Academic Year Professional Development Institutes

Academic Year Professional Development Institutes2019-12-13T16:47:15+00:00

Learn directly from scientists and education professionals to expand your expertise in a variety of STEM topics, and apply your knowledge to your classroom right away!

Our Climate, Our Communities: Science, Systems, and Solutions

A Hybrid Professional Development Institute for Middle and High School Educators

February 24th – May 8th, 2020

Learn directly from scientists and experts during this combination of online and on-site sessions!

How can we help you prepare your students to engage with the complex concepts and rapidly developing issues related to climate change? Through the broad phenomenon-based theme of Our Climate, Our Communities: Science, Systems, and Solutions, you will explore examples of best practices in climate change education. During this academic year professional development institute, experience a hybrid format of in-person and online learning that provides opportunities for you to engage in climate and energy investigations, work directly with scientists and engineers, explore regional resources, and develop units and investigations you can use in your classroom. Leave the course with tools and resources for integrating climate change concepts into your instruction and the confidence to engage your students in active discussion and problem solving around challenging and dynamic topics of climate change.

Engage with evidence. How do we know what we know about climate change? Use the grounds at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary to collect sample data about changes in plant and animal life cycles occurring in Massachusetts, review current scientific research into changing wildlife populations, learn of opportunities to engage your students in citizen science, and try out evidence-based investigations vetted by scientists and educators.

Connect with scientists.Talk with experts who bring diverse perspectives on the various impacts of a changing climate. Discuss the power of transdisciplinary thinking with Professor of Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences Bob Chen.  Discover how wildlife observations reveal impacts of changing patterns of temperature and rainfall with Joan Walsh, Mass Audubon’s Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology. Learn how paleoclimate research informs our knowledge of feedbacks to the climate system with Resource Economist Gene Fry.  Talk with Chemical Engineer Richard Rys about his vision for how Massachusetts could meet all of its electricity demands with renewable energy.  Explore the connections between plant health, soil health, carbon sequestration, and human health with organic farmer Dan Kittredge, founder and director of the Bionutrient Food Association.

Make it local. What tools enable us to investigate local impacts of climate change? Explore climate change issues relevant to your local community as you collect and analyze temperature data from reliable sources near your school, review municipal vulnerability plans for your community, and delve into data about the understandings and beliefs about climate change among the citizens of your community.

Develop “systems thinking.” How do different parts of the ecosystem interact to form the climate system of this region?  Explore potential impacts of temperature and precipitation on food webs and life cycles. Learn about current efforts to use agriculture to address rising carbon dioxide levels and carry out an investigation of the mutualistic relationship between soil fungi and plant growth.  Use software to model the climate system and their school/community systems and use systems thinking to develop investigations most appropriate for your students to engage in community solutions that address climate challenges.

Registration Information

Online Dates: February 24th – May 8th, 2020
On-Site Saturday Dates: February 29th, March 21st, April 11th, and May 2nd (9:00 am – 3:30 pm)

Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary (Worcester, MA)
*You’ll also be visiting other locations throughout this program.

$400/participant if attending with one other teacher from your school district.
$375/participant if attending with two or more other teachers from your school district.

PDPs and Graduate Credit:
40 PDPs are available without graduate credit.
67.5 PDPs and 3 graduate science credits from Cambridge College are available for an additional $225.

Registration Deadline:
Friday, February 14th, 2020

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