Teacher Professional Development

As a national award-winning science center and a champion of STEM education, we strive to educate young minds and create partnerships with teachers. Our goal is to help educators and students increase their understanding of the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as it is integrated into all our programming and professional development curriculum. Impacting the lives of students, teachers, and families across Southern California, our commitment begins with educational goals that focus on important scientific principles that are a part of our everyday lives. We are the third largest science center delivering outreach programs in the nation seeing over 350,000 students in 2016 alone, and we continue to grow as we expand our professional development program throughout schools and districts.

Discovery Science Academy

Discovery Science Academy integrates NGSS into a professional development curriculum. This program was evaluated by a third-party evaluator, Notre Dame University, and was found to be highly impactful to both students and teachers. On standardized tests, students in fourth and fifth grades improved the mean and finished 20%-50% higher than the national sample. Of the teachers who participated in the program, 90% indicated that the lessons effectively engaged students in scientific practices and made connections to real-life applications.

The Academy is a grade-specific, multilayered, NGSS-aligned program that will bring excellence in STEM education to the teachers and students. Let us partner with your school or district to help your teachers not only know and understand NGSS, but be confident in delivering engaging STEM lessons and hands-on activities to all their students.  The Academy includes the following components:

  • Professional Development – Teachers will receive 24 hours of professional development curriculum and training over the course of two years. This includes creation, updating, and use of curriculum as well as program evaluation by a third party evaluator.
  • Field Trips – Teachers will receive a field trip to Discovery Cube OC or LA for each of the two years they are receiving professional development.
  • Supply Kits – For every three hours of professional development, teachers will receive a kit of materials for a class of 30 students.

Maker Workshops

Are you thinking of creating a Maker Space at your school, but don’t know where to start? Join Discovery Cube for professional development workshops designed to foster a culture of “making” at your school or institution.

Teachers and staff participate in lessons and activities to bring out their inner tinkerer and maker. Participants will then learn strategies and techniques to implement these concepts successfully and meaningfully with their students.

Intro to NGSS Workshops

With NGSS implementation just around the corner, the need for teachers to understand these standards and feel confident with applying them is at an all-time high. Discovery Cube offers multi-session workshops that prepares teachers for success.

Participants will be introduced to NGSS, be guided in how to read the standards, and understand what the standards mean for them and their students. Working in small groups, teachers will also participate in grade specific lessons that model what NGSS looks like in the classroom. Finally, participants will explore the standards and spend time planning curriculum for their own lessons.

For more information about Professional Development programs, or to discuss a special request, please contact Georgette Frierson at gfrierson@discoverycube.org or 714-913-5012