Making Place-Based Learning Phenomenal: A Virtual Institute for Grades 4-12 Educators

July 14, 16, 21, and 23, 2020

Use phenomena to take place-based education to a new level! Whether remotely or in the classroom, blending phenomena with place-based learning allows you to leverage student curiosity and life experiences as they investigate questions and problems right in their own communities. Join the Hitchcock Center, the Wade Institute and our partners remotely to explore using phenomena as the foundation for place-based learning. Collaborate with your course peers to identify phenomena that can be used to explore the impacts of climate change on Massachusetts’ ecosystems. Explore how phenomena lay a rich foundation for engaging your students in the Science and Engineering Practices and develop your own proficiency in using both classroom and remote learning strategies to encourage collaboration and investigation of phenomena. We will mail you a kit containing materials to enable you to complete the inquiry-based, minds-on, hands-on investigations.

We’ll provide you with the practical skills you need to integrate more hands-on, minds-on science learning into your curriculum. You’ll leave the course with a deeper understanding of inquiry, and new techniques to reinforce your students’ natural curiosity and spark their interest in STEM. Together, we’ll ensure that your students discover STEM content in an intuitive, impactful way. Learn more about all Summer 2020 professional development opportunities from the Wade Institute and download the brochure.

Dates and Details:

  • Virtual course sessions will be July 14, 16, 21, and 23, from 9am-4pm.
  • Each day will include a blend of full group (synchronous) meeting time and small group work on Zoom as well as individual at-home investigations and reading assignments.
  • Completion of some online components will be required prior to and following the virtual sessions.

Partners and Collaborators:

New England Aquarium; Hitchcock Center for the Environment


  • $350/participant.
  • $325/participant if attending with one other teacher from your school or district.
  • $300/participant if attending with 2 or more other teachers from your school or district.

PDPs and Optional Graduate Credit:

  • 24 PDPs are available without graduate credit.
  • 2 graduate science credits and 45 PDPs are available from Cambridge College for $150.
  • 2 graduate credits and 45 PDPs are available from Framingham State University for $150.
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Hitchcock Center for the Environment