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September 2021

In this edition:
  • Meet Colleen Epler-Ruths, Gifted Liaison
  • Save the Date - STEM Competitions
  • 2021-22 Gifted Network Meeting
  • Gifted 101 - Schoology Course
  • Other STEM PD opportunities
  • Goodbye and Good Luck to Chelly!

Hello Gifted Educators,
My name is Colleen Epler-Ruths and I am the STEM Education Consultant at the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU).
Before starting with the CSIU last spring, I had 20+ years of experience in the public science classroom where I taught physics, computer science, and many other science courses. My Ph.D. work focused on spatial skills' impact on STEM student learning and I am a huge fan of all things STEM. Besides being a tech guru, I am an outdoor enthusiast, Penn State Extension Master Gardener, Ambassador for STEP-UP physics, and a Fulbright Global Educator. 

I look forward to working with all the Gifted teachers in our region. 
Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or ideas. 
Contact Information
Phone - 570-523-1155 X 2206                                 Email:  
Save the Date! 
2021-22 STEM AWARDS dates for Student Competitions - In-person (subject to change depending upon circumstances)
  • February 1, 2022 - What's So Cool About Manufacturing (WSCM) - MS
    • Teacher OnBoarding:   October 20, 2021, 4 - 5:30 PM 
  • Feb 22, 2022 - High School Governor's STEM Competition (Snow Date Feb 28)
    • Teacher Informational ZOOM - October 11, 3 PM
  • March 16, 2022 - Middle School MADCom (Snow Date - March 21)
  • March 17, 2022 - High School MADCom (Snow Date - March 22)
    • Teacher Informational ZOOM for both MS/HS October 25, 3 PM
  • March 30, 2022 - Elementary K'Nex (Snow Date April 6)
  • March 31, 2022 - Middle School K'Nex (Snow Date April 7)
    • Teacher Informational ZOOM -November 8, 3 PM
  • May 16, 2022 - First in Math/24 Competition 
    • Teacher Informational ZOOM - March 24, 2022, 3 PM
Gifted Educator Network
Do you ever wish you knew what gifted educators like you were doing across the river or valley?  During my career, I was the only physics/gifted teacher in my school. I often wished I could connect with other teachers to discuss curriculum and best practices.  
The CSIU Gifted Network is a chance to touch base with other professionals in our area who do similar work. The format for the Gifted Network meeting consists of updates, possible special guest presentations, and announcements from the PA Department of Education. We then have open-space discussions about topics that are of interest to the group. If we have a large enough attendance, we can break into subject area spaces. Meetings will be recorded (except for open-spaces) so all who register can be part of the updates. The room at the CSIU is reserved for the entire day to be able to network and collaborate. We are offering a hybrid option this year - come face-to-face or Zoom in!  Put in your paperwork now to attend!
Gifted Network Dates:
September 22, 2021, 9 AM-12 PM  - Hybrid 
Topics: Gifted 101 (for New/Novice Gifted Teachers)

October 20, 2021,  9 AM-12 PM  - Hybrid
Topics:  GIEP Goal Writing and STEM 

January 19, 2022,  9 AM-12 PM - Hybrid
 Topics: Enrichment vs. Acceleration and Differentiated Instruction

 March 23, 2022, 9 AM-12 PM - Hybrid
Topic: Equity

Registration Link for Sept 22 - New/Novice
Sign up to take an asynchronous Gifted Boot Camp on Schoology - When completed, you will have earned 8 hours of Act 48 credit.   
Fall Cohort officially starts September 22nd.   
Email for activation code.

Tuesday Fall 2021 STEM Professional Development Series
Earn ACT 48 credits at No Cost (1 hour)
Blended - In-person at CSIU and/or Zoom
Networking Time after PD   
Register for one or all of the following:

  • Sept 28, 2021, 4 PM - Equity and Inclusive Practices in the STEM classroom

  • Oct 12, 2021, 4 PM - Free PA STEM Education Resources - Using StartSOLE and STEM Toolkit in the classroom, plus Environmental, Engineering and Computer Science resources. 

  • Oct 26, 2021, 4 PM - Unpacking the Proposed PA State Standards - Science and Technology/Engineering 

  • Nov 9, 2021, 4 PM - Putting an "Hour of Code" into your classroom 

  • Dec 7, 2021, 4 PM - Using Central Susquehanna Valley STEM EcoSystem

More Information and Registration for STEM PD Series
This is a note to say Goodbye band Good luck to Chelly Ney-Shaffer. She is moving to another intermediate unit closer to her home.  I wish her the best of luck but I will definitely miss her expertise. 
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Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit |  90 Lawton Lane  |  Milton, PA 17847

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