Education

Professional Development & Science Courses

SERC offers a wide variety of professional development training for teachers, educators, and those interested in continued learning. These courses are based on SERC research, hands-on learning, and timely issue driven content. Due to COVID-19 all onsite programs are canceled; but don't worry, you can still get high-quality teacher professional development and continuing education right in your home, classroom, or school.  Check out our virtual options below!

NEW: SCIENCE TO GO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EVENTS
Free science kits included!

Want to bring hands-on science to your classroom, with free activity kits? Join us for two training events just for teachers, inspired by our Science To Go family events. Each virtual training will cover two different science activities, with two types of kits. During the virtual events, we'll teach you how to use the kits in your classroom. (Recordings will be available too, if you can't make the live events.) To join, email SERCOutreach@si.edu. Teachers in the Maryland and D.C. areas who register can receive 32 kits for each activity or 64 for each virtual event (must be able to pick up kits). Don't live nearby? You can also build your own kits using common household materials. 

Saturday, Nov. 20, 10am-3pm - Exploring Plant Defenses and Build A Marsh
Registration closes Nov. 12
Create your own Plant Defenses kit

Saturday, Feb. 5, 10am-3pm - Fun with Fungus and DNA Extraction
Registration closes Jan. 28
Create your own Fun with Fungus kit
Create your own DNA Extraction kit
 

FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS & CONTINUING LEARNERS

Are you interested in improving your environmental education skills? Would you like to visit SERC research sites and learn about what our scientists are doing here? SERC offers science courses just for you. We offer open enrollment courses for the public, and customizable group programs (contact us for more informaton on these McDonaldK@si.edu)

VIRTUAL SUMMER SERIES AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

 

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Virtual Training: River Otters of the Chesapeake Bay (Two Day Workshop)

  • Ages 12 to Adult
  • Minimum cost: $375 or flat rate of $37/person after 10 people
  • This workshop can be shortened into a one day workshop for $250 (4 hours long)
  • To register e-mail: McDonaldK@si.edu

Most people don’t realize that there are river otters in the Chesapeake Bay, because they are secretive and nocturnal. In this two part series we’ll start with an introduction to river otters and our game camera work at SERC, then on the second day we’ll explore how to use river otter scat as a metric for the health of the Bay. On the second day we’ll also learn about how we can use fish scales to figure out what a fish has been eating (we’ll do some basic drawing along at home too).

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Virtual Training & Certificate Program: Wildlife and Fish of the Chesapeake Bay (One or Two Day Workshop)

  • Adults 16 and older
  • Minimum cost: $375 or flat rate of $37/person after 10 people
  • This workshop can be shortened into a one day workshop for $250 (4 hours long)
  • To register e-mail: McDonaldK@si.edu

Even though we can’t be in person, SERC staff can still bring you the world of nature right to your home. In this course we will focus on the wildlife of the Chesapeake Bay, their identification, and key features. Participants will interact with the online lessons and then complete a quiz. Successful completion of the quiz will earn a course completion certificate.

1 Day Fish and Wildlife Course Schedule:

  • 9-10:15 am Welcome, Common Reptiles and Amphibians of Delmarva
  • 10:30-11:30 am- Estuarine Fish Identification
  • 11:30-1 pm Lunch
  • 1:00 pm-2 pm North American River Otters
  • 2:15-3:00 pm Birds of Prey of Delmarva
  • Self-paced quiz and certificate of completion

We need at least 10 people to hold an open registration course. Group programs can be booked and worked out to your specifications, contact us for more information about group size, minimum cost, and format: McDonaldK@si.edu

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION: We offer an electronic certificate of completion for those attending any three day course and that successfully pass a short written quiz

REGISTER: To sign up your group for a program or to sign up for one of our public programs, please contact Karen McDonald (McDonaldK@si.edu)  

 

FOR TEACHERS

Virtual Science Practices and Techniques (SPAT) Academy for teachers 2nd-12th grade.

NOTE: ALL PROGRAMS CAN BE ADAPTED FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING, PRICES VARY, BUT WE CAN CUSTOMIZE A COURSE TO MEET YOUR NEEDS AND TIME FRAME. 

Each academy is modular and can be from one to three days in length, ranging from a full day to three half days. All academies focus on authentic practices and techniques used by SERC scientists, so that you can take those techniques back into your classroom.

During the training you will meet with your instructors virtually, and then do a hands-on activity at home that you can take back with you to your school to teach in person or virtually as well. 

Each academy comes with background material,  lesson plans, and hands-on learning inside and outside. These academies can be adapted for different grades, but suggested for upper elementary to high school. Talk with us about how we can support your MWEE. Here are the SPAT Academies we offer:

  • Teaching and Understanding Climate Change: Teaching Climate Change Using the Trees Around Your School & Data Sets
  • Biodiversity--Brining Bioblitzes and Real Data to Students Right in Their Own Community: Using Game Cameras to Track Biodiversity Around Your School

Prices for teacher PD vary based on the length of time and the number of participants. 

The cost for up to 4 hours of virtual programming (one day) is $250 minimum, but for a two day workshop there's a price break. It's $375 minimum or $37/person flate rate after 10. 

Contact Karen McDonald (McDonaldK@si.edu) for more information about how to customize a course that fits your needs.