Hurley reports that the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) has been one of the significant players in her evolution as an educator. In 2015, Hurley enrolled in the MITS Metro-West Summer Professional Development Institute, Things that Move: How Scientists, Engineers and Artists Investigate Motion. She knew of MITS’ reputation for providing educators with meaningful professional development experiences. When she came across their Summer Professional Development Institutes, Ana knew she had to take the plunge. “I was attracted to the inquiry-based approach with [its] hands-on, minds-on theme. I was also drawn to the unique locations of the meetings. Drumlin Farms, The Discovery Museums and The McAuliffe Center are all nearby and are wonderful locations for learning,” she says.
Hurley found the institute to be a highly valuable experience that has profoundly changed the way she approaches inquiry-science. “Its pretty incredible given that I’ve been in the classroom for over 16 years,” she says. “Most teachers at this stage have ‘seen it all’ and can be rather set in their ways.” But not Ana Hurley. She took the skills she developed and the resources she gathered from the Summer Professional Development Institute and applied them immediately in the 2015-2016 school year.