STEM Curriculum

PEF's Nancy Peter working with Egyptian teachers on training.


PEF’s McKinney Center for STEM Education creates K-12 classroom materials for schools. These materials support teachers and ultimately the students they teach in order to build on interest in STEM careers. High quality instructional materials matter!

Our writers utilize the Understanding by Design framework to create NGSS aligned materials. We have experience designing full courses, units and single lesson plans. Courses utilize Project Based Learning (PBL) framework, units incorporate Socioscientific Issues and Lessons utilize the 5E model.  

What We Offer

We provide professional development to support adoption of curricular materials. High quality materials paired with professional development yields positive outcomes for student learning. Some samples from our portfolio include:  

Bright Solar Futures (BSF)

Frankford High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Curriculum

Bright Solar Futures (BSF) is a 3-year, 1080-hour solar energy Career and Technical Education (CTE) vocational program.  

BSF, funded with grants from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and PECO, ensures access to solar careers for young Philadelphians, growing a diverse and more equitable workforce that will help make national climate priorities a reality. 

Clean Energy (Multiple Schools in Philadelphia)

Since 2019, Johnson Controls Incorporated (JCI) has been installing clean energy modifications in several Philadelphia public school buildings. To augment this work, the PEF Curriculum Development Team has created grade-specific lesson plans that complement the JCI construction, integrate multiple hands-on activities, and allow teachers to use their school buildings as clean energy classrooms.

Lesson Plan Samples (Click to view)

Twenty First Century Partnership for STEM Education

PEF staff developed STEM lesson plans and curriculum units for Egyptian students, teachers, and teacher trainers.

Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School
  • In a two-year project, PEF has worked in partnership with Cristo Rey to develop its 9th and 10th grade life sciences curriculum to be NGSS aligned, culturally relevant and performance task based.
  • Course Materials from 10th grade can be found below:

Contact Chris Fornaro, STEM Professional Development and Curriculum Manager, about designing a dynamic plan for your STEM education needs.

“That instructional materials exercise their influence on learning directly as well as by influencing teachers’ instructional choices and behavior, makes instructional materials all the more important.”


– Chingos and Whitehurst, 2012

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