that incorporates best practices in teaching and learning that is tailored to the unique needs of Philadelphia’s students and an assessment system to accurately understand and track student progress.

Implementing a new program requires lots of preparation. To that end, the School of Education organizes professional development seminars and conducting “beta testing” of the assessment system with District teachers to gather information on what is working and what alterations should be made.

The goal is to not only ensure better performance on state tests, but also improve students’ knowledge and appreciation of science so that they can perform well in college and beyond. Who knows, maybe they’ll become a science teacher one day!