Connecticut Science Teachers Association

" inspire, promote and support the learners of science in the state of Connecticut."

The professional development opportunities listed below are only a few of the opportunities that we receive.   Opportunities can also be found in our CSTA newsletter and the monthly Science Matters

Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP)

The Vermont Energy Education Program is offering two five-day Summer Institutes for K-12 science teachers at Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT. Deepen your skills and understanding around Next Generation Science Standards, energy, and climate through hands-on exploration, discussions with experts, field trips, and collaboration time for unit creation. 

Institute #1, June 25-29, 2018, focuses on energy and climate as core disciplinary ideas and is for teachers of any experience level.

Institute #2, August 6-10, 2018, is for experienced teachers who want to make their units three-dimensional and personalized. 

Scholarships available. Get more info and register

National Resource Conservation Academy

Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) extends the National Resource Conservation Academy (NRCA) experience to secondary science teachers. This 3-day professional development workshop immerses teachers in relevant regional water resource issues, and provides teachers with online mapping tools to encourage their students to study these issues further. Each teacher leaves with 10-15 lessons for a Water and Sustainability Science Unit aligned with specific Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations.  The workshop is located on the UCONN Storrs campus on August 13 - 15.  Participants receive a stipend. Application is due on May 1, 2018. 

Affordable NGSS Professional Development Workshops

CSTA is proud to partner with Peter McLaren to provide a series of NGSS professional development. 

McLaren was a member of the national writing committee for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  He has also served on a number of committees including the National Academy of Engineering’s Guiding Implementation of K-12 Engineering Education committee, and the National Academy of Science’s Committee for Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards (NRC, 2014) and was a contributor to the NRC publication Seeing Students Learn Science (NRC, 2017) 

Registration is now open! Space is limited to 100 participants. Don’t miss this opportunity to be trained by a writer of NGSS. 

All sessions will be held at the Academy of Science and Innovation, 600 Slater Road, New Britain 


Presenter: Peter McLaren - Next Gen Education, LLC

The purpose of this workshop is to provide educators with meaningful insights into how to use the crosscutting concepts to structure prompts that engage students in reasoning how and why phenomena occur.  The intent is that using consistent and clear prompts structured around crosscutting concepts will structure the ways students and teachers interact within classrooms and set the stage for meaningful formative assessment events.  Thursday, December 14 from 4:30PM-6:30PM   Register now!


Presenter: Peter McLaren - Next Gen Education, LLC

This full-day workshop is designed to provide educators with an understanding of formative assessment components and prompts that focus on individual practices, core ideas, or crosscutting concepts.  The goal of this workshop is to help educators understand how, collectively, these components can support educators as they make inferences about students’ three-dimensional science learning. 

Saturday, January 20 from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM  Register now!


Richard Larson - MIT

Peter McLaren - Next Gen Education, LLC

 This half-day workshop will feature the successful MIT BLOSSOMS "Teaching Duet" instructional approach as a model for Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) of the instructional shifts of the NGSS.  TPL is designed to engage educators by immersing them in a phenomenon-driven, three-dimensional lesson to support, prepare, reflect upon, and improve upon their instructional practice. 

Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM    Register now!


Presenter: Peter McLaren - Next Gen Education, LLC

This full-day workshop will bring educators through a process where they will adapt a traditional lesson to support three-dimensional instruction.  Educators will bring along a lesson to which they are familiar and learn how to integrate science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts.  Educators will use tools and templates designed to help facilitate the adaptation process. 

Saturday, May 5 from 9:00AM-3:00PM   Register now!

Connecticut Technology Engineering Education Association (CTEEA)

Annual Conference - Building Bridges within the Connecticut STEM Community and Beyond

November 7, 2017    

Portland Middle School, Portland, CT

If you are willing to share your knowledge and excitement with the rest of the community please click to fill out the form and register your workshop by October 1st!

CSTA members will get a reduced conference fee of $50!  

Check out their webpage for other STEM workshops

FREE NGSS Share Sessions

offered by the Connecticut Science Teachers Association

Modeling in Middle School: More than Just a Fashion Show

Target: Middle Level Teachers

Limit 25 Participants

October 12, 2017, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Smith Middle School, 216 Addison Road,  Glastonbury, CT

Modeling allows students to predict, test, and describe concepts and phenomena.  It allows for the manipulation of variables to show relationships within systems of both observable and unobservable occurrences. Students benefit from collaborative learning and gain a deeper understanding of content.

The workshop will look at modeling as both a science and an engineering practice; and demonstrate ways to incorporate aspects of the other seven practices into the lessons. Participants will engage in activities which provide a look at how modeling can be implemented in the classroom from both the teacher and student perspective. Time will be allotted for sharing and collaboration.

Refreshments will be provided

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Target: Elementary Level Teachers

Limit: 25 Participants

October 18, 2017, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Smith Middle School, 216 Addison Road, Glastonbury, CT

Scientists and engineers investigate the world to describe it and explain how it works. This workshop will help teachers to develop lessons that are rich in investigative practice from both an experimental and engineering design perspective. Asking questions, identifying and controlling variables, collecting data and analyzing the data to construct explanations at an elementary level will be modeled. Participants will engage in activities that will allow them to experience the investigations from both a teacher and learner perspective. In addition, ways to incorporate the other seven science and engineering practices; and the integration of the crosscutting concepts will be discussed. Time will be allotted for sharing and collaboration.

Refreshments will be provided

Sound Resilience: Get on Board
Choose from One of the Following Dates: Thurs., Sept. 21; Sat., Sept. 23; Sun., Oct. 1; Sat., Oct. 14; Sat., Nov. 4; or Tues., Nov. 7

Climate science and how our communities can be better prepared for environmental threats related to a changing climate are the focus of this new collaboration between The Maritime Aquarium and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These are also excellent topics for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards in middle and high school. One-day “Sound Resilience” teacher workshops will introduce many valuable classroom resources and demonstrate how this new program will benefit your students.

Free to all middle- and high-school teachers. Teachers from schools in these communities receive a $50 stipend after attending: Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford. 

How to Use Phenomena to Drive Instruction: An NGSS Transition Workshop 

Oct 19 & 20,  Maritime Center, Norwalk

The NRC Science Framework and NGSS calls for fundamental shifts in the way we teach and engage students from learning about science to figuring out science and sense-making. During our session, we will engage as learner and educators to explore phenomena to figure out science and build sense-making experiences for the students in our classroom. Open to classroom teachers, grades K-12. Participants are encouraged to come with grade-level peers. Registration Deadline: October 5, 2017 Cost: $25.00   

Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory Open House - Free and open to Public 

Enjoy * Explore * Learn

Whether you're an aspiring young scientist or a long-time science enthusiast, you're sure to enjoy Lamont-Doherty's Open House on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Tour a lab, participate in hands-on earth science demonstrations, and learn from world-renown researchers about their latest discoveries.  The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is located at 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY.  Parking is north of LDEO at the HNA Palisades Conference Center at 334 Route 9W.  Shuttle buses are provided all day.   (Suggested $5 donation)  See website for a preview of activities. 

Seine the Sound with Next Generation Science Standards, Tuesday, Sept. 26, Meigs Point, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT

Connect your students, wherever they live, t their coastal environment.  Grades 4-8 teachers & Informal Science Educators.  Fee $10.   Amazing Take-Home Materials include: Seine Net, Geology equipment, $40 LIS Field Guide and more.   Contact to register.   


Elementary and Middle School Extravaganza, Saturday, October 21, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT - sponsored by CSTA

 This showcase of proven content specific science activities and resources that will help elementary and middle school teachers become proficient science educators.   The event is no cost, with free prizes.  

SENEME Annual Conference, September 30, at the Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton, CT.


Join us for our annual conference at this state-of-the-art, NGSS project-based high school in the submarine capital of the world! SENEME is a professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to the cause of marine education in Connecticut and Rhode Island. We are a regional chapter of the international organization, the NMEA, (National Marine Educators Association,) which was instrumental in helping to incorporate ocean literacy into NGSS on Capitol Hill!   

The Next Generation of Marine Science SENEME Conference will offer a variety of presenters to choose from on all things aquatic education-related and many with NGSS-alignment. Our keynote speaker is Marc Zimmer, PhD, a chemistry professor at Connecticut College, and an expert in the fascinating field of glowing fluorescent proteins, GFP's.   You don't want to miss his incredible presentation, "Can Light Save our Oceans?  Jellyfish and Algae Revolutionize Science."

Past Workshops

  • Connecticut Science Safety Network                    Science Lab Safety Workshops

    • Science Lab Safety and Liability Workshop - September 21, 2017

    • Training for Chemical Hygiene Officers Workshop - September 28, 2017

    • Chemical Management Safety Workshop - October 5, 2017

  • Sun, Moon and Earth: A Rare Glimpse of Eclipse Phenomenon!

Middle School Science NGSS Professional Development

Saturday, August 19th, 10:00 – 3:00

Talcott Mountain Science Center, 324 Montevideo Road, Avon, CT

Anchoring NGSS learning to relevant scientific phenomena has been encouraged by national leaders.  On Monday, August 21st, an eclipse of the sun will be observable from coast to coast, providing opportunity for students and teachers alike to directly observe a rare phenomenon.

The spectacular event is opportune as middle school teachers across Connecticut begin to develop and pilot NGSS-congruent classroom tasks.  In this five-hour NESTA-hosted professional development event, middle school teachers will explore and co-develop classroom activities to facilitate students’ ability to demonstrate an NGSS performance expectation (MS-ESS1-1).  Topics include safe observing methods (Engineering Design), classroom modeling of phenomenon, and research-based strategies to support argumentation.

Lunch, door prizes (Galileoscopes, radiometers), and professional development certificates will be provided.


Member of one of the organizations listed below?  Use code “nestact” for the 25% discount off the $20 fee.  

  • ·       American Association of Physics Teachers – New England Section
  • ·       Connecticut Science Teachers Association
  • ·       Connecticut Science Supervisors Association
  • ·       National Earth Science Teachers Association

Register by Friday, August

 Contact Information:

Harvard Forests: Summer Institute for Teachers


Teaching the Genome Generation Workshop

 This workshop will provide middle school science teachers with Jackson Lab's philosophy on teaching genetics and genomics.  Presenters have been trained through Jackson Lab's Teaching the Genome Generation.  It will engage participants in activities that will allow for a deeper understanding of Genomics and how it differentiates from Mendelian Genetics. Participants will explore tools used by scientists in the field and will be provided with teaching resources to implement Genomics study into the curriculum. Please sign up using the following link. Deadline June 20th. The workshop will take place at Farmington High School on June 28th from 8:30 am until 12 pm.  More information

Summer STEAM Workshop at the Wadsworth Atheneum

Gain concrete tools for integrating science, math and the visual arts during this full-day STEAM workshop designed for K-12 teachers and administrators.  Join educators from the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Connecticut Science Center for hands-on sessions and resources that can be directly applied to your class and art room teaching.  The day kicks off with a keynote presentation by Amy McCooe, CEO and Co-Founder of Level Up Village, a social impact company pioneering Global STEAM enrichment courses.   Certificates of Professional Development provided, 5 hours on task. June 26, 9-3:30  $35, $30 for museum and CAEA members. Lunch included. More information and application

How to Use Phenomena to Drive Instruction: An NGSS Transition Workshop at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk 

July 6 & 7, 2017

Application Deadline: June 23

Registration Fee: $50 

Teachers, are you ready for the Next Generation Science Standards? Learn how to structure your current lessons and teaching around anchoring phenomena. This two-day workshop will teach you how to unpack the new standards, discuss how to identify engaging phenomenon and how to structure lessons and units around them. Time to work on transforming current units will be included. 

Open to classroom teachers, grades K-5. Participants are encouraged to apply with grade-level peers. Limited to 20 participants. Lunch and a light breakfast are included. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will receive a stipend of $150.  More information and application

American Museum of Natural History - Summer Institute: Five Tools for NGSS

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) challenge teachers to think deeply about learning and teaching with the goal of developing a clear vision of science education that is coherent, focused, and rigorous. This five day institute will share a set of tools and processes that help deepen teachers’ knowledge and enable them to translate the NGSS into instructional sequences that will engage students in using science and engineering practices and that highlight the crosscutting concepts.  July 10 - July 14, 2017 , 8:30 - 3:30  Cost: $250.00 per person includes breakfast and lunch for the week along with a set of books and other related materials.  More Information and application

oin SENEME and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk for a fun and educational day at the Aquarium on June 3.  Our day will start out with a Marine-Life Cruise aboard the R/V Spirit of the Sound from 10:30-12:30, then network with fellow educators during a delicious lunch.  The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the Aquarium.  

Sign up soon as space is limited!

  • Registration limited to a SENEME member and 1 guest.
  • Passengers must be 42" for cruise.  
  • Parking and lunch is included in the registration fee.
  • Non-member rate ($50) includes SENEME yearly membership, if desired.
More information

    Project Learning Tree Workshop

    May 11, 9-3 pm. Goodwin Conservation Center, Hampton, CT  

    Connect students to nature AND teach the standards!

    *Be engaged in a workshop for formal and non-formal educators

    *Investigate environmental topics with indoor and outdoor activities

    *Receive PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide, correlated to state and national academic standards

    $40   Contact Beth Bernard,     More information

    Climate Science & Education Professional Development Workshop: Resilience: It’s Not Just Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

    University of Connecticut Avery Point Campus, Groton, Connecticut Tuesday, July 11 through Thursday, July 13, 2017.  NOAA's Climate Stewards EducationProgram (CSEP)  and Connecticut Sea Grant are collaborating with Federal, State and NGO partners to convene a climate science and education workshop for formal and informal educators. Participants will learn from and interact with climate science, education and communication experts. The workshop will focus on topics of climate science and resilience strategies for the northeast region of the United States, with a goal of connecting educators and their students and/or audiences to the best available science-based information and pedagogic resources.   Cost $40.  Click here to register for the workshop.

    “Why NGSS?”

    The Connecticut State Department of Education and its Next Generation Science Standards implementation partner, the Connecticut Science Center, invite K-12 educators who are fairly new to the NGSS to join us for a two-day awareness PD that is offered free through June. Breakfast, lunch, and parking are included. This professional development is introductory in nature and not recommended for those who have had multiple days of pedagogy-intensive NGSS PD.

    • New Milford: Sarah Noble Intermediate School – April 25 & 26
    • Litchfield: EdAdvance – May 15 & 16
    • Westport: Staples High School – May 23 & 24
    • Southington: Board of Education – June 7 & 8

     For more available dates and to register for this free opportunity:

    NGSX: Next Gen Science Exemplar System

    For a deeper dive into core Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards, the Next Gen Science Exemplar System (NGSX) offers 36 hours of immersive professional development designed to help K-12 science educators apply pedagogical shifts described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS to their own teaching. NGSX brings the expertise of Framework authors, experts in teacher learning, and specially-trained PD facilitators to science educators across Connecticut. The workshop fee includes breakfast, lunch, and parking (where applicable). Special pricing is available for Alliance Districts through June.

    There are a number of study groups currently open for enrollment:

    • Fairfield: Fairfield Board of Education – June 26 – 30
    • Old Lyme: LEARN Regional Education Service Center – June 26 – 30
    • Litchfield: EdAdvance  - June 26 – 30
    • Hartford: CT Science Center – July 17 – 21
    • Shelton: Shelton Board of Education – July 17 - 21

    For a full list of available dates and to register:   



     Looking for a free resource for NGSS science? Next Generation Science-CT known as the NGSS Short Course is an introduction to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and a broad overview of the changes to science teaching and learning envisioned in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012).  No-cost; web-based; self-paced; this is an excellent opportunities to develop a PLC regarding NGSS. The eleven (11) modules that are complete will provide many hours of instruction.

    The link is as follows: 

    NASA Dream2Explore Educator Professional Development Workshop

     Grade 6-9 educators are encouraged to apply.  The workshop will take place at NASA Goddard from June 26-30, 2017.  Application and information.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis. 


    New England Science and Sailings Teacher Professional Development - Flyer

    Adventure Field Science - May 7 2017 - Barn Island, Stonington, CT  Marsh Exploration and Forest Dynamics  

                                                 June 4, 2017 Boat Day - Sandy Point Bird Population Studies and Snorkeling 

    Break Out of the Classroom - March 20, 2017 Physical Oceanography - Data analysis and graphing

                                                       April 17, 2017 Kayak Adventures - Density Dynamics and Boat Building

    "Connecticut Science Teachers Association" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 5, Middletown, CT 06457 Copyright 2016 

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