PHS teacher, Jessica Perfetto, was accepted as one of 32 Ambassadors in the Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program, which aims to shape the future of STEM education in the Commonwealth by targeting vital policy conversations with legislative leadership in the areas of STEM Learning ecosystems, computer science, state and federal policy for formal and informal education, and workforce needs. Ms. Perfetto also serves as the Curriculum Coordinator for Applied Engineering & Technology Education in Pennsbury.
The PA STEM Ambassadors met for an inaugural training session in late February at the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), a statewide training and professional development organization through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education. Representing leaders and emerging leaders in corporate, PreK‐12 and higher education, and afterschool programs from 22 counties, PA STEM Ambassadors have agreed to invest the next nine months in training and policy development to share expertise and content knowledge with influential stakeholders to help develop a stronger voice in shaping STEM education policy issues.
“In order for Pennsylvania to lead in STEM policy, we need to develop leaders across the state to advocate for bipartisan support in advancing STEM Education policies and to have the respect and influence to affect change,” said Laura Saccente, director of the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN). “PA STEM Ambassadors have been a vital part in shaping STEM education and workforce policies.” PSAYDN collaborated with the Education Policy and Leadership Center, the national STEM Education Coalition, the Afterschool Alliance, 2018 National STEM Ambassador Jeff Remington, and staff from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, through the PA STEM Education Coalition, to provide training support to the Ambassadors.
“STEM provides students a conduit to apply content gained from traditional classes, and creates relevance to future careers and skills that today’s employers demand,” said Ms. Perfetto. “In the Applied Engineering Department at Pennsbury, we build student confidence to develop divergent thinking. The answer is not always in the back of a textbook. There is more than one solution to a problem.”