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Steaming Ahead

 SPS Teachers Earn STEAM Grants for Science!

 As part of Science Week Pittsburgh, St Philip teachers attended the Pittcon Conference and Exposition, October 22 and 23, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.  Pittcon is a global exposition that offers outreach and support programs for science education.  Over 20 teacher workshops were offered with content focusing on fun ways to teach science.  Sessions ranged from learning science by using toys, to creating our very own SPS Science Olympiad.  Grants of up to $2,000 were available to schools that sent one or more teachers.  Teacher participation in the workshops earned St. Philip school $1,750 to purchase science related materials and equipment demonstrated at the conference.
SPS would like to thank the six St. Philip teachers who took time from their weekends to attend the Pittcon Conference.  Because of their attendance, our school is eligible for additional grants totaling $3,600 to sponsor a Science Olympiad competition.  The Elementary School Science Olympiad Program (ESSOP), is sponsored by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and the Chemical Engineering Society of Pittsburgh.  Designed to promote the fun side of science, the Olympiad encourages students to take an active role in exploring scientific disciplines.  Student teams of all abilities compete in a variety of challenges pertaining to earth science, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering.  The competition is currently being planned for Spring 2017 and will be open to all St. Philip students.

Thank you to Heidi Rodgers, Carol Druga, Kati Rodgers, Heather Ravenstahl, Samantha Wilfert, and Cathy Huth for attending the conference, and to all of our teachers who are unwavering in their commitment to our school and the advancement of the STEAM Program.

St. Philip First Grade Attends Pittcon!

Pittcon continued throughout the week of October 24, and thanks to Mrs. Druga, our entire First Grade attended student workshops at the convention center and received a $250 grant for Science materials from Fisher Scientific. Tailored to their age group, our students learned through hands-on experimentation, observation, crafts, stories and so much more!  The students participated in the 6 activities highlighted below:

·      Morphing of Matter: Water and Weather – Focusing on the water cycle and its relationship to weather, students made rain, fog and snow to learn about the properties of matter!

·      Learning Science Through Toys: A Playful Polymer -  Toys were used, as the ideal inquiry based approach, for students to discover the connection between how a popular toy works, and the science that explains “why” it works.

·      Swirling Milk: Inquiry Based Learning -  Students learned scientific method through a controlled but fascinating experiment.  Discussion was encouraged as they formed their hypothesis.  Additional materials were given to stimulate critical thinking and test the predictions they made based on their hypothesis.

·      Animals and Environment:  Students observed live reptiles, both a tortoise and a lizard, to learn how body parts and the environment affect adaptation and survival. 

·      Atoms, Molecules, and Matter:  Students mixed, smashed, and exploded various substances to explore the Atom and the difference between chemical and physical changes.  During this session, the students mixed chemicals, explored bonds and used heat energy to make new molecules.

·      It's Not Easy Being Green and Having to Catch Food: Frogs –The students used a model frog to understand animal characteristics, food acquisition, predator-prey relationships, and energy flow in the food chain. This program was linked to a children’s literature book to demonstrate the integration of science and other subjects. 


They day was a complete success as the field trip was both fun and educational!  Each student received a tee shirt, lanyard, and special crafts made during the lessons.  Thank you to Mrs. Druga, Miss Sumpter and the parent volunteers who made this day possible!

 Click here for more pictures
For more information on Science Week Pittsburgh, please go to 


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