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Open 7 days a week
10:00AM - 4:00PM

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.

Aligning your Curriculum to Community Problem Solving: A VINS and National Geographic Teacher PD Workshop (August 2020)

August 4, 2020 
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

NGSX: Taking it Back to Your Classroom (August 2020)

August 10-13, 2020 & independent study online
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person + Online/Independent Format

Course Description:

This course builds on the Becoming A Next-Gen Science Teacher pathway offered as part of NGSX.  This course helps teachers answer the question, “what could this shift in science teaching look like in my classroom?”  Study group members will take what they have learned about three-dimensional learning and explore ways to apply it in their classrooms using storylines.  Three perspectives guide the work throughout the course: engaging in three-dimensional learning as an adult learner; analyzing the work of K–12 students engaged in three-dimensional learning; and analyzing how teachers and curriculum materials support three-dimensional learning.  This course is designed for K-12 teachers who have already taken the NGSX pathway Becoming A Next-Gen Science Teacher (3DL1).  Please contact Hannah Gelroth directly with any questions regarding prerequisites.

Course Goals: 

  • Develop teacher capacity to apply high-leverage practices in three-dimensional learning in their own classrooms
  • Focus on using coherent storylines so that students are partners in making the classroom a place where we figure out science ideas together

Course Objectives:

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

  • What are the implications of incorporating the key ideas “we figure out the science ideas together” and “we figure out where we are going at each step” into  our teaching and our classrooms?
  • How can we incorporate storylines that are coherent from the student’s perspective, so that we actively engage students in the science and engineering practices?

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

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

Instructors:
Hannah Gelroth, Director, VINS Center for Education, M. Ed.
Tim Brennan, Physical Science / Astronomy, Woodstock Union High School and Middle School, Ph. D.

Register 

Project Learning Tree (September 2020)

September 25, 2020 
VINS Nature Center, Quechee, VT
In-Person

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 Educators Michelle Amato and Marie Soderbergh 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 two hands-on PLT activities that you can incorporate into your curriculum! After completion of the workshop, you will be given your 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 Marie Soderbergh at msoderbergh@vinsweb.org.

More details coming soon.

Instructors:
Michelle Amato, Science Educator, VINS Center for Education, M. Ed.
Marie Soderbergh, Science Outreach Educator, VINS Center for Education, BA

Register

NGSX: Next Generation Science Exemplar (August 2019)

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

NGSX: Next Generation Science Exemplar (August 2018)

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

Independent Study in Science Instruction (Ongoing)

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

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.