Professional Development

We offer standard and custom-designed professional development trainings to help prepare educators for the revised Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Framework. Focus is on strengthening content knowledge and teaching methods in earth, life, and physical sciences, while incorporating the best practices of environmental education in your classroom. See listing below for upcoming and ongoing professional development offerings.

Teaching STEM Outdoors – NEW!

10 teachers in Grades K-5
One 90 minute session
Fee: $300.00 plus travel

Are you looking for creative and innovative ways to teach outdoors at your school? What new techniques will you need to have in your toolkit to create a supportive structure for your class?  Outdoor programs are a way of connecting students to their surroundings in ways that are meaningful to their lives.  This workshop will demonstrate how to guide your students to develop strong STEM identities, skills and practices. 

Being outdoors is also known to reduce anxiety and increase focus in children, as well as increase their interest in their local environment.  We will go outside together and see what cool habitats and organisms can be found on your grounds. We’ll talk about reducing and coping with safety hazards while you are outside with your class. And we’ll share some fun activities and management strategies to ensure that your outdoor instructional time meets your curriculum goals.

We will model active explorations of:

Math and writing practices as well as literature connections will be woven throughout our outdoor discoveries. You will leave with many tools and best practices to share with your colleagues.

Trainings

Note: These trainings are available in-person only and for that reason they are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19.

The following trainings are designed to assist teachers in implementing curriculum units that have been  developed by Hitchcock Center educators and can be custom-designed to meet your school’s professional development needs, whether it be a two, six or 10+ hour training. These units are aligned with the national NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and are environment-based. They aim to make learning relevant to students’ lives and to prepare them to be critical thinkers and 21st century problem solvers. Workshops can be held at your school site or at the Hitchcock Center.

Program Fees
Professional Development Training: $200 per hour + travel fee
Consulting Fee: $120 per hour + travel fee

Registration and Questions
For more information on trainings, please contact Helen Ann Sephton, School Programs Coordinator via email or 413-256-6006.

Implementing New Science Units in Your School

Free online curriculum units

Hitchcock Center education staff have developed the following comprehensive curriculum units to teach environmental concepts to young people:
The Pond Ecosystem – Grade 3
Energy is Electrifying!! – Grade 4
Hydroshphere, Water and How We Use It – Grade 5

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment