Professional Development

Professional Development

Wade Institute for Science Education - 2022 Summer Professional Development Institutes: Southeast Region

Utilizing Your Local Ecosystems as Laboratories for Investigations

Utilizing Your Local Ecosystems as Laboratories for Investigations

A Professional Development Institute for Grades 6-12 Educators

Explore how to integrate field research and data collection into your science curriculum! Experience multiple entry points for hands-on, place-based science and participate in collaborative projects with professional scientists. Investigate wetland, estuary, marine, agricultural and forest habitats and participate in authentic data collection. Consider how this data can tell us stories about the plants and animals that inhabit these living laboratories. Kick off your experience at Round the Bend Farm as you explore sustainable agricultural practices and how to use this ecosystem for scientific investigation. Learn about the process it takes to get food from the farm to your table as you enjoy a meal at the farm. Sample the diverse habitats and creatures of the Lloyd Center for the Environment as you participate in hands-on investigations and data collection in the woods and on the water. Discover data such as changing water temperatures and the impact of the movement of prey on whales. Discuss how this has helped inform climate change as you examine information from whaling ship logs at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Throughout the course, instructors will weave pedagogy through the science content, highlighting ways to shift your lessons towards inquiry, incorporate the Science & Engineering Practices, and implement phenomena-based units. You’ll leave the course with investigations to bring your new science and engineering knowledge into your classroom!


  • Collect and analyze data with professional scientists.
  • Connect science with art and historical perspectives.
  • Participate in content and skill-based development sessions aimed at strengthening your students’ interest in and passion for STEM.
  • Visit partner organization sites and engage in inquiry investigations or field work.
  • Discover resources from museums, science centers, and higher education institutes in your community that you can utilize throughout the year.
  • Enrich your teaching toolbox with science investigations that meet the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework and NGSS Standards.
  • Earn Professional Development Points (PDPs) while you improve your confidence in teaching science, and even take an institute for graduate credit.

Collaborating Partners: Lloyd Center for the Environment, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Round the Bend Farm.



Registration Information

July 18th – 22nd, 2022 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM ET)
Virtual orientation in June (date TBA)

$425/participant if attending as a team with 2 other teachers from your school or district.
$400/participant if attending with as a team with 3 or more other teachers from your school or district.

PDPs and Optional Graduate Credit:
40 PDPs are available without graduate credit.
3 graduate credits and 67.5 PDPs are available from Cambridge College for $225.*
3 graduate credits and 67.5 PDPs are available from Framingham State University for $225.*

Lloyd Center for Environment
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Round the Bend Farm