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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.

NGSX: Next Generation Science Exemplar

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
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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

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

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

Independent Study in Science Instruction

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.

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

Hannah Gelroth, Director, VINS Center for Environmental Education


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.