Professional Development for Kindergarten–Grade 12 Educators
Mass Audubon’s Professional Development programs are designed to increase content knowledge, provide teachers with hands-on, STEM-focused learning experiences, and offer resources for teaching engaging, inquiry-based science lessons in the schoolyard or classroom.
In-person and virtual workshops are available, along with consulting and site visits. To book one of the following workshops or series at your school, please email us.
Nature School for Teachers: Schoolyard Habits
In this week-long summer intensive, K-8 science teachers will immerse themselves in science by exploring their local habitat and meaningfully connecting with the science practices embedded in the Massachusetts Science Frameworks. Participants will practice inquiry-based learning methods through hands-on exploration of local habitats, field research, and an investigation design process they can bring back to their classrooms.
Mass Audubon educators and scientists will model effective ways to teach in an outdoor environment, facilitate deep discussions, and offer content-rich presentations and helpful resources to support student learning in nature. Participants will reflect on their experiences by keeping a field journal and, as a final project, will create a field experience and study tools to be used by their students, reporting back on the experience in November.
The 2023 Nature School for Teachers has been cancelled. If you or your school are interested in participating in the 2024 Summer Institute, please email [email protected].
Workshops for Grades K-8
Bringing Learning Outdoors
Make the most of whatever nature surrounds your schoolyard, whether that’s a parking lot, a suburban lawn or a forest. In this three-part series, we’ll help participants use inquiry-based techniques to incorporate the nature around them into their curriculum, while imparting practical skills to make outdoor learning a realistic, enjoyable, and effective part of the school experience.
Book the full, three-part series and receive a 15% discount, or book individual workshop(s). Available online or in-person.
Workshop 1: Let's Get Outside
Research is clear that learning outdoors can boost engagement, focus attention, ease behavioral challenges, increase test scores, and strengthen mental and physical health. Learn practical methods for getting outdoors with students as part of the curriculum, including strategies for behavior management, safety and weather considerations, and ready to use activities to make outdoor learning a reality.
Workshop 2: Using Field Journals to Support Interdisciplinary Learning Outdoors
Field journals have been used for hundreds of years by amateur and professional scientists, and for good reason: they are a handy way to focus attention, collect ideas, and keep track of data over time. As a tool in the outdoor classroom, they are an effective way to foster literacy skills, encourage organization, generate a deeper love of the natural world, and even facilitate sustained attention. Learn practical techniques to integrate this proven tool into your existing curriculum.
Workshop 3: Science in the Schoolyard
How can we make science time more exciting and at the same time, teach the science practices embedded in the Massachusetts standards? Learn effective, proven techniques for generating student curiosity, supporting scientific habits of mind, fostering respectful “science talk” and facilitating genuine inquiry-based learning that supports the science topics in your curriculum.
Workshops for Grades 6-12
Teaching Climate Justice
Gain the skills, tools, and resources to teach climate change. In this three-part, virtual workshop series, participants will review the basics of climate change science, learn about local climate impacts through a climate justice lens, and explore how to support students’ involvement in meaningful solutions to climate change in their communities.
Book the full, three-part series and receive a 15% discount, or book individual workshop(s). Available as online, virtual session(s) only.
Workshop 1: Intro to Climate Change
Learn what climate change is, why it is happening, and how to communicate about it to middle school students. Practice communicating the basics of climate change and leave with an activity write up and resources to find more information about climate change impacts in your own communities.
Workshop 2: Climate Justice in your Community
What is climate justice? Explore the important historical and systematic context behind why climate change is affecting people differently and discover what climate justice looks like in your own community through a mapping activity you can bring back to your classroom.
Workshop 3: From Me to We
How do we disrupt climate injustice? Participants will learn how to have conversations about climate justice with their students, and to shift that conversation from “me to we.” Leave with a set of climate action resources that you can use to support students in their own classrooms to move toward collective climate action.
Support Services & Consulting
Mass Audubon will support you in designing nature- based activities that fit into your existing curriculum. Consulting can be done in-person or virtually. Contact us to learn more about how we can support you with individualized curriculum support or custom professional development.
Our teacher naturalists will help you make the most of your outdoor schoolyard for learning, whether it’s in an urban, suburban, or rural setting. After the visit we will produce a report with suggestions and ideas for topics and activities that will work well in your space. Each visit includes a complete write-up with notes.
Upcoming Professional Development
Check back often for future planned professional development workshops.