2020 Summer Professional Development Institutes

The Wade Institute and our partners supported educators through virtual professional development institutes!

Making Place-Based Learning Phenomenal

A Virtual Institute for Grades 4-12 Educators
Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 14, 16, 21, 23, 2020

Educators used phenomena to take place-based education to a new level! Whether remotely or in the classroom, blending phenomena with place-based learning allows teachers to leverage student curiosity and life experiences as they investigate questions and problems right in their own communities. Educators joined the Wade Institute and our partners to explore using phenomena as the foundation for place-based learning, and they collaborated with their course peers to identify phenomena that can be used to explore the impacts of climate change on Massachusetts’ ecosystems. Learn more about this institute.

Science, Technology, and a Changing Environment: Measuring Change to Predict the Future

A Virtual Institute for Grades 6-12 Educators
July 27-31, 2020

Educators joined engineers, scientists, and naturalists to discover how new technologies with diverse sensory capabilities can transform data collection and data visualization and empower us to understand their impacts more fully as we model these changes and predict how they may affect our quality of life, from our homes to our parks to our workplaces. Learn more about this institute.

Integrating Inquiry and Literacy in the Elementary Science Classroom

A Virtual Institute for Grades K-2 Educators
July 28-30, 2020

During this specially designed remote course, elementary educators explored how they can integrate science and literacy learning through inquiry-based learning remotely or in the classroom! They learned new ways use inquiry and the Science and Engineering Practices to deepen students’ understanding of both science concepts and literacy strategies. Learn more about this institute.

Nature and Design: Connections Between Science, Engineering, and the Marine Environment

A Virtual Institute for Grades 4-8 Educators
August 3-7, 2020

Educators explored themes of biomimicry as they investigated how nature’s innovations can help inform solutions to real-world design problems. Teachers virtually visited field sites to make habitat and wildlife observations, participated in inquiry-based investigations as they learned about sea turtles and sharks and examined examples of marine engineering inspired by adaptations of marine life, and connected with research scientists who both inform and rely on technological innovation. Through this institute, educators developed inquiry-based investigations for both classroom and remote teaching! Learn more about this institute.

K-12 educators joined us for dynamic virtual professional development learning opportunities over the summer! They spent time in a virtual classroom, participated in small group investigations and completed some of their work remotely. Participants connected with educators and scientists with our partner organizations and were provided with a toolkit containing materials to enable them to complete the inquiry-based, minds-on, hands-on investigations. We focused on how teachers can use these investigations with their students both remotely and in the classroom. Educators earned PDPs and an optional graduate credits. As an added bonus, educators will be invited to participate in optional field sessions with our partners when their facilities reopen to the public (free of charge). During the institutes, educators:

Visited (virtually) each partner organization’s site, and engage in inquiry-based investigations.

Participated in content and skill-based development sessions aimed at strengthening your students’ interest in and passion for STEM.

Integrated science content with the Science and Engineering Practices and develop inquiry-based investigations to use with your students in the classroom and remotely.

Engaged in multi-modal remote learning through synchronous group discussion with experts, scientists, and peers; asynchronous peer collaboration time; and individual, at-home investigations and activities.

We are so glad to have provided these remote professional learning opportunities for educators to connect with scientists and STEM education professionals as they explored real-world phenomena through hands-on, minds-on investigation, live discussion, and virtual site visits.  Institutes also provided opportunities for educators to increase their own proficiency with remote learning and leverage the power of technology to support student learning in synchronous and asynchronous remote settings as well as in the classroom.

Thank you to our Summer Professional Development Institutes supporters:

George Garretson Wade Charitable Trust National Grid Foundation New England BioLabs Sanofi Genzyme Vanderbilt Family Foundation