Courses We Offer

Contact Us

Nature Center Hours

VINS Nature Center
10am to 5pm Daily

Accepting Injured Birds
8am to 4pm Daily
802.359.5000 x212

Professional Development Courses

Our program immerses teachers in the best practices in science instruction. Upper Valley Educators may request scholarship funds by filling out our Scholarship Interest Form.

Upcoming

Fall and Spring Semesters
Flexible and Teacher Dependent 
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person + Online/Independent Format

This graduate level course supports teachers in the implementation and practice of the Next Generation Science Standards and is delivered as an extension to the VINS School Program. As an independent study, this course is centered on the needs of individual teachers and is flexible to adapt to their individual goals. We will focus on how we can use the NGSS to help students engage with the world around them as scientists and engineers. We will explore the NGSS in depth, identify the implications for instruction, find connections between CCSS and the NGSS, develop lessons aligned with the NGSS and reflect on the implementation of the NGSS in your classroom. This course is designed for teachers in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Tuition:
$820 / 2 Graduate Credits through Castleton University
$570 / 2 Relicensing Credits

Instructors:
Hannah Gelroth, Director, VINS Center for Environmental Education

Register

Completed

Course Location: Virtual

Course Description:

Interested in shifting your instruction from a place where students are just “learning about” to one where they are “figuring out” the how and why? Join VINS for the Becoming a Next Generation Science Teacher professional development course. Participants will explore how to use phenomena (things that happen in the world) to drive instruction, motivate learning, and help learners drive where to go next. Participants will engage as adult learners using the same best instructional practices used with students - practices that help learners go public with their ideas, reason together, persist through challenging tasks, and revise thinking over time. Participants will develop indicators for student engagement in the core practices of modeling, argumentation, and explanation. These practices are central to all content areas and participants will dig into how to build a culture of public reasoning and experience, as well as use tools for implementing productive small and whole group discussions. This course is designed for teachers K-12.

Course Goals: 

  • Develop teacher capacity to apply the ideas in the Framework and NGSS to their own practice.
  • Creatively and strategically use multiple web-based tools such as Google Draw, Google Jamboard, Driving Question Board, Summary Table, and Productive Talk Moves.

Course Objectives:

In this course we will focus on the following essential questions:

  • Engage as learners in modeling and constructing explanations of complex phenomena.
  • Learn how to use classroom tools such as productive talk and planning whole group discussions to help create a classroom culture in which all students are supported to go public with their reasoning and build on the ideas of their classmates.

For more information on NGSX, visit www.ngsx.org.


Day Date Time
Saturday March 20 12:30 - 5:00 PM
Sunday March 21 12:30 - 5:00 PM
Monday March 22 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Saturday March 27 12:30 - 5:00 PM
Wednesday March 31 5:15 - 7:45 PM
Wednesday April 7 5:15 - 7:45 PM
Wednesday April 28 5:15 - 7:45 PM

Tuition*:
$945 Relicensing
$1,320 Graduate Credits
*Scholarships are available for Vermont & New Hampshire teachers!

Instructors:
Hannah Gelroth, Director, VINS Center for Education, M. Ed.
Heather Morley, Science Teacher, Champlain Valley Union High School
Christine Depatie, 6th Grade STEM Teacher, Swanton School

Registration is now CLOSED.

National Geographic Educator Certification Phase 1 Virtual Workshop

December 3, 2020

3:30-4:30

 
Calling all educators!  This 60 minute virtual workshop will take participants through Phase 1 of the National Geographic Educator Certification course and will show you how to help your students to develop an explorer's mindset.  You'll dive into the Nat Geo Learning Framework, discover connections between the human and natural worlds as well as engage in different scales and perspectives, all while finding ways to connect to your classroom community. 
 
This workshop is Phase 1, Phases 2 & 3 will be completed through National Geographic at a future date to earn the National Geographic Educator Certification.  Anyone that is an educator, formal or informal, any grade level, from any geographic location in the New England area are welcome to attend this workshop.  
 
The next workshop in this series, Aligning your Curriculum to Community Problem Solving, is recommended for 4th - 8th grade teachers, after taking this course.
 
Registration is limited to 25 participants.

Register

This Professional Development course will be moving forward as planned with safety measures in place. Please contact education@vinsweb.org with questions.

 

Safety Measures

  1. Masks are Required at all times for Staff and Course Participants
  2. 6+ feet of Social Distance Mandatory during the course

September 25, 2020 
10am-3pm
For Teachers PreK - Grade 8
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person
Limited to 15 Participants

Course Description:
Are you interested in integrating Environmental Education into your classroom curriculum, or simply looking for inspiration on new activities that will engage your students in nature? Join Science Educator Michelle Amato in a FREE Project Learning Tree training workshop on Sept 25th, 2020. This PLT Workshop will include an introduction to the history of PLT, a hands-on tutorial on how to use the PLT PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide, and hands-on PLT activities that you can incorporate into your curriculum! Participants will receive their own copy of the PLT Environmental Education Activity Guide. See first-hand why PLT has been used in classrooms across the nation for over 40 years! You can register for the workshop here, and if you have any questions, please contact Michelle Amato at mamato@vinsweb.org.

More details coming soon.

Instructors:
Michelle Amato, Science Educator, VINS Center for Education, M. Ed.

This Professional Development course will be moving forward as planned with safety measures in place. Please contact education@vinsweb.org with questions.

 

Safety Measures

  1. Masks are Required at all times for Staff and Course Participants
  2. 6+ feet of Social Distance Mandatory during the course
 

August 4, 2020; 9am-3pm
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person 

Course Description:

Are you looking for new ways for your students to engage in authentic, real-world science projects?  Would you like your students to become more connected and help to solve real-world problems in their community?  Come join us for a day to dig deep into National Geographic Learning Framework and discover how your students can solve problems in their community, all aligned to the NGSS!  

Teachers will be introduced to the National Geographic Learning Framework, explore what it means to become a Nat Geo Certified Educator and dive into the Nat Geo Geo-Inquiry Process.  This experience will provide teachers with a user-friendly process and take-aways that they can implement immediately in their classrooms.  

The course will also include:

  • A hands-on approach wearing both “teacher” and “student” hats as you explore the Geo-Inquiry Process
  • Access and practice with National Geographic resources and how to use them for a project
  • Citizen Science opportunities that can be taken back to their classrooms and support their students’ projects
  • Time to brainstorm project ideas and how to align them to their current curriculum and state standards

Participating teachers will also be provided an opportunity for themselves and their students to attend the VINS National Geographic Science Symposium event in May 2021 at the VINS Nature Center to share their projects and action plans their students developed throughout the academic year.

  • For Grade 4-8 Teachers
  • Space is limited to 20 teachers
  • Lunch will be provided
  • Participating teachers will receive a stipend*
    *Stipends will be provided after submitting their project and action plans (using the provided template) to the workshop facilitator.  Stipend amounts may vary due to the number of participants enrolled in the course.

Instructor:
Michelle Amato, Science Educator, VINS Center for Education, M. Ed.

Register

Course Complete

"I feel like every science educator and administrator needs to take this course. It gives [a] profoundly impactful perspective to the practices and standards you can’t learn from just reading an article." - 2018 Course Participant

August 12-16, 2019 & independent study online
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person + Online/Independent Format
Download Brochure

Course Description:

Interested in shifting your instruction from a place where students are just “learning about” to one where they are “figuring out” the how and why? Join VINS for the Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) professional development course. Participants will explore how to use phenomena (things that happen in the world) to drive instruction, motivate learning, and help learners drive where to go next. Participants will engage as adult learners using the same best instructional practices used with students - practices that help learners go public with their ideas, reason together, persist through challenging tasks, and revise thinking over time. Participants will develop indicators for student engagement in the core practices of modeling, argumentation, and explanation.  These practices are central to all content areas and participants will dig into how to build a culture of public reasoning and experience, as well as use tools for implementing productive small and whole group discussions. This course is designed for teachers K-12.

Course Goals:

  • Develop teacher capacity to apply the ideas in the Framework and NGSS to their own practice

  • Focus on high leverage practices that are the most central to the NGSS

Course Objectives: 

  • What are the implications of shifting from learning about to figuring out for our teaching and our classrooms?

  • How can we integrate three-dimensional learning into our science classrooms to help our students engage with the world around them as scientists and engineers?

For more information on NGSX, visit www.ngsx.org.

Tuition:
$1,600 Graduate Credits
$1,225 Re-Licensing Credit

Instructors:
Hannah Gelroth, Director, VINS Center for Environmental Education
Jennifer Stainton, Curriculum Coordinator, Woodstock Union High School and Middle School

Course Complete

"I feel like every science educator and administrator needs to take this course. It gives [a] profoundly impactful perspective to the practices and standards you can’t learn from just reading an article." - Course Parrticipant

August 6-8, 2018; Follow up days October 13 & 26, 2018
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person + Online/Independent Format
Download Brochure

Interested in shifting your instruction from a place where students are just “learning about” to one where they are “figuring out” the how and why? Please join VINS for the Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) professional development course. Participants will explore how to use phenomena (things that happen in the world) to drive instruction, motivate learning, and help learners drive where to go next. Participants will engage as adult learners using the same best instructional practices used with students-practices that help learners go public with their ideas, reason together, persist through challenging tasks, and revise thinking over time. Participants will develop indicators for student engagement in the core practices of modeling, argumentation, and explanation-practices central to all content areas and participants will dig into how to build a culture of public reasoning and experience and use tools for implementing productive small and whole group discussions. This course is designed for teachers K-12.

For more information on NGSX, visit www.ngsx.org.

Tuition:
$1,350 Graduate Course
$975 Re-Licensing Credits

Instructors:
Hannah Gelroth, Director, VINS Center for Environmental Education
Jennifer Stainton, Curriculum Coordinator, Woodstock Union High School and Middle School

Bringing Science Inquiry & Investigation to Life

Each VINS Science Educator has a Master of Education degree, is a Highly Qualified Teacher, and holds a teaching license in Vermont and New Hampshire.