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, December 5, 2018
    Topic: Simulations and Modeling; Presented by Erin Mercier from Northbridge Middle School
  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
    Topic
    : TBA; Presented by Vanessa Hearle from Sutton Middle School
  • Wednesday, March 13, 2019
    Topic: TBA; 
    Presented by Elizabeth (Betsy) Wermuth 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; Presented by Mary Stinchfield from Northbridge Middle School
  • Thursday, January 24, 2019
    Topic
    : Modeling Patterns in the Solar System using Stop Motion Animation; Presented by Tiffany Davis and Rebecca Brogna from Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District
  • Thursday, March 14, 2019
    Topic: Exploring Electricity!; 
    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.

STEM Curricular Resources

In support of the Massachusetts STEM Week (10/22-26/2018) the STEM Education Center releases three curricular resources, developed to support any educator who is interested in taking part in the upcoming STEM week. These resources include a short opening bridge design activity (one lesson or shorter), a 2-lesson STEM challenge related to properties of materials, and a full week STEM project about natural disasters. 
These projects will also be addressed during the October STEM Club meetings (see below), for educators who would like to review these resources with more guidance.

What is STEM Education? 
Short Bridge Design Challenge (one lesson or less)
Project Transport, Help a Friend in Need (2-lesson project)
Protecting the Community from Natural Hazards (full week STEM project)

If you use these curricular resources, we’d love to hear from you about your experience and how we might make improvements. Please contact Donna Taylor to let us know about your classroom experience. 

Increasing Diversity in STEM

  • Target Audience: All
  • Term: Academic Year (February break)
  • Date & Time: February 20, 2019; 8:30 - 3:30
  • Registration fee: Free

Description: In preparation for National Engineers Week, February 18-24, 2018, WPI offers a week full of engineering activities for the community. As part of it, the STEM Education Center offers a free PD for educators interested in engaging all students in STEM learning. Participants will take part in an active workshop about the strategies and practices that enhance student motivation and reduce inequalities.

This interactive workshop reflects to participants the bias, stereotypes, and other societal factors that prevent students from certain groups to pursue STEM majors and careers. The workshop then presents research-based methods that make STEM accessible to all groups of students (including girls, students with learning or physical disabilities, students who live in poverty and students from non-English speaking families) and thus reduce the STEM gap.

The event is free but requires registration.  Email Donna Taylor to sign up for this workshop.

Project Presentation Day at WPI

  • Target Audience: 6-12 educators, science/math/STEM coordinators
  • Term: Academic Year; Friday, April 19, 2019
  • Registration fee: Free


Description: Join fellow secondary educators during April vacation for a special professional development day that connects standards with quality STEM projects for the classroom. During WPI’s senior capstone STEM Project Presentation Day, you will visit projects in your area of interest and join other educators for an active workshop about the process of designing quality STEM projects. This hands-on session will address educational standards (NGSS and Math Common Core) as well as integrated STEM approaches.

For more information and registration contact Donna Taylor.

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.

Engineering a Story (for school and community librarians)

  • Target Audience: School and community librarians, PK-6 educators
  • Term: Academic year
  • Location: TBD (Worcester)
  • Date:  Friday, September 14, 2018; 8:30-3:00
  • Fee: $85; but free for librarians/educators who will offer an Engineering a Story program for children during MA STEM week, October 22-26 
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6
  • Registration link 

Description: In support of MA STEM Week (October 22-26), the STEM Education Center at WPI is offering a special workshop for school and community librarians on Friday, September 14th.
This fun and engaging workshop offers hands-on approach for librarians and educators to explore practical ways for using engineering design and thinking skills to enrich learning and expose children/students to concepts of engineering from a young age. Aligned with the NGSS, this PD presents methods for using any text (fiction or non-fiction) as the context for problem solving. Participants will use books of their choice to identify key problems, generate solutions, focus on the best fit solution and design a prototype to solve the problem. 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 texts already used by educators/librarians and thus creates a true integration of subjects and provides opportunity to create a truly integrated STEM experience.
Note: In order to participate in the free workshop, librarians/educators must agree to offer a Children’s Program within the community during MA STEM week.  More details will be provided at the workshop.

Registration link 
For questions please contact Donna Taylor at dltaylor@wpi.edu 

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

 

SUMMER 2018 STEM PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFERINGS

Register for summer PD
 

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 9-13, 2018. 
  • An entry level program for 5-7 grade teachers with no prior experience with robotics; This PD is offered during the following weeks: July 16-20, July 23-27, and July 30-August 3
  • 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 9-13, and July 16-20.  

Hours: 8:30-4:30 
Fee: $580
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.

Register for summer PD

Engineering a Story  

  • Target Audience: PK-8 educators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Wednesday, July 25, 2018; 8:30-3:30
  • Fee: $85
  • 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.

Register for summer PD

Teaching and Learning with MA STE Framework

  • Target Audience: K-12 teachers and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Thursday, July 26, 2018; 8:30-3:30
  • Fee: $85
  • PDPs/CEUs: 6/0.6

Description: Let’s unpack the standards and practices in the 2016 MA STE Framework together! Participants will review the spiral structure of core ideas and unpack the 8 science and engineering practices. Participants then engage in hands on tasks and projects that emphasize the integration of content and practices. The workshop ends with sharing resources that are aligned with the 2016 Framework.      

Register for summer PD

Developing and Using Models

  • Target Audience: K-12 teachers and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Tuesday, July 31, 2018; 8:30-3:30.
  • Fee: $85
  • 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.  

Register for summer PD

STEM/STEAM Projects

  • Target Audience: 4-12 grade teachers and administrators
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  Wednesday, August 1, 2018; 8:30-3:30
  • Registration Fee: $85
  • 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.

Register for summer PD

Vex Robotics for Educators

  • Target Audience: 5-12 educators, VEX team coaches
  • Term: Summer
  • Date:  August 6-10, 2018; 8:30-4:30
  • Fee: $580
  • 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).

Register for summer PD