2013-2014 In-School PD Offerings from the STEM Education Center


Thu, Sep 12, 2013


The STEM Education Center at WPI develops and conducts in-school professional development workshops for educators in grades preschool/prekindergarten to 12. These programs can be designed as a stand-alone day, half-day, or a series of sessions. We offer a consultation meeting to learn about the school/district/program needs prior to developing a professional development that matches these needs. All programs offered by the Center are aligned with the NGSS and model key elements of the MA Educator Evaluation Rubric. A suggested list of in-school PD topics is provided below.

Please contact Mia Dubosarsky at mdubosarsky@wpi.edu for more details or for setting up a consultation meeting.


1. Engineering a Story – Integration of engineering and problem solving practices with any subject.

This 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, the PD presents methods for identifying a key problem, generating solutions, focusing on the best fit solution and designing a prototype, a process that engages students at any age. In addition to critical reading and thinking skills, the workshop stresses creativity and a 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.

Target Audience: P-6 teachers, teacher librarians, administrators

 PD format: Full day PD; Half day PD; A series of five 2-hour sessions


2. Project-based STEM Teaching & Learning – A truly integrated approach for teaching STEM.

This PD weaves together theoretical and practical methods by introducing design challenges that require participants to use scientific and mathematical concepts for solving the problem. The project-based teaching and learning approach is linked to better learning, retention of content, and student engagement. The activities in this PD are aligned with the NGSS and engage teachers in twofold assignments. First, teachers experience the activity from a student’s perspective while working in small groups to solve the challenge. Then, discussing the activity from an educator’s viewpoint, teachers work to modify each activity while keeping a tight link to the NGSS. Each PD is designed specifically for the group of participating teachers (grade level and subject matter).

Target Audience: 4-12 STEM teachers, administrators

 PD format: Full day PD; Half day PD; A series of 2.5-hour sessions


3. Unpacking the NGSS –unpacking the standards.

Starting with the three domains of Science and Engineering Practices: Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas, this PD leads teachers in standard-based design through exploration of the structure and content of the NGSS. Working in small groups, teachers practice searching for the relevant standards, unpacking each standard for specific outcome expectations, matching assessment methods and discussing possible classroom activities that lead to the designated outcomes. Grade level examples will be modeled during the PD.

Target Audience: K-12 teachers, administrators

PD format: Full day PD; Half day PD; A series of 2-hour sessions


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- who has written 64 posts on STEM Education Center.

Katie Elmes is Assistant Director of the STEM Education Center.

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