The STEM Education Center offers a variety of professional development workshops for teachers on WPI's campus during the academic year as well as throughout the summer. We focus on enriching STEM education in the classroom at both the subject specific level and as fully integrated subject content & practices across STEM fields. Scroll down to review the upcoming PD offerings. 

Please note: All workshops require a minimum number of registrations to run; registration closes one week prior to each workshop. For more information about any of these professional development opportunities, please email Mia Dubosarsky at mdubosarsky@wpi.edu.

STEM Clubs

The STEM Education Center invites you to join one of 2 STEM Clubs - PD series for current and aspiring STEM teachers. This year the STEM Education Center offers two Clubs, our traditional Middle/High STEM Club for teachers in grades 5-12 and our NEW Elementary STEM Club for teachers in grades PreK-5.  Each club meeting is led by a teacher presenting a STEM project s/he conducted in the classroom; participants get to try, exchange ideas, make connections, and leave with a project they can try in their classrooms. 

STEM Club Dates and topics:
Middle/High STEM Club (grades 5-12) will meet on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:30 pm

  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018
    Topic:Get Ready for STEM Week!; Unpack three STEM projects that explore different aspects of the engineering design process.  Topics include creative design, working under time constraints and mitigating natural hazards. Presented by Donna Taylor from the STEM Education Center at WPI
  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
    Topic: Can you Save Pig #2 from the Big Bad Fan? ; Work in teams to explore orthographic drawings and material properties.  Then, use was you have learned to design and build a house that will withstand wind from the big bad fan!  Presented by Vanessa Hearle from Sutton Middle School  

  • Wednesday, March 13, 2019
    Topic: Rock with Paper and Scissors!; 
    We all use paper everyday, but have you ever thought about how it can be used in teaching science? Using all kinds of paper, this STEM club will focus on a material study, testing material properties and response to forces.  Based on what we learn, we will evaluate paper, yes, just paper, to teach energy transfer, density, forces, structures, and more!  Presented by Elizabeth (Betsy) Wermuth from Northbridge Middle School
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2019
    Topic: Simulations and Modeling; Play the role of a student as your explore a variety of models and simulations that help students better understand science concepts while having fun!  Simulations include virtual, hands-on and kinesthetic models. Presented by Erin Mercier from Northbridge Middle School

 

Elementary STEM Club (grades PreK-5) will meet on Thursdays from 4:00-6:30 pm

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
    Topic:Get Ready for STEM Week!; Unpack three STEM projects that explore different aspects of the engineering design process.  Topics include creative design, working under time constraints and mitigating natural hazards. Presented by Donna Taylor from the STEM Education Center at WPI
  • Thursday, December 6, 2018
    Topic: Exploring the Engineering Design Process through Water Filtration; Learn about the water problem in Flint, Michigan and work in teams to design a filtration system to help residents clean the water.  Presented by Mary Stinchfield from Northbridge Middle School
  • Thursday, January 24, 2019
    Topic
    : Modeling Patterns in the Solar System using Stop Motion Animation; Explore current models of the solar system.  Discuss model misconceptions and limitations.  Then work in teams to create your own model using stop motion animation!  Presented by Tiffany Davis and Rebecca Brogna from Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District
  • Thursday, May 16, 2019
    Topic: Exploring Electricity!; 
    Are you interested in learning more about how you can teach electricity to your students?  Come "explore electricity" with us and learn creative and safe ways to incorporate this physical science standard.  Presented by Brian LaPointe from Page Hilltop Elementary School

Cost & PDPs
• ​Club participants: $25 per session/$80 for the entire STEM Club series (10 PDPs)
• Club presenters: FREE Club participation if you present a project at the STEM Club
• Scholarships available 

STEM Club registration

For questions regarding registration and session proposals email Donna Taylor at dltaylor@wpi.edu.

Exploring Modeling at the EcoTarium

  • Target Audience: Pre-K – 8 Educators
  • Term: Academic Year
  • Date & Time: April 25, 2019, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
  • Registration fee: $96.00
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6

Description: The STEM Education Center at WPI and the EcoTarium have teamed to create this PD that unpacks the second NGSS practice: Developing and Using Models. In the morning, participants will examine a variety of ways to model/represent a phenomenon and discuss the ways that scientists, engineers, and mathematicians use models in their daily work. Participants will then engage in a hands on engineering activity related to developing and using models.  In the afternoon, participants will explore the planetarium as a model and then go on a scavenger hunt to find models in the museum that correlate to their STE standards. 

Registration opening soon.  

Email Donna Taylor if you would like to reserve your spot now.  

TouchTomorrow for Educators

  • Target Audience: All
  • Date: Saturday, June 8, 2019
  • Fee: Free 

Description: PK-12 educators in formal, informal, and home-school settings are invited to attend special educators' workshops as part of WPI’s annual TouchTomorrow festival. Join us to learn about bringing STEM to your students or children through robotics and engineering challenges, and about the many opportunities to engage with the STEM Education Center at WPI or in your school. These free workshops are limited to 20 participants each and require pre-registration; Registration opens May 1st, 2019.

 

SUMMER 2019 STEM PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFERINGS

Registration is now open

New! STEM Educator Certificate Course

  • Target Audience: PK-12 educators and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  July 29 - August 2, 2019; 8:30-3:30 + 2 follow up meetings during fall 2019 (possibly online, dates TBD)
  • Fee: $720 (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)
    Accommodation on campus available for additional fee  
  • PDPs/CEUs: 60/6.0 

Description: Everything STEM educators need to know and be able to do! 
The STEM Educator Certificate course engages participants in unpacking the knowledge and skills required of STEM educators, while adapting the content to their students and community. The 11 course sessions, designed based on input from over 150 educators, cover topics such as framework for high-quality STEM, STEM unit development, standard-alignment, the engineering design process, diversity & equity in STEM, real world connection, STEM pedagogy, and resources. The course is led by experienced STEM educators who model cooperative learning and STEM pedagogy. The final project presented during the last session is an integrated STEM project/unit which is aligned with all components of high-quality (HQ) STEM, piloted in the classroom (during Fall 2019). 

Click here to register for STEM Educator Certificate Course

ROBOTICS FOR EDUCATORS: WPI'S UNIQUE MODEL FOR TEACHING ROBOTICS

LEGO Robotics for Educators

Due to high demand, we offer three types of LEGO Robotics programs: 

  • An entry level program for K-4 grade teachers with no prior experience with robotics; Date: July 8-12, 2019. 
  • An entry level program for 5-7 grade teachers with no prior experience with robotics; This PD is offered during the following weeks: July 15-19, and July 22-26. 
  • An advanced program for 5-12 grade teachers who would like to expand their knowledge with advanced programming and challenging tasks. This program is offered during the following weeks: July 8-12, and July 15-19.  

Hours: 8:30-4:30 
Fee: $680 (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)​
PDPs/CEUs: 36/3.6
Description (for all levels): All LEGO Robotics for Educators programs include two main components: LEGO Mindstorms EV3 programming, and STEM education pedagogy. The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 component involves hands on practice of using the different sensors to program a robot; the advanced program will focus on more challenging programming & tasks.  The STEM education component includes a review of robotics & engineering related standards, the engineering design process, and discussions of possible classroom scenarios related to robotics challenges. Participants leave the programs with LEGO robotics and general STEM resources. In all LEGO programs educators will be working in small teams alongside middle school students. 

Vex Robotics for Educators

  • Target Audience: 5-12 educators, VEX team coaches
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  June 24-28, 2019; 8:30-4:30
  • Fee: $680 (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)
  • PDPs/CEUs: 36/3.6

Description: This intensive program weaves together robotics concepts and practices with STEM education topics. The robotics components include VEX robot building and programming using Easy C software. A culminating task will require participants to apply their learning toward the design and programming of a robot that competes in a VEX challenge. The STEM education component includes a review of STEM standards related to robotics, application of the engineering design process, and discussions of possible classroom scenarios related to robotics and robotics challenges. Educators will be working in small teams alongside high school students (rising 9-10 graders).

Click here to register for Robotics for Educators workshops

 

ONE DAY STEM WORKSHOPS

Click here to register for STEM workshops

Engineering a Story  

  • Target Audience: PK-8 educators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Wednesday, July 24, 2019; 8:30-3:30
  • Fee: $105* (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6

Description: This fun and engaging workshop offers a hands-on approach for educators to explore practical ways for using engineering design and thinking skills to enrich learning and expose students to concepts of engineering from a young age. Aligned with the NGSS, this PD presents methods for using a text (fiction or non-fiction) as the context for problem solving. Teachers will use books they already use in the classroom to identify a key problem, generate solutions, focus on the best fit solution and design a prototype to solve the problem presented in the book. This process engages students of any age, fosters critical reading and thinking skills, and stresses creativity and multiple solutions approach. Engineering a Story* does not require any additional curriculum. Instead, it builds on classroom texts already used by teachers and thus creates a true integration of subjects.

** This program is adapted from Bill Wolfson's Engineering Lens program.

Click here to register for STEM workshops

Developing and Using Models

  • Target Audience: K-12 teachers and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Thursday, July 25, 2019; 8:30-3:30.
  • Fee: $105* (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6

Description: This PD unpacks the second NGSS practice: Developing and Using Models. Participants will examine a variety of ways to model/represent a phenomenon and discuss the ways that scientists, engineers, and mathematicians use models in their daily work. Participants will then engage in two hands on activities related to developing and using models and share resources for standard based modeling activities.  

Click here to register for STEM workshops

What's Inside My Technology? + Makerspace Exploration

  • Target Audience: 4-12 grade teachers and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Wednesday, August 7, 2019; 8:30-3:30
  • Registration Fee: $105* (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6

Description: In this workshop, developed in partnership with an electrical engineer, participants will investigate various types of technology (old phones, remote controls, walkie-talkies, radios, etc...) to determine "what's inside."  They will explore the materials that each component is made of, as well as, the properties of material that make it good for each component.  In addition, they will examine the technology as a communication system and apply it to systems engineering.  Following the activity, participants will tour WPI's newest building, the Foisie Innovation Studio and hear from one of the people that assisted with its design so that they can get ideas to take back to their classrooms.

Click here to register for STEM workshops

STEM/STEAM Projects

  • Target Audience: 4-12 grade teachers and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Thursday, August 8, 2019; 8:30-3:30
  • Registration Fee: $105* (special rate for Worcester Public Schools educators; scholarships available)
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6

Description: This day of STEM & STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) projects offers participants the opportunity to engage with two different design challenges. First, participants are introduced to the framework of STEM and STEAM and then continue with two integrated STEM projects. Following each project educators will work in grade-level teams to modify the challenges to best fit their students' level of understanding.

Click here to register for STEM workshops

* Participants who register for 2 or more 1-day workshops receive 15% discount off the total registration fee.