Plum High School teacher selected to be a part of state science committee - Plum

Plum High School teacher selected to be a part of state science committee

Saturday, May 23, 2020 | 9:01 AM

A Plum High School teacher has been selected to be on a state Department of Education committee examining new state science standards.

Biologist Shubhada Bhamre said she’s excited to be on the 10-member panel called PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology Content Committee.

“I love biology, (and) my content knowledge is very good,” she said. “I’m very much interested in furthering the education both of students and teachers.”

In September 2019, the State Board of Education directed the state Education Department to begin the process of updating Pennsylvania’s science standards to align them with current research and best practices, including a review of Next Generation Science Standards.

The committee’s work starts June 16.

Members will meet in six full-day virtual sessions. Their report is expected to be used in drafting science standards that provide educators across the state a guide for science-specific content needs.

“These days the focus is not just on one specific content area, but of a cross-curricular nature,” Bhamre said. “When I look at the list (of committee members), there are people from universities. There are people from hardcore education backgrounds. There’s a mix of middle and high school teachers. There are general science as well as content area teachers. It’s all the sciences.”

Bhamre, of Oakmont has been with the district about 17 years.

She studied science in India and earned a doctorate in neuroscience with a sub-speciality in neurochemistry from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India. She also has a masters in developmental biology.

She migrated to the United States in 1994 and had post-doctorate fellowships at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio , at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She earned her teaching certification from the University of Pittsburgh.

This will be Bhamre’s first time on a state committee, but not the only time her input was used in potentially influencing science education in Pennsylvania.

Bhamre said she had submitted feedback and item analysis in the past to the Education Department and Data Recognition Corp. in regards to the Keystone exams.

Other committee members include:

• Rebecca Thomas, assistant professor of park resource management at Slippery Rock University;

• Rick Zilla, Greenville Area School District high school technology education teacher;

• Sharon Brusic, professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania;

• Steve Kerlin, director of environmental education at Stroud Water Research Center;

• Steve Wasiesky, environmental education coordinator at Millcreek Township School District;

• Tarrea Potter, state education outreach coordinator at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation;

• Timothy Dzurko, middle school technology education and STEM teacher at State College Area School District;

• Travis Martin, middle school science teacher at Bellwood-Antis School District;

• Tyler Love, assistant professor of education and director of the Capital Area Institute for Math and Science at Penn State Harrisburg.