Teacher Professional Learning

Professional Learning Opportunities

Would you believe that you do not have to be the fount of all scientific knowledge to teach the NGSS? That the investigative process leads the acquisition of science concepts? Science is really about finding explanations for problems, and engineering is about finding solutions to problems.

Learn how to break down NGSS performance expectations using problem-based learning methodology to create and teach a solid, integrated curriculum – and incorporate engineering practices and cross cutting concepts along with strengthening reading and English Language Arts along the way. The foundation of this professional learning course walks you through the process of creating big ideas around performance expectations, then breaking that down into asking questions, defining problems, designing and facilitating an investigation, applying computational thinking, analyzing and interpreting data, and finding and defending multiple solutions.

Let’s take the topic of Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. In this case, we’re looking at the performance expectation for Grade 3 that reads: (Students who demonstrate an understanding [of interdependent relationships in Ecosystems] can) make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change. To break this down into the science and engineering of it we break that NGSS statement into a big idea:

When the environment changes, the plants and animals that live in that environment may change, too. The problem to be solved: What problems could environmental changes create for plants and animals that live in an ecosystem? What are some possible solutions to these problems?

All TPL sessions are customized to meet your needs and can be performed at mutually agreed upon dates and times at your
school. If distance is an issue, these same sessions can be delivered via telecommunications using Microsoft Skype for Business
(Lync) or polycom.

SciGirls: GIRLS IN S.T.E.M.
Teachers will discover strategies to help engage girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The strategies SciGirls use to engage girls in STEM have been proven to work with all learners, including underrepresented youth. Strategies include mastering hands-on activities that you can take to your classroom, and getting active in the teacher connect groups!

Don’t teach science – integrate it!

Look no further than your classroom for NGSS and engineering process integration! When you book a Science @ Your Site or a Distance Learning Class or Lab, you will receive a special teacher packet which walks you through our process that integrates NGSS engineering practices into any subject. No kits or a fancy curriculum are needed, and you won’t have to find additional time in your busy day to teach science. Science Center educators will show you how to facilitate science through social studies, math and the language arts.

How does it work? Imagine teaching “Inheritance and Variation of Traits” in 3rd grade – hitting disciplinary core ideas and engineering practices – by exploring the big idea behind Dr Seuss’ book Happy Birthday to You.

Before the program, you will work with one of our education team members who will send you information about our science integration process, a teacher packet, and answer any questions you have leading into the program. We will also send you “minds-on” exercises for you and your students that can be done both before and after the program.

During the program, our team will come to your classroom and facilitate a session with your students. The observation sheet will encourage you to find places for science integration, questions to continue the investigation, and your students can either start with a problem to be solved or a big idea.


Contact Kim Hunter at 502-560-7175 or Rachel Beck at 502-560-7139.