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Blog / 5 Easy Ideas for Professional Development for Science Teachers
A banner image with writing on the right that reads, “5 Easy Ideas for Professional Development for Science Teachers.” On the left, there is an image of a book with “Professional Development Goals” written on the page underlined in blue highlighter.

5 Easy Ideas for Professional Development for Science Teachers

As teachers, we are advocates of learning.

We don’t just want our students to study for the sake of grades – we want them to enjoy the actual process of learning, and find out where their passions lie!

It’s important to foster a love of learning, not only in our students, but also in our own lives!

Outside of the teaching world, I love learning about new art programs like Adobe Illustrator and Procreate, and I am learning to speak Indonesian. In the world of education, I am constantly learning about new types of activities, and best teaching practices. 

Not only do I love to keep learning, but let’s just say it. 

It’s required. 

An image of a chalkboard with a word web for professional development. Professional Development is written in the middle with associated words surrounding it.

All schools require teachers to participate in professional development to keep moving their teaching forward. 

From workshops and webinars to collaborative projects and online resources, there’s something for every science teacher looking to sharpen their skills and bring fresh perspectives to their classroom. 

It is important to note that the requirements for professional development to count vary from school to school. Some schools require a set number of professional development hours, while others only need a certificate of completion. 

In this blog post, we will look at 5 easy ideas for professional development for science teachers.

These will enrich your teaching journey and empower your students!

1 – Champions for Science Demo Days

A photograph of Emma demonstrating the properties of water with a lab station. This is one session in the Champions for Science Demo Days Professional Development for Science Teachers Conference. Emma is pouring a blue liquid along a string from one cup into another, held above a basin.

One opportunity for professional development for science teachers is the upcoming Champions for Science Demo Days 2023

This virtual science teachers conference is designed to equip you with a plethora of exciting demos, labs, and engineering activities! 

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 180 Days of Streaming Replays
  • Certificate of Completion with 11.5 PD hours for ALL ticket holders 
  • Downloadable lab manual
  • Automatic entry into all sponsored giveaways (Oct 8-9 only)
  • Exclusive downloads and giveaways from select presenters (Oct 8-9 only)

And guess what – I am one of the presenters!

I can tell you that from behind the scene, it already looks amazing!

Since this event is hosted online, Demo Days offers the convenience of attending from the comfort of your own space, eliminating the need for travel while providing access to valuable insights.

This also cuts down on costs, which means you may be more likely for your district to cover the cost! 

I am so excited to watch all of the speaker sessions, and hope you will “virtually” join me!

2 – Chesapeake Classrooms

A photograph of Chesapeake Bay. It shows open water and a small stretch of land on the edge of the bag with a single bare tree on it.

Do you love the outdoors? Well, I have the perfect professional development opportunity for you!

If this sounds like you, you should check out the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “Chesapeake Classrooms Summer Courses.” 

This program runs in the summer months, when teachers are off from school.

It offers a unique blend of hands-on experiences, field trips, and classroom activities. These are designed to foster a deeper understanding of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and integrate environmental science into the curriculum. 

Participants have the chance to explore the Chesapeake Bay watershed, conduct field investigations, and collaborate with fellow educators to develop engaging lesson plans. 

By immersing educators in the beauty and complexities of the Bay’s ecology, teachers are empowered to share firsthand knowledge with their students. This fosters a connection between science education and real-world conservation.

As an on-site PD opportunity, there will be some travel and lodging costs associated with this.

It is an amazing opportunity to connect with other educators and get some hands-on PD.

The Chesapeake Classrooms Summer Courses provide a comprehensive learning experience that goes beyond traditional professional development.

Many of these activities you could also recreate within the environment at your school. This way your students  can gain the full benefits of your learning!

3 – The AFT Professional Development Program

A young woman is watching a video on her laptop while wearing headphones and taking notes in a notepad.

You can find a wealth of PD opportunities through the American Federation of Teachers‘ Professional Development program

The AFT has a  commitment to empowering educators and enhancing their teaching practices. As a result, the organization offers a diverse range of courses, workshops, and resources tailored to educators’ needs. 

Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of inquiry-based learning, explore new strategies for student engagement, or refine your classroom management techniques, AFT’s Professional Development program delivers comprehensive solutions to elevate your teaching journey.

As of today, the AFT offers:

  • 45-hour graduate-level courses,
  • 3-hour modules,
  • webinars,
  • technology tools,
  • and more.

Courses covering a wide spectrum of topics, from curriculum design to culturally responsive teaching.

There is a nice variety to address the multiple challenges of modern education!

And of course, you are able to complete these from the comfort of your own home. 

By participating in AFT’s Professional Development program, you can unlock new approaches to fostering student success, ensuring that their classrooms become hubs of inquiry, exploration, and scientific discovery.

4 – Online courses for educators with National Geographic

A young woman is smiling while using her laptop. She is typing and wearing headphones. This is to show that professional development for science teachers can be through online courses like National Geographic.

If you are passionate about teaching your students the importance of exploration and global awareness, then you should take advantage of the invaluable professional development opportunities through National Geographic’s Education Program

Their courses offer a unique blend of geographic knowledge, cultural understanding, and inquiry-based learning strategies.

If you are new to National Geographic’s professional learning offerings, they suggest that you start with their mini-courses about the Explorer Mindset and Geographic Thinking Skills. Both are free, self-paced, and take approximately two hours to complete.

In fact, all of National Geographic’s courses are free for educators! And in many of them, you can earn graduate credits through their university partnerships. Very handy if you are still studying!

The courses are varied – here are some current offerings:

  • Collecting Data to Explore Plastic Pollution in Our Communities
  • Teaching Students to ASK Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions
  • Teaching Global Climate Change in Your Classroom

Depending on the course you are interested in, there may be registration deadlines. While many courses are self-paced, some place are placed into cohorts.

You can sign up to receive notifications of new course launches.

5 – Fuel your ambition with edX

A close up of a miniature graduation cap, book, and scroll, on top of a laptop keyboard. Sunlight is shining on them.

Are you interested in flexible and comprehensive avenues for professional development?

Check out the variety of opportunities for professional growth from edX!  

EdX offers a myriad of opportunities to enrich your teaching skills and expand their scientific knowledge. 

As a leading online learning platform, EdX hosts a diverse range of courses and programs that cater to educators’ busy schedules while ensuring high-quality content. 

You can truly customize your learning experience based on what you want to get out of it. 

From specialized biology courses that cover advanced topics to education-focused courses that enhance your pedagogical knowledge, EdX’s offerings are designed to elevate the professional growth of science teachers.

EdX’s intuitive platform empowers educators to explore an array of courses, many of which are developed in collaboration with esteemed universities and institutions. 

These courses are often self-paced, granting you the freedom to learn at your own convenience. 

Take your life-long learning to the next level

A young female teacher sits behind her desk in the classroom and smiles at the camera. Her laptop is open in front of her, and she has a book open that she was writing on.

We’ve explored five options for professional development for science teachers. From virtual events and online courses to hands-on experiences and collaborative networks, you will hopefully find a PD opportunity that supports your goals!

Remember that the pursuit of professional development isn’t just about personal growth. It directly impacts the educational experiences we offer our students.

When we embrace PD, we empower ourselves to inspire curiosity and foster a culture of lifelong learning among our students. 

Now, if you were to do anything today, be sure to sign up for Champions for Science and earn 11.5 hours of professional development!

It is so close and I would hate for you to miss out on this amazing opportunity. 

I hope you have a wonderful day,

Emma The Teachie