Teacher Professional Development

Outstanding teacher professional development

Inquiry-focused activities, best-practices methods, science updates, guidance for using new curricula

Life science research advances so rapidly that educators often find it challenging to keep up with the latest discoveries—or even those that have taken place since they finished their education. Educators also need time to experience new curriculum materials, as well as time to plan how to use them with their students.

To meet these needs, we offer science-focused professional development programs, primarily for teachers of grades 5-12. Our programs model best practices for inquiry-based science and student-centered learning. Educators who attend are able to update their scientific knowledge and experience curriculum materials that we and others have developed. Some programs are carried out in collaboration with local school districts.

Our programs include the following:

  • Curriculum drafting summer institutes that bring educators from across the US together to learn about a topic from scientists and other experts in a field, work with us to define learning goals for new curriculum materials, and draft ideas for student learning experiences that address these goals
  • Dissemination, 5-day summer institutes in which educators from across the US  explore and experience our curriculum materials, expand their knowledge through lectures and discussions with scientists, and plan how to use the materials with their students
  • Research summer institutes that bring together high school students and teachers, undergraduate students, graduate students and scientists to conduct research projects
  • Year-long cohort programs in which a group of local teachers gains skills in and implements inquiry-based science
  • Workshops that introduce educators to our materials, held at science education conferences and upon invitation