Teaching Science Outdoors for Elementary Teachers

Date: July 31, 2017 - August 3, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Kellogg Biological Station,3700 East Gull Lake Dr. Hickory Corners, MI 49060
Contact: Kara Haas, karahaas@msu.edu, 269-671-2360.

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) has a commitment to working with K-12 science teachers.  Learn more about teacher professional development at KBS. The Teaching Science Outdoors program started in 2014 to provide a more in depth science experience for K-5 teachers.  More details about Teaching Science Outdoors

Teaching Science Outdoors (TSO) brings elementary teachers to an outdoor environment, such as KBS or Tollgate Farm and Education Center, and allows them to practice science in a variety of outdoor habitats, with a focus on aquatic and terrestrial. Next Generation Science Standards and technology (iPads, website and google docs) are incorporated throughout the experience. Teachers develop skills to adapt existing science curriculum for the outdoor classroom, plan and carry out an investigation, analyze and interpret data and engage in argument from evidence and build a network of resources to refer back to once they return to the classroom.

After the workshop participants will be invited to participate in webinars and other professional development opportunities at the Kellogg Biological Station.  Districts are also able to apply for ‘schoolyard improvement mini-grants’ to support purchases of materials to utilize the schoolyard as an outdoor classroom.  

What to expect: Lunch and snacks are included each day. Dress to be outside for 4-6 hours each day. Teachers must bring an existing lesson plan or curriculum to adapt to using outdoors or an outdoor lesson they would like to expand or improve (ex. life science units of the Cereal City kits all have an outdoor activity).  Please also plan to bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop (school or personal). 

Cost: Free, there is no charge for this program as it is generously funded by and EPA Environmental Education grant and generous private donors

Access to web-based resources, continued support during the school year via webinars and professional development opportunities at KBS, opportunity to apply for schoolyard improvement grant.

Who should apply?  Elementary Teachers (K-5), teams of 2-3 educators per school/district are encouraged but not required.  Please note your team member’s names in the application.

In the application, you will be asked,  ‘Tell us why you would like to participate and how you hope to use what you learn in your classroom?’  300 word max.  It is helpful to draft this before starting your application and then cut and paste.

The application closes on Monday, May 29, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by the Leadership Team (Kara Haas, Renee Bayer, Tali Tal).  You will be notified via email by June 2, 2017. A waiting list will be maintained.

We anticipate most applicants will be able to commute to KBS and/or Tollgate Farm and Education Center.  There is lodging available at KBS in the Orchard Dorms at a very reasonable rate ($35/night/person).  More information about lodging at KBS Please wait to make a reservation until after you have been chosen for the program. Dorms are available during Session 1 and Session 3 of TSO, please note they are not air conditioned.  The closest local hotel is the Gull Lake Inn.


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