University Park

New database connects Penn State with Pennsylvania schools

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State researchers can now better identify educational partners thanks to a new database launched by the University’s Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS).

Navigate Education in PA is an online database that contains information on more than 4,800 Pennsylvania education agencies, including public, private and charter schools; intermediate units; career and technology centers; and higher education institutions.

“We developed the database to help Penn State faculty identify schools within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with whom they may want to collaborate,” said Amanda Smith, STEM outreach and engagement liaison for CSATS. “The database allows the user to search schools based on criteria that we often come across when looking for schools that best match the broader impacts (BI) components of grants.”

When accessing Navigate Education in PA, researchers can tailor their searches based on a variety of education criteria such as student race and ethnicity, economically disadvantaged status and percentage of special-education students.

“The database is very user-friendly and will be continually updated as data becomes publicly available,” Smith said.

Housed in the College of Education, CSATS’ staff works with researchers from Penn State’s STEM colleges — College of Agricultural Sciences; College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; College of Engineering; College of Health and Human Development; College of Information Sciences and Technology; and Eberly College of Science — as well as several departments within the College of the Liberal Arts.

Staff members also work closely with faculty researchers and their students to provide guidance to meet the BI requirements of grant-funding agencies. Together, they design, develop and implement outreach programs and workshops for K-12 educators that promote the integration of the nature of science and engineering research into their classrooms.

“We see K-12 students as our future scientists and engineers, as well future policy decision makers,” said Annmarie Ward, director of CSATS and associate professor of science education. “How they learn about STEM, including the rigorous evidence-based process that underlies science and engineering research, and how their teachers are prepared, are crucial to building the future workforce of America.”

Since it was established in 2004, CSATS has worked with more than 140 Penn State researchers and a total of 1,218 teachers from 137 schools across the United States have participated in CSATS’ programs.

For more information on how to collaborate with CSATS on broader impact requirements, contact Annmarie Ward at For more information about the Navigate Education in PA Database, contact Amanda Smith at or visit CSATS’ Resource Center at online.

Last Updated February 06, 2017