Da Vinci Science Center professional development programs for educators are Act 48 approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and guaranteed to be active, engaging, and effective in bringing the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – to life for students. The Science Center works with educators to match their districts’ goals, time frames, and budgets with standards-aligned programs that will increase teachers’ knowledge in both content and pedagogy so they can effectively foster young peoples’ deep understanding of cross-cutting concepts and core ideas through hands-on, inquiry-based exploration.
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Science & Engineering Practices in the Classroom
Help your students think like scientists! In these fun, high-energy, hands-on programs, educators are provided with strategies to implement inquiry into their classroom culture. Participants explore techniques that help students learn standards-based science content as well as science skills like asking questions and designing their own investigations.
Embedding Literacy in STEM
Project-based STEM investigations provide students with excellent opportunities to read, write, and communicate. By integrating literacy with STEM, student competence can be increased in both subjects. In this program, teachers learn to identify opportunities in STEM lessons for students to build language comprehension and communication skills as they also learn to think like scientists through discussion, reflection, and writing about their observations, predictions, and procedures.
Guidance counselors and teachers of grades 4 to 9 meet with panels of STEM professionals who describe their career pathways and advise teachers on the skills students need to succeed in high-paying STEM fields. Teachers gain valuable, real-world examples to take back to the classroom and try practical, hands-on activities that build students’ transferrable STEM skills and fulfill Career Education and Work standards. These seminars are excellent extensions of Teacher in the Workplace programs. Themes include Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Women in Science & Engineering.
STEAM and Making: Integrating the Arts with STEM
Arts integration increases student motivation and engagement and includes everything from low-tech engineering design challenges to making with more specialized technologies (like MakeyMakey, robotics, electronics, wearable technology, coding, game design, or 3D digital design and printing). Through hands-on experience, teachers discover how arts content standards and STEM standards can mutually reinforce each other in open-ended, curiosity-driven activities.
Design thinking is a fast-paced, structured approach to problem solving that begins by developing empathy, and proceeds through phases of brainstorming, rapid prototyping, and testing. Teachers complete a design challenge and learn how to apply this versatile strategy in authentic project-based learning tasks that promote a growth mindset and increase students’ creative confidence.
Programs for up to 30 teachers
Programs can be delivered at schools or at the Da Vinci Science Center (depending on room availability)
To provide teachers the support they need to implement new practices, a Da Vinci Science Center educator will preview the teacher’s curriculum in advance, meet with the teacher to discuss it, then observe and/or co-teach the lesson(s), and provide immediate feedback.
See Outreach Classroom Programs for options. By observing Science Center educators work with students in their own classrooms, teachers are provided with practical examples of implementation techniques in Inquiry, Design Thinking, Arts Integration, and Literacy.
Assistance from the Linny Fowler Science Inquiry Fund is available for low-income schools.
D: 3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown, PA 18103
H: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 12-5 p.m.