Beaver County Educational News

Fall 2021

Newsletter Purpose

The inauguration of this newsletter is multi-tiered. During the pandemic, schools faced a lot of negativity, but at the IU, we know there are great things happening at all levels of the districts. From individual teachers, to grade levels, to buildings, to cross-district collaboration, our aim is to highlight the good, share information, and provide resources.

We hope as this newsletter grows, you will send your highlights to Susan Emmett so she can share them out:

County News

The Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit was honored to help the BC Chamber host the Beaver County Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (EAMP) “Pathway: Connecting Students to Careers” on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

During this event approximately 150 eighth grades students, representing 7 local districts and 1 private school, got a chance to learn more about STEM fields through vendor exhibits, panelist discussions, classroom tours, and informational videos. Students left with a 339 Artifact, as well as an assortment of goodies from the vendors.

Thanks to the sponsors: Range Resources, CCBC, Peoples, Shell, and Styropek.

District News

Congratulations to Blackhawk and Beaver Area School Districts for being awarded the coveted Build, Fly, Code grant.

Both districts will participate in comprehensive K-12 computer science curriculum planning, and they will receives drones.

According to Meredith Oliver from Blackhawk, they are currently working on a drone unit that will be in collaboration with the middle and high school students. This unit will incorporate environmental awareness and GIS (Geographical Information Systems), as well as ELA applications. They are looking forward to providing their students with opportunities to explore new technologies and possible future job opportunities in the robotics and technology field.

Cristine Wagner-Deitch, from Beaver, said, “We are excited about receiving this grant. It affords us the opportunity to expand our computer science and STEM experiences for our students."

STEM Highlights

The Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit is thrilled to kickoff a K-12 grade, cross-county STEM Professional Learning Community. As of now, this group consists of 70+ district professionals, representing 12 districts.

The informal goals of this group are to:

  • learn more about the new proposed state standards, including 3-dimensional learning
  • share resources and tips regarding STEM education
  • network with colleagues

STEM Teachers: See the below video regarding the NGSS standards. The new PA standards were based off of these.

How to Read the Next Generation Science Standards

Powering Pittsburgh

The BVIU would like to thank the following teacher sponsors for coaching teams of middle school and high school students for the Powering Pittsburgh Challenge.

  • Scott Setzenfand - Ambridge
  • Kerri Misko - Beaver
  • Meredith Oliver - Blackhawk
  • Lydia Holley - Central Valley
  • Mandy Goss - Central Valley

Ten teams of students competed in this challenge, and the top 3 teams from each category (MS and HS) will move on to compete against students from the IU 1 and IU 3 areas on Nov. 17. The winners will get to attend a Steelers game in December.

To learn more, check out this video: 'Powering Pittsburgh' STEM Challenge (

A special thank you also goes out to our judges for working around their busy schedules to virtually score the projects, presentations, and videos. Rick Riley, Harry Angelo, Jill Valentine, Carol Roosin, Jeff Huchko, Karin Pilarski, Lisa Husar, and Melissa Lanious, this couldn't have been a success without you. And, Vicki Robertson, you kept all of us organized, well informed, and on track. Thank you!



We want to spotlight any proud or positive classroom news that is happening in your districts. We know time is of the essence, so we do not expect you to write an article (unless you want), but you can:

  • send bullet points
  • forward internal emails with sections highlighted
  • call Susan Emmett or Michelle McKinley and relay a story

We will work with you to best share your good works.