The Donald McKinney

Center for STEM Education


Monthly Newsletter - June 2024


  • News from the McKinney Center
  • Events, Workshops & Webinars
  • Opportunities for Students & Families
  • Classroom & Out-of-School Time Resources
  • Grants, Funding & Scholarships
  • Career Opportunities
  • Articles and Publications


STEM Highlight of the Month

The Federation of American Scientist (FAS) just issued a new report: K-12 STEM Education For The Future Workforce: A Wish List For The Next Five Year Plan, in April 2024. It is a short read full of references and data that is relevant to all of us in STEM Education.

This report was prepared in partnership with the Alliance for Learning Innovation (ALI), to advocate for building a better research and development (R&D) infrastructure in education. The Federation of American Scientists believes that STEM education evolution is necessary to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s in-demand scientific and technological careers, as well as being a national security pursuit. The text of the report was compiled by Jeff Weld Ph.D of FAS.

Educate Philly 2024

Benefit Luncheon & Master Class

The Philadelphia Education Fund's Educate Philly Master Class's 2024 theme is Energy 101: Fueling Philadelphia's Future. PEF invites industry leaders to paint a picture of the future of energy – and its implications for our way of life and the educational needs and preparation of our nation’s next generation of leaders. Our Annual Benefit is on Tuesday, June 18,2024 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at The Franklin Institute.

This luncheon and master class benefits the Philadelphia Education Fund and our Philadelphia Scholars Scholarship Endowment. For tickets and Sponsorships, please go HERE.

Philadelphia STEM

Program Directory

We Want You!

Do you know of any STEM program that should be included in our Philadelphia STEM Program Directory? The Directory is a free searchable map of STEM opportunities in the Greater Philadelphia Area. It is full of STEM programs geared toward K-12 students as well as professional development opportunities for classroom teachers and informal educators.

Their is no cost to use the Directory or to list a program. To register as a STEM Program Provider, please go HERE. To register as a STEM Professional Development provider, please go HERE. If you have any questions, please contact Betsy Payne. 

K-12 Education Workgroup's

Community of Practice (CoP)

Following PSEC's Theory of Change strategy of "creating equitable and diverse education-to-career pathways" the K-12 Education Workgroup is working on a pilot Community of Practice (CopP) project at Cramp Elementary. Our contacts at Cramp worked with us toward a sustained and multifaceted relationship between the school and partners through improved communication and shared knowledge.

The goal of the CoP is to coordinate alignment and increase programming for all K-12 educators to provide high-quality, culturally competent STEM experiences. Our partners in this project are:

  • ​BioEyes
  • Center for Aquatic Sciences
  • Elements of the Community, Inc.
  • The Franklin Institute
  • Riverbend Environmental Education Center

On February 2024, the CoP participated in the "STEM Kickoff Event" at the school. Parents and students were invited to visit the different partners' tables to get a bit of STEM information along with a fun activity. Students were given a "passport" to the different activities along with a few STEM task. To see the passport, please go HERE.

For more information, go to our website, Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective or contact Betsy Payne, Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem Manager.

Visit the McKinney Center for STEM Education Page


  • PHENND K-16 June Institute: The 2Gen Approach: Supporting Whole Families in Educational Success - This in-person event will feature programs that are currently engaged in this work as well as those which include important components of this approach as they support young people and their caregivers. June 4, 9:00am to 4:00pm at Community College of Philadelphia.
  • Teaching Green Symposium - The PA Environmental Literacy Network Regional Hub is sponsoring an end of the school year convening on June 18th, 2024 at Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. Consider joining formal and informal environmental educators from our Southeast PA region at this one-day learning experience. Throughout the day, the goal is for participants to learn about the Environmental Literacy and Sustainability (EL&S) part of the PA STEELS Standards. Registration has been extended to June 10th.
  • Preparing for STEM Careers Webinar - “The Future is Now: Empowering Youth Through STEM Excellence in OST” - is an innovative webinar series designed to prepare educators, Out-of-School Time (OST) program coordinators, and other professionals for the evolving landscape of STEM education. Act 48 credits are available. Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 11:00am to 12pm.
  • The Teachers Institute of Philadelphia (TIP) 2024 Workshop Program - TIP invites teachers from around the School District of Philadelphia to participate in its in-person Fall 2024 Workshop Program. Teacher Fellows will acquire cutting-edge knowledge from university professors and write lesson plans based on the material they have learned. The lesson plans will fit into teachers’ required instructional sequence, and will cover District, state and national curriculum standards.  Application deadline: June 21, 2024
  • 5th Annual Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference - Registration is now open for this virtual conference. The goal of this conference is to gather formal & non-formal educators from across the Mid-Atlantic to share ideas, resources, & inspiration for advancing education for climate action. June 25, 26 & 27 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.
  • PEDC 5th Annual Virtual Summit: Reversing the Trends: Redefining the Narrative for Educators of Color - Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with fellow changemakers, gain valuable knowledge, and contribute to building a more inclusive educational landscape. This free event is June 25-27, 2024, 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM daily
  • CSinPA Book Event - PaTTAN is hosting CS Book events in collaboration with Pennsylvania’s four CSTA chapters in multiple regions across the state during June, 2024. This special opportunity will engage educators in exploring a curated collection of CS-related books. Participants will discuss ideas for leveraging CS books to grow CS capacity and support students' CS learning. The event is open to all educators and leaders in PA: Pre-K -12 educators, administrators, counselors, school librarians, special education teachers, representatives from family engagement groups (e.g., PTO), literacy coaches, and others.
  • PDE 7-12 Computer Science (CS) Praxis Prep, Summer 2024 Cohort - This program, starting July 1, 2024, is designed to help educators prepare for the CS Praxis exam (5652). This pathway engages 7-12 educators in activities to develop Computer Science (CS) content area knowledge and skills via the online WeTeach CS program. Registration open until July 2, 2024.
  • STEM Leadership Alliance Summit - Come join us at the STEM Leadership Alliance Summit for an exclusive event centered around innovation in STEM. This summit will delve into the future of AI in the classroom, with a particular spotlight on Career and Technical Education (CTE) from a diversity and inclusion perspective. July 21-25, 2024 at Space Center Houston, TX.
  • STEM Studio 1: Developing Inquiry Mindsets - TGR Foundation’s annual professional development training, STEM Studio is now open and FREE for educators in the summer of 2024! July 30 and 31, space is limited!
  • Kaospilot Master Class: The Art & Craft of Designing and Facilitating Learning Spaces - Let’s Pilot Through Chaos Together! Bryn Mawr College’s Career & Civic Engagement Center, Kaospilot and PHENND invite you to join us August 13-15 on Bryn Mawr’s campus as we co-host this 3-day Masterclass for educators, instructional designers, program directors, curriculum designers, facilitators, and anyone who wants to create innovative, experiential, learner-centered programs, courses, and experiences.
  • Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award - The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is accepting nominations this Award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. This national award recognizes the excellence exhibited by public school non-teaching employees (called paraprofessionals and school-related personnel) who provide services to public or private prekindergarten through high school students across the nation. Nominations are due August 30th and applications will be due October 1.​


  • Solving the Climate Crisis: An Afternoon of Games and Journalism for Teens - Join WHYY News Climate Desk and WHYY Education Department where we put the next generation in charge. Students will work together in groups to solve a simulated environmental crisis. After a quick training by WHYY News Climate Desk reporters Susan Phillips and Zoe Read we put the microphones into the students’ hands. They will interview each other, tell their own stories, and get a sense of what it’s like to work as a reporter on one of the top stories of our time. Dinner will be served! Monday, June 3, 4:00-6:00pm
  • College Bound Academy - a FREE opportunity for students who are interested in hands-on, interactive, college and career-focused experiences. The program is open to students who will be entering the 12th grade in the 2024-2025 academic school year. Session dates are July 15-19. There are a limited number of spaces; early application submissions are encouraged. The session is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • CCI Digital Development Camp 2024 - is a three-week full-day (10am to 3pm) in-person summer program led by College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) faculty and student leaders. The camp is open to rising high school sophomores, juniors, seniors and accepted CCI first-year students. The 2024 camp will run from Monday, July 8 to Thursday, July 25.
  • IBM SkillsBuild - a FREE digital learning platform designed to provide learners (13+) with comprehensive access to a wealth of resources and courses aimed at developing essential digital, technical, and professional skills. Tailored to meet the needs of today's workforce and the job market's future demands, this platform offers a broad spectrum of self-paced, interactive learning experiences. 
  • JCRS REACH Program for Rehabilitation Sciences - If helping people is your passion, discover the impact you can have in the rehabilitation sciences (occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training, exercise science, and speech language pathology). This FREE program for rising high school juniors and seniors includes strategies to navigate the college application process. Program dates are July 29 to August 2, 2024. Application deadline is June 28, 2024.
  • Mighty Summer Camp - Mighty Writers has FREE summer camps for all ages! All sites offer full- or half-day summer camps for 6-7 weeks to fill your summer months with literacy, dance, art, social-emotional learning, sports, and field trips! Each Mighty location in Philadelphia, Chester County, and New Jersey offers something slightly different, designed especially for the community.
  • NOAA Young Changemakers Fellowship 2024-2025 school year. This program is for the 2024-25 school year and it is designed for current high school students who are passionate about the environment, climate, ocean, Great Lakes, and/or coasts. Program participants receive mentorship, skill-building opportunities, and financial resources to design and lead an action project in their own community. They also learn about and share their perspectives on NOAA priorities, helping to inform the decisions that NOAA leaders make. Full participation comes with an $800 stipend and paid travel to Washington, D.C., for a kick-off summit in July 2024. Applications are due on June 10, 2024.


New Resources:

  • High School Student Spotlight: Showcasing Pennsylvania High School Students - Teachers, are you looking for a platform to showcase the incredible ideas and solutions your students have developed to make a difference in their community? This is their chance to shine, highlighting their creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills to a wide audience of entrepreneurs, innovators, industry professionals, and higher education institutions. Join in us Philadelphia for an amazing opportunity to elevate your students' projects and ideas to new heights. September 23, 2024 10:ooam to 1:00pm
  • Students as Scientists Nature-Based Inquiry - This unit from Cornell Lab guides students through the full range of inquiry skills, from asking their own questions to designing and carrying out studies to answer them. As you plan for next year, you can choose the free download of the K-5 or 6-12 version.
  • Phenomena Finder - a resource to begin exploring phenomena for use in developing lessons, this interactive website is from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana
  • Calendar of Events - from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, it is full of activities for teachers, educators, senior citizens, and families.
  • Biodiversity! How can we balance the needs of people with the needs of other living things? - (Grades 6-12) is a free community research guide developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in partnership with the InterAcademy Partnership as part of the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals project. The guides use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to focus on sustainable actions that are defined and implemented by students. Also available in Spanish/También disponible en español. 
  • NOAA Science On a Sphere: Animal Migrations and Changing Climate - (Grades 3-12) -This collection from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) combines natural phenomena with Science On a Sphere datasets and guiding questions for educators.

Previous Resources:

  • Jefferson Academic Outreach Programs - Request a School Speaker - Are you a K-12 teacher seeking guest speakers for classroom visits? Jefferson faculty and staff are willing to help with career talks and subject matter expertise across a wide variety of topics.
  • Future City Competition - Created for middle schoolers in or out of the classroom, Future City combines the engineer design process (EDP) with project management to imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Students design a futuristic city with innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing issues; our 2024-25 theme is "Above the Current". Teacher/facilitator registrations open in May, 2024.
  • Philly HopeLine - Do you or your loved ones feel lonely, stressed, sad, angry, or confused? Do you miss your friends and routines? The Philly HopeLine is a program of the Uplift Center for Grieving Children. It is a free and confidential helpline for grief and emotional support staffed by Master’s degree-level clinicians. The Philly HopeLine is open to all youth and caregivers in the Philadelphia region. Call For Free at 1-833-PHL-HOPE (1-833-745-4673)
  • Skills for Secondary School Success (4S) - a new research-based curriculum from John Hopkins University School of Education, designed to prepare students for high school by boosting their competence, self-management, growth mindset, self-efficacy, sense of school belonging, and purpose. We are recruiting middle schools willing to participate in a study of professional development materials to support the use of the curriculum. The project will cover the cost of all the materials and professional development training. The first 60 7-8th grade teachers who implement the 40-day curriculum will also receive a $1,000 stipend.
  • Pennsylvania State Parks May 2024 E-Blast - newsletter with various opportunities and resources through July 2024.


  • Ben & Jerry’s Foundation - The foundation invites applications to its National Grassroots Organizing Program (NGO), which offers two-year, unrestricted, general operating support grants of up to $30,000 per year—with an average grant size of $20,000 per year—to small, constituent-led grassroots organizations across the United States and its territories. While our broad goals are to further social and environmental justice, our primary purpose is to support the local leadership and grassroots organizing activities of our grant partners.
  • OTDA Mini-Grant - The Pennsylvania Department of Education has contracted with Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13) to develop and implement an Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness (OTDA) Education Curriculum Framework in Pennsylvania secondary schools. The primary purpose of the grant initiative is to ensure the broadest implementation of the curriculum framework possible. The framework is multidisciplinary in nature and could be piloted by secondary teachers in any academic discipline. Application Deadline: June 18, 2024
  • MPOWER Women in STEM Scholarship - Scholarships awarded annually specifically to female international/DACA students who are currently enrolled or accepted to study full-time in a STEM degree program at a program MPOWER supports in the United States or Canada. Deadline: June 30, 2024


  • Supplemental Instructors, Peirce College - Summer and Fall - We are looking for Supplemental Instruction Leaders for various courses to start as soon as July 1st.
  • Senior Youth Development Specialist: Group Leader - Fab Youth - Fab Youth Philly is seeking to hire a full-time, exceptional individual who will be a part of our Youth Programs Team. You will be responsible for the supervision and support of small groups of teens in our various Out-of-School Time (OST) programs, as well as other afterschool, summer, and weekend programing such as Skills for a Fab Life, Youth Advisory Board and more.
  • Advisor (Teacher) - Big Picture Philadelphia - El Centro Big Picture High School is seeking Advisors (Teachers) who are eager to work in our progressive, student-centered, project-based school. We are seeking certified teachers in the following content areas: English, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Special Education. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to ATTN: el Centro Hiring.
  • Assistant Director, Dowdy Multicultural Center - West Chester University -Reporting to the Director, the Assistant Director assists with developing, implementing, and facilitating programs, services, and resources to promote success for multicultural students. As part of a dynamic team, this position leads efforts to increase awareness and appreciation for racial and cultural diversity; improve retention and graduation rates for multicultural students, advocacy, and improved understanding and appreciation of issues related to multiculturalism.
  • Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) - Commonwealth of PA - At DCNR there are temporary seasonal, permanent seasonal, and year-round positions open. Positions vary and can be found throughout the state of Pennsylvania; there are currently over 70 positions open!
  • Senior Coordinator, Public Programs - National Audubon Society, Philadelphia - The Senior Coordinator will play a lead role in the development and execution of public environmental action programs at the Discovery Center. The Senior Coordinator will also be responsible for leading a paid high school internship program. Audubon co-manages this program with the Philadelphia Outward Bound School.


Previous Articles & Publications:

In Memory of Donald McKinney

Donald McKinney was a PEF’s Math and Science Coalition. In recognition of his commitment and passion for STEM Education, PEF organized its STEM Initiatives within the Donald McKinney Center for STEM Education.

Visit the McKinney Center for STEM Education Page