Steamtown National Historic Site Launches S.T.E.A.M. Program for Area Students

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Date: October 5, 2016
Contact: Dawn Mach, 570-340-5339

SCRANTON, PA - During the week of October 10, sixth- through eighth-grade students from Scranton School District's South Intermediate 21st Century after-school program will participate in the launch of a pilot S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program at Steamtown National Historic Site. The S.T.E.A.M program was developed by the district's South Scranton Intermediate science teacher, Ms. Katona Miller.

Ms. Miller was selected by park staff to participate in the National Park Service Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program during the 2016 summer season. The TRT program is both a professional development opportunity for educators that encourages them to use park resources to enrich their teaching, and an informal learning opportunity for park staff in making community connections to develop place-based education programs in collaboration with teachers. TRTs use park resources to develop lessons they and other teachers can use to enhance student learning.In addition to developing lessons, TRTs are required to take a three-credit course with the University of Colorado Denver. While participating in the park program, teachers are considered "student interns" and receive a small stipend upon successful completion of both the NPS and the university program requirements.

During her internship, Ms. Miller worked with Park Ranger Daniel Kahl to develop a S.T.E.A.M. based program that could be used by other middle school teachers throughout the area. The curriculum-based program consists of activities that use the park's many resources as tools to demonstrate a concept.

"It's so amazing to see how Ms. Miller and Ranger Kahl turned elements of the park into hands-on components of these five modules," said park Assistant Superintendent Dawn Mach. "They have incorporated the turntable, a giant "Lazy Susan" used to line railroad equipment in the needed direction, into a math lesson on calculating circumference. "

The engineering component explains how a steam engine works using the park's Spang & Chalfont #8 locomotive, a static exhibit that looks like a steam locomotive on one side but on the opposite side shows the inner workings of that steam locomotive.

This flexible S.T.E.A.M. program was developed in order that middle school teachers could identify and choose which components of the program to use for their students to focus upon. "Seeing the resources used for purposes to engage students makes using the park as an outdoor classroom really exciting for everyone involved," added the assistant superintendent.

Located in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania, Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.From I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then follow the signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues. For more information about the park's S.T.E.A.M educational program for sixth- through eighth-graders, contact Ms. Mach at 570-340-5339 during regular business hours. General park information may be obtained by calling (570) 340-5200 during business hours or by visiting the Steamtown NHS web site anytime at

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Last updated: October 25, 2016

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