Pennsylvania's Science, Technology & Engineering, Environmental Literacy & Sustainability (STEELS) Standards
New academic standards for Science, Technology & Engineering, Environmental Literacy & Sustainability were adopted by the State Board of Education in January 2022. The standards were part of amendments to 22 Pa. Code Chapter 4 that were published as final in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on July 16, 2022. The new standards will help create the conditions for all students to be scientifically, technologically, environmentally, and engineering literacy, both to support Pennsylvania's economic vitality and its civic strength.
The new standards are aligned to current research and best practices in science education. They prioritize a shift away from memorization of facts to having students productively participate in scientific discourse and practices, involve students in sustained investigation to support deeper understanding, and recognize that even young children are capable of more sophisticated scientific reasoning than originally thought. The standards also include a new domain for ''Environmental Literacy and Sustainability'' across all grade levels. This domain incorporates essential principles of environmental education organized under the following three core ideas: 1) Agricultural and Environmental Systems and Resources; 2) Environmental Literacy Skills; and 3) Sustainability and Stewardship.
To support schools' implementation of the new integrated standards for science, technology & engineering, and environmental literacy & sustainability, there will be a three-year implementation window. Effective June 30, 2025, the academic standards for Science and Technology (2002) and Environment and Ecology (2002) will be sunset. The new sets of standards, Science, Technology & Engineering, Environmental Literacy & Sustainability (STEELS) will be fully integrated into classroom instruction by the 2025-26 school year. PDE has created a STEELS Hub to assist educators in understanding the standards design and the supporting foundation boxes and to provide a wealth of materials and resources to support implementation.