Our Summer Professional Development Institutes are unique, graduate level courses that engage teachers in hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based investigations and increase their STEM content knowledge! Our courses will connect you with scientists, engineers, and STEM professionals. You will work with educators at our partner institutions to explore real-world phenomena through hands-on, minds-on investigations, and identify how to implement these investigations with your students in the classroom. You will earn PDPs and optional graduate credits as you experience inquiry-based learning firsthand. Receive curriculum materials for the inquiry-based, minds-on, hands-on investigations introduced during the course to take back to your classrooms.

During the institutes you will:

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

Visit partner organization sites and engage in inquiry investigations or field work.

Explore research and development labs at Massachusetts-based STEM companies.

Engage in discussions with experts, scientists, and peers; peer collaboration time; and phenomena-based investigations.

Practice integrating science content with the Science and Engineering Practices to develop inquiry-based investigations for your students.

Discover resources from museums, science centers, and higher education institutes in your community that you can utilize throughout the year.

Enrich your teaching toolbox with science investigations that meet the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework and NGSS Standards.

Earn Professional Development Points (PDPs) and even take an institute for graduate credit.

These institutes will also provide an opportunity for you to increase your proficiency with and leverage the power of technology to support student learning in both the classroom and remote settings.

Plants, Plows and Pedagogy: Exploring Where Your Food Comes From 

A 5-Day Professional Development Institute for Grades 3-8 Educators

Explore the science, technology, and engineering involved in agriculture and other aspects of food production. Learn about sustainable agricultural practices, explore the pathway of agricultural products from the field to your table, investigate the impact of climate change on our food systems and examine the impacts of farming and food production on the environment. Educators will engage in conversations about food justice and equitable access to healthy food, as well as food systems, farm schools, and more!

Dates and Times: July 15th -19th, 2024 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM ET)
Location: The Trustees of Reservations’ Chestnut Hill Farm, Southborough
Collaborating Partners: REC (Regional Environmental Council) Worcester; Turn Back Time, Inc; Joe Karr, Education Consultant; Kerrita Mayfield, Shelburne Farms Farm to School Team
Optional graduate credit available.

Science in the Field: Bringing Realtime Data into the Classroom

A 5-Day Professional Development Institute for Grades 6-12 Educators

Discover how to integrate research and real-time data collection into your science curriculum! Experience multiple entry points for hands-on, place-based science and participate in collaborative projects with professional scientists. Explore wetland, estuary, marine, and forest habitats and participate in authentic data collection. Examine how this data can tell us stories about the plants and animals that inhabit these living laboratories, and more!

Dates and Times: July 15th -19th, 2024 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM ET)
Location: Lloyd Center for the Environment, Dartmouth, MA
Collaborating Partners: Lloyd Center for the Environment; Marine Biological Laboratory; Island Creek Oysters; Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair
Optional graduate credit available.

Lowell Region

This Institute has been cancelled. Please visit the Central and Southeast/Cape Cod Institute pages to learn more about other summer professional development opportunities!

Rivers, Renewables, and Revolutions: How Science Understanding Informs Innovations in Engineering

A 5-Day Professional Development Institute for Grades 6-12 Educators

Explore the living laboratory of Lowell and the Merrimack River Watershed through inquiry-based, minds-on, hands-on experiences. Using the mill industry of Lowell as a model, discover how scientific understanding continues to inspire and inform innovations in engineering and ecological protection. Engage with local engineers and historians to better understand the technologies that harness the power of the water, and more!

Dates and Times: July 8th -12th, 2024 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM ET)
Location: Middlesex Community College, Lowell and Tsongas Industrial History Center, Lowell
Collaborating Partners: Tsongas Industrial History Center; Lowell National Historical Park; UMass Lowell History Department; Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust
Optional graduate credit available.

Thank you to our 2024 Summer Professional Development Institutes funders:

George Garretson Wade Charitable Trust #2      National Grid Foundation      Vanderbilt Family Foundation

What did educators do during our 2023 Summer Professional Development Institutes?
Click to learn more about the
 Cape Cod Region and
Berkshire Region Institutes!