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.

New: The STEM Club

The STEM Education Center invites you to join the STEM Club - a new PD series for current and aspiring STEM teachers (grades 4-12). The STEM Club meets on Wednesday afternoons, from 3:30-6:30 at WPI.  The club meetings will engage you in trying, unpacking, and modifying different STEM projects presented by fellow teachers.

STEM Club Dates:
• Wednesday, November 2, 2016
• Wednesday, December 7, 2016
• Wednesday, February 15, 2017
• Wednesday, April 12, 2017
• Wednesday, May 10, 2017 (make up/snow date)

Cost & PDPs
• Club participants: $35 per session/$120 for the entire STEM Club series (12 PDPs)
• Club presenters: FREE Club participation if your proposal was selected to be presented (18 PDPs)

Register Now!

For questions regarding registration and session proposals email Mia Dubosarsky at mdubosarsky@wpi.edu.

Increasing Diversity in STEM

Target Audience: All
Term: Academic Year (February break)
Date & Time: February 21, 2017; 8:30-12:30 
Registration fee: Free

Description: In preparation for National Engineers Week, February 19-25, 2017, 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 Mia Dubosarsky to sign up for this workshop. 

Project Presentation Day at WPI

Target Audience: 6-12 educators, science/math/STEM coordinators
Term: Academic Year; Thursday, April 20, 2017
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.

TouchTomorrow for Educators

Target Audience: All
Date: June 10, 2017 
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 through robotics and engineering challenges, and about the many opportunities to engage with the STEM Education Center at WPI or in your school. Lesson plans and resources available to participants. 

 

**SUMMER 2017 STEM PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFERINGS**    

 

LEGO Robotics for Educators

Target Audience: Due to high demand, WPI offers three types of LEGO Robotics programs: 

  • An entry level program for K-4 grade teachers with no prior experience with robotics,  
  • An entry level program for 5-7 grade teachers with no prior experience with robotics, and
  • An advanced program for 5-12 grade teachers who would like to expand their knowledge with advanced programming and challenging tasks.

Term: Summer
Fee for any level: $515

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.

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

 

Engineering a Story  

Target Audience: PK-8 educators
Term: Summer
Fee: $80*

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.

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

* A 15% discount of the total PD cost is given for those who sign up for two or more 1-day PDs (Engineering a Story, NGSS Practices, Developing and Using Models, and STEM/STEAM Projects).

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

 

Unpacking the NGSS

Target Audience: K-12 grade teachers and administrators
Term:  Summer
Fee: $80*

Description: The one-day Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) website includes many fantastic features that might be hard to find without an expert guidance.  Let’s unpack the standards and practices together! Participants will unpack the 8 NGSS practices, explore the NGSS website, discover its many features and search options, compare standards with the Massachusetts’ newly adopted STE framework, and practice using all resources to guide the development of integrated STEM units that emphasize the NGSS practices.      

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

* A 15% discount of the total PD cost is given to those who sign up for two or more 1-day PDs (Engineering a Story, NGSS Practices, Developing and Using Models, and STEM/STEAM Projects).

 

Developing and Using Models

Target Audience: K-12 teachers and administrators
Term: Summer
Fee: $80*

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.  

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

* A 15% discount of the total PD cost is given for those who sign up for two or more 1-day PDs (Engineering a Story, NGSS Practices, Developing and Using Models, and STEM/STEAM Projects).

 

STEM/STEAM Projects

Target Audience: 4-12 grade teachers and administrators
Term: Summer
Registration Fee: $80*

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.

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

* A 15% discount of the total PD cost is given for those who sign up for two or more 1-day PDs (Engineering a Story, NGSS Practices, Developing and Using Models, and STEM/STEAM Projects).

 

Vex Robotics for Educators I

Target Audience: 5-12 educators, VEX team coaches
Term: Summer
Fee: $515

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).

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

 

Vex Robotics for Educators II

Target Audience: 7-12 educators, VEX or FIRST team coaches
Term: Summer
Fee: $875

Description: VEX Robotics for Educators II provides participants with profound instruction on robotics engineering topics (force analysis, mechanics, power transmission, pneumatics, sensors, DC motors, programming, control theory, and more) as well as time to apply the learning toward the design, construction, and programming of a VEX robot. Daily block will be devoted to STEM education topics, during which participants will review STEM standards, develop a robotics-specific rubric, discuss diversity in STEM, and develop an introductory unit on robotics. The PD will culminate in a robotics tournament. Educators will be working in small teams alongside high school students (rising 11-12 graders).  

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

Forces & Motion for Middle School Educators

Target Audience: 5-8 grade educators
Term: Summer
PDPs: 18 PDPs will be awarded to participants who complete the workshop
Fee: $220  

Description: This 3-day workshop covers the NGSS’ second PS core idea - Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions as well as engineering design standards. Participants will engage in activities that address the different types of interactions, gravity, electromagnetic forces, and Newton’s laws of motion. A cooperative learning approach will allow participants to work in small groups to solve challenges and design lesson plans.

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

Energy & Matter for Middle School Educators

Target Audience: 5-8 grade educators
Term: Summer
PDPs: 18 PDPs will be assigned to participants who complete the workshop
Fee: $220  

Description: This 3-day workshop covers science and engineering standards from the new MA framework in earth science and physical science, focusing on Energy & Matter. Participants will engage in activities and projects that address the atomic structure of matter, energy type, conservation of energy and matter, and energy associated with the water cycle. A culminating Rube Goldberg Challenge will allow teachers to test and adapt a performance assessment for their students.   

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.

Bio Simulation

Target Audience: 9th-12th grade biology and computer science teachers
Term: Summer
Location: WPI and Tower Hill Botanical Garden
Fee: $375

Description: A unique professional development experience that integrates biology topics (the relationship between native pollinators, native flowers, and pesticides) with computer science (programming simulations). Participants will learn about local pollinators and their importance in natural and agroecosystems (classroom and outdoor activities). Participants will then learn how to design and create simple computer simulations and use them to address important ecological questions such as human impacts on pollinator-plant relationships. On the final day, educators will apply what they have learned toward the design of a standard-based lesson plan draft that ties the study of ecosystem function with computer science simulations.

The PD is led by Dr. Liz Ryder and Dr. Robert J. Gegear from WPI’s Biology & Biotechnology department.

Registration opens on March 1, 2017.