STEM Professional Development Programs from the STEM Education Center


Thu, Sep 12, 2013

Engineering/Technology, STEM

Engineering Lens/Engineering a Story: Integrating engineering practices with Literacy

A 2-day workshop during school holidays.

Meeting I: October 14 (Columbus Day), 8:30-2:30 at WPI

Meeting II: November 11 (Veterans Day), 8:30-2:30 at WPI

Target Audience: K-6 teachers, teacher librarians, STEM coordinators, informal educators

Cost: $125 ( $112 if signed up before 9/23) Discounts available for Worcester Public School teachers and for teachers who sign up together in groups of two or more.

PD Description: This fun and engaging 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 using a text (children’s book social studies text) as a context for problem solving. Teachers will use books they already use in the classroom to identify a key problem, generate solutions, focus on the best fit solution and design a prototype to solve the problem presented in the book. This process engages students at any age, fosters critical reading and thinking skills, and stresses creativity and 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.

For more information please email Mia at Click here for the registration form.  


Project-based STEM Teaching and Learning

A series of four sessions between October and April.

Meeting I: Wednesday, October 30, 3:30-6:30, topic – cladograms (biology)

Meeting II: Wednesday, December 11, 3:30-6:30, topic – light properties (physics)

Meeting II: Wednesday, February 12, 3:30-6:30, topic – indicators (chemistry)

Meeting IV: Wednesday, April 23, 3:30-6:30, topic – programming (computer science)

Target Audience: 6-12 grade teachers, STEM coordinators

Cost: $40 per meeting or $125 for the entire series ($112 is signed up before 9/30) Discounts available for Worcester Public School teachers and for teachers who sign up together in groups of two or more.

PD Description: 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 a real problem. The project-based teaching and learning approach is linked to better learning, retention of content, and student engagement. The PDs engage participants in dual-dimensional thinking: on one level, participants work in small groups to solve the problem, thus experiencing the activity from a student’s perspective; then, discussing the activity from an educator’s viewpoint, teachers work to modify each activity while keeping a tight link to the NGSS. All projects and design challenges presented in this PD are aligned with the NGSS and model key elements of the MA Educator Evaluation Model Rubric for high quality instruction. Participants will walk away not only with the project idea they specifically worked on, but with a strategy for how to apply this engaging teaching method to other topics.

For more information please email Mia at mdubosarsky@wpi.eduClick here for the registration form. 

Two PD programs are scheduled for the Spring:

  1. LEGO robotics for educators: A series of 4 Saturdays in April-May.
  2. MA new STE Framework: a session to unpack the NGSS-based framework.

This post was written by:

- who has written 64 posts on STEM Education Center.

Katie Elmes is Assistant Director of the STEM Education Center.

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