Teacher Courses

Applications are now available. Apply today!

Gain science content and teaching strategies directly relevant to your classroom curriculum through the Museum’s free science teacher education courses.

Updates for 2021-22 academic year

We're returning to in-person teacher professional development at MSI! We will offer Understanding Energy Through Engineering as an in-person experience starting in October 2021. See the course page for more details. Questions? Please email us.

Course Offerings (Grades 3 through 8)

Engage with engineering practices and real-world, energy-related problems to gain a deeper understanding of energy flow in systems. AY 2021-22, Summer 2022, AY 2022-23.

anatomy and life science

All About You

Master unifying themes in life science and relate them to the human body through activities on cells, genetics, organ systems, health and wellness, and evolution. Next session TBA.

Explore and study global and regional ecology and ecosystems concepts, and increase your knowledge of resource management and sustainability issues. Next Session TBA.

Explore how a deeper understanding of energy transfer and transformation allows us to effectively explain phenomena, predict change, and identify solutions in natural and designed systems. Next Session TBA.

Teachers enhance their capacity to integrate Next Generation Science Standards-aligned instruction across grade levels. Next Session TBA.

earth systems science

Great Lakes Rocks

Explore how the Earth is a system of systems interconnected through energy and matter cycling, and learn about our constantly changing world through our Great Lakes perspective. Next session TBA.

space science and engineering

Our Place in Space

Investigate universal laws of force and motion, engage in the engineering design and science inquiry cycles and more. Next session TBA.

Engage with engineering practices and real-world, energy-related problems to gain a deeper understanding of energy flow in systems. AY 2020-21 (Dates TBD).

Our FREE teacher courses help reduce barriers to quality science teaching for all students. Teachers experience phenomenon-based, three-dimensional instruction while engaging in professional reflections and collaboration – all with the support of MSI's dedicated professional educators.

Through active participation in our courses, you will:

  • Build upon your current understanding of scientific knowledge, processes and applications.
  • Refine your current strategies for teaching science based on best practices in science pedagogy.
  • Amplify your attention to teaching behaviors and attitudes that promote equity in learning science.
  • Increase your focus on planning for instruction that engages students in science and engineering practices and the application of crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of disciplinary core ideas.
  • Normalize your engagement in continuous self-reflection about your practice to strengthen your science teaching capacity.

Courses target 3rd- through 8th-grade educators with limited experience teaching science in high-needs schools and are offered at no cost to teachers selected to participate.

During the course, you’ll experience:

  • Continuous support from MSI’s professional educators and fellow participants to enhance professional growth.
  • Phenomenon-based, 3D lessons that can be implemented in your classroom.
  • Professional reflection and collaboration with the intent of increasing your self of self-efficacy in teaching science.

During the course, you’ll receive:

  • Lesson plans, editable print materials, and all of the equipment needed to implement the lessons you experience.
  • Reimbursement for a substitute teacher on session days.
  • ISBE clock hours in Illinois or CEUs in Indiana.
  • Field trip buses for your students to visit MSI.

Applications open in mid-July for academic year courses and early May for summer courses.