Professional Development Events

  • Design Thinking Professional Development

  • Available at request to groups of 10-25 teachers.
    Approximately 3-4 hours

    Learn about design thinking and how to use it with students. An introduction to design thinking, followed by participation in a design thinking challenge. Teachers will then unpack design thinking for classroom use and spend time developing opportunities to incorporate it in their own classroom.

    For more information, or to schedule this PD, contact Julie Cunningham at

  • Interested in sharing opportunities with you colleagues? Direct them to this page or download and share Teacher Opportunities.

    Summer 2018 Professional Development Opportunities

    This list is developing. Keep checking in as we continue to add opportunities for teachers!

  • Beaver Island Institute 2018

    • Participate in:
    • Individual and small group work 
    • Field activities to promote discussion and collaboration​
    • Science and literary activities 
    • Collaborative, inquiry-based units identifying key standards from the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Literacy Standards, and ISTE NETS (technology) standards
    • A series of appropriate lessons, labs, and activities for the 2018-19 school year
    • Integrative teaching practices to integrate mobile technologies (smartphones and tablets, as well as apps) into teaching and as a learning tool for students​
    • Applicants are accepted from the following counties at no cost: 
    • Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw
    • Participants outside these counties may apply for a $50 fee
    • Teachers will be notified by mid-May​.​​ SCECHs and graduate credit will be available. 
    • Valued at nearly $1000 Participants will be responsible for transportation to and from Charlevoix, MI (location of ferry to Beaver Island). All other costs, including room, board, and instructional materials will be covered.
    • This opportunity is supported in part by the Grace A. and Herbert H. Dow Foundation.

  • Physical Science Modeling Workshop 2018

    • Participate in:
    • Modeling Instruction™ is a research-based reformed pedagogy that is the only high school science program recognized as Exemplary by the U.S. Department of Education. Modeling instruction addresses many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity and persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. Unlike the traditional approach, in which students wade through an endless stream of seemingly unrelated topics, Modeling Instruction™ organizes the course around a small number of scientific models, thus helping students become better thinkers about the core concepts in physics. It applies structured inquiry techniques to the teaching of basic skills and practices in mathematical modeling, proportional reasoning, quantitative estimation and technology-enabled data collection and analysis.
    • In Modeling classrooms, students observe, analyze, draw conclusions, then propose and evaluate models using multiple representations and by taking part in productive conversations about the science being learned. The approach is entirely consistent with the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices. More information on modeling instruction is available at:
    • Kelli Gamez-Warble has been a participant and co-leader in Modeling Workshops for physics teachers since 1994, and has implemented Modeling Instruction in both high school and university courses for twenty-two years (sixteen of those years at Title I schools). Kelli was on the development team that created materials for Modeling Instruction in Middle School Science, and a co-leader for the resulting workshops for middle school teachers in summer 2014 and 2015. Kelli is currently Teacher in Residence for the Arizona State University department of physics, where she has helped to develop the ASU physics teacher preparation program into a national model in cooperation with the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC).

    • ​Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers

    • Dates  TBD
      Topic: Energy’s Innovations and Implications
      Dates TBD
      Topic: Earth’s History and Global Change

      A professional development opportunity for fourth through ninth grade science teachers. Venture to Washington D.C. for a week-long program taking you behind the scenes of the Smithsonian Museum and its world-class facilities. While training in science pedagogy, hear advice and learn from experts in the field of science and research. As middle level educators, you can explore the D.C. area, develop workshops and build professional development from the Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers (SSEATs). *Registration is now closed, check for 2018 dates soon!