Teacher Professional Development
CPES leads Geoscience Teaching Outdoors in NC (GET Outdoors in NC), an informal geoscience education partnership, working with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Greenville, NC State Parks, and Martin County Schools to increase exposure to and interest in geoscience research, education and career pathways among diverse youth in northeastern North Carolina through cultivation of a geoscience learning ecosystem.
High school STEM teachers will develop and implement standards-aligned curricula to engage diverse learners in a locally relevant issue, the contamination of drinking water with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). By increasing teacher and student awareness of the cutting-edge research taking place to study the impact of PFAS exposure on health, this program will showcase current biomedical research career opportunities in the environmental health sciences.
This year-long professional development program showcases current energy science, technologies and careers to enhance Energy Literacy Fellows’ ability to deliver energy-related content, conduct STEM-based activities and promote STEM career opportunities to students. Fellows interact with scientists and industry representatives to receive up-to-date, curriculum-relevant content and engage in hands-on activities designed to support learning about energy.
The Northside OWL Initiative engages elementary teachers from Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools in year-long professional development to develop and improve their skills in teaching science outdoors using interdisciplinary, inquiry based instructional approaches. Tailored curriculum materials aligned with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade science curriculum provide opportunities to integrate content areas while learning in the schoolyard and nearby natural areas.
In partnership with North Carolina State Parks, we lead the Schools in Parks Teacher Collaborative, a year-long professional development program designed to enrich 4th and 5th grade teachers’ knowledge of North Carolina’s ecosystems and geography while enhancing skills in using outdoor science learning approaches on school grounds and during field experiences in state parks to support their curriculum objectives.
During this four-day teacher institute, 8th -12th grade science teachers explore and compare several unique coastal ecosystems through inquiry-based, hands-on activities, evaluating human impacts on these systems alongside scientists and expert environmental educators. Teachers gain updated content knowledge and instructional resources designed to foster student learning of watershed science and stimulate awareness of watershed stewardship.