Summer 2017 PD Opportunities

Engaging Your Students in Science and Engineering Practices Using Inquiry

McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, Center for Climate Change Education and Framingham State University College of STEM, in collaboration with Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) present: 


Join us to learn how climate science falls within the revised 2016 STE Standards, and how you can implement these standards, including the Science and Engineering practices, in your own classroom. Participate in content and skill development sessions taught by professional educators and scientists at each collaborating partner organization. Take home investigations you can use in your classroom and a collection of teaching resources and field trip ideas!

Learn how to use the Science and Engineering Practices in your classroom and how they relate to science inquiry.
Explore STEM resources in your community.
Discover how to adapt your current curriculum to meet the revised MA Science and Technology/Engineering Standards.
Become part of a network of teachers from your region and across the state.

Droughts in the Southwest. Superstorms. Melting Arctic ice. Changing weather patterns and the northward movement of tropical species. Sea level rise of 1-4 feet by the end of the century. What is the Earth telling us? What trends and patterns are observable? What do they hold for our future?  What do we know about climate change? How do we know it?

Spend a week this summer asking these urgent questions about planetary changes, gathering and evaluating data, developing hypotheses, and considering evidence and consequences as you explore the intersection of climate science, food production, biodiversity, energy and infrastructure, and society. Your experience will include field and laboratory work at the recently opened state-of-the-art Framingham State University Hemenway Laboratories. Participate in laboratory experiences to develop an understanding of the basic physics and chemistry of climate change that include analysis of temperature, carbon dioxide and precipitation data. Perform experiments to estimate the energy content of food waste, and explore the connections between food waste, agricultural production, energy consumption, emission of carbon dioxide and methane, and the warming up of the planet. Learn about exciting pedagogical approaches utilizing the idea of paradigms and paradigm shifts. Apply science and engineering practices to complex systems and complex problems, thus enabling you to creatively and effectively engage students in the heterogeneous classroom. Leave with an array of useful tools and inspiring approaches that are designed for deep learning, effective communication and positive change-making. Learn how climate science falls within the revised 2016 STE Standards, and how you can implement these standards, including the Science and Engineering practices, in your own classroom.

Partners: Framingham State University – College of STEM, McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, Center for Climate Change Education
Course Dates: July 10-14 (8:30 am -3:30 pm); Half-Day Introductory Session June 10; Half-Day Fall Call-back November 18
Registration Fee: $375/participant; $350/participant for team of 2 or more teachers from the same school district.
PDPs and Graduate Credit: Framingham State University (3 credits, 67.5 PDPs, $225); 40 PDPs available without graduate credit.

Visit for more info on this and other Professional Development Institutes and to register online. For more information contact:

Dr. Irene Porro, Director
McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning


Brianna Wilkinson, Assistant Education Director
Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS)

Exploring Computer Science


The Massachusetts Exploring Computer Science Partnership (MECSP), supported by the National Science Foundation, offers schools and teachers the opportunity to introduce computer science to students through the engaging curriculum of Exploring Computer Science (ECS).

The Exploring Computer Science (ECS) program consists of a high school introductory computer science (CS) course combined with a teacher professional development program. ECS was developed in response to previous research, detailed in Stuck in the Shallow End (Margolis et al., 2008), that identified disparities in CS learning opportunities that fall along race and socioeconomic lines.

ECS consists of six units of approximately six weeks each, covering Introduction to Human Computer Interaction, Problem Solving, Web Design, Introduction to Programming (Scratch), Computing and Data Analysis, and Robotics.

The ECS curriculum is structured to facilitate inquiry and equity-based instructional practices so that all students, especially those in schools with high numbers of low-income, students of color, are introduced to the problem solving, computational practices, and modes of inquiry associated with doing computer science.

ECS was first implemented in the Los Angeles Unified School District and has now expanded nationwide with programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Utah, Milwaukee, Oregon, San Jose, New York City, and greater Boston.

Highlights for Teachers

• Selected teachers attend a one-week ECS workshop at Framingham State University in summer 2017

• Ongoing support and PD includes four Saturday sessions during academic year 2017-18 and monthly teacher cohort gatherings (in person or virtual)

• Participating teachers receive stipends

• Teachers have the opportunity to become teacher-leaders to co-facilitate future workshops

Highlights for Schools

• Curriculum maps to Common Core, NGSS, ISTE, and CSTA Standards

• Course provides a rigorous but accessible introduction to computer science (Algebra is the only recommended pre-requisite)

• Participating schools agree to support teacher participation and put ECS on course schedule in fall 2017

To inquire about how to get involved in the MECS program, contact Julia Abbott, Christa McAuliffe Center, Framingham State University,