STEM Services Spark Student Learning

“The [STEM Instructional Materials] allow students to not only learn, but also to discover… they truly become scientists and engineers. — Grade 4 Teacher Khalan Heid, Watervliet Elementary School

Offering all students an enriching education is something every educator can get behind. However, knowing how or having the resources to create this sort of learning can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially true for elementary grade teachers who are asked to be proficient in all subject areas, but may not feel confident about teaching science (particularly aspects such as engineering or data collection that are emphasized in the new state learning standards.)

Our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Professional Development service is designed to bolster busy educators’ understanding of the new standards and help them confidently deliver meaningful STEM content (we know that not everyone is a Science Gal or Guy!)

And, the complementary STEM Instructional Materials service provides science materials—from plastic cups to living organisms—that teachers need to deliver research-based curricula, but may not have the time or resources to gather on their own.

“With the help of Capital Region BOCES, we piloted the new Smithsonian science kits in kindergarten last year,” explained Schoharie Central School District Kindergarten Teacher Jeneca Kenny. “The materials, manuals and professional development all tie into the New York State Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS). We like having everything for hands-on science in one package—we just open the kit and go.” 

“Our partnership with BOCES’ STEM services allows me to get the newest research-based science kits to teachers as fast as possible,” added Bethlehem Central School District Science Department Supervisor Jennifer Gonyea. “The service has started us on a very smooth transition to the new science learning standards.”

In 2016, New York state adopted new science standards to ensure what all students are learning—regardless of the zip code where they live or go to school—is preparing them with the skills they’ll need for today’s world and workforce. It is expected that changes to the way students learn and grow in the sciences will be fully implemented by 2024.