Professional Development Options for STEM Educators

Professional Development for STEM and STEAM Teachers 

There are increasingly more PD opportunities for STEM and STEAM educators, ranging from online courses and webinars to conferences or hands-on workshops. This is a list to get you started, which I will be updating as more opportunities are added. Please feel free to comment with any of your own recommendations so I can add them to the list as well!

Online PD Opportunities and Webinars

edWeb.net Webinars and PD, such as Developing a Fundable and Sustainable STEM Program

SimpleK12.com
– hosts individual PD, free webinars, or PD for schools and districts. STEM options such as “Spark Imagination and Innovative Thinking with STEAM in your Classroom”

Learner’s Edge:  Choose from online or print. STEM options such as “Consumer to Creator: Coding and Kids”

NICERC: Cyber, STEM, and Computer Science curriculum for K-12. Cyber education certificate available

ITEAA STEM Webinars (STEMinars) – members get access to previous webinars, such as “Top 10 Ways to Incorporate STEM in Your Elementary School” or one about safer Makerspaces

ISTE: Check out ISTE U for topics such as digital citizenship or follow their blog for more ideas.

STEM Conferences and Onsite Training Opportunities

Early Childhood STEM Conference: http://ecstem.org
Hosted by the Children’s Center at Caltech

STEMpostium Ventura County: http://www.vcstemposium.org/
From the website, this is a “FREE week-long (4.5 day) summer institute for K-12 teachers followed by two optional Saturday workshops during the subsequent school year.”

NSTA Conferences: https://www.nsta.org/conferences/
From their site, “Each year, NSTA hosts a national conference on science education (in the spring), three area conferences (in the fall), and a STEM Forum & Expo.”

NASA Space Port Conference: https://nasa.epscorspo.nevada.edu/space-space-port-area-conference-for-educators/
Presentations are given by astronauts and NASA science and engineering experts in all fields. Awesome!

STEAM Days of Summer: https://www.scienceworld.ca/steam-days-summer

ASTC https://www.astc.org/conference/

Texas STEM Coalition: txstem.org/

ISTE https://www.iste.org/
Your go-to edtech conference!

CA STEAM symposium: https://www.stemcalifornia.org/

Content Teaching Academy @ James Madison University: http://cta.jmu.edu/

American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE conferences: https://www.asee.org/conferences-and-events/conferences

Arts Integration and STEAM Summit

Other Ideas

Shadow a professional! Find an experienced STEM teacher and shadow them for a day. Can’t find one, or don’t have the ability to take a day to do this? Join the STEM Teacher support group on Facebook:

STEM Teacher Group on Facebook

Ask burning questions, find photos of STEM labs and makerspaces, get recommendations for resources on different STEM topics. Another way to connect with other educators is through Twitter chats.

Twitter Chats: ISTE list of twitter chats or visit this awesome list!

Resource-Specific Training for Robotics and STEM Tools

If you have or are trying to acquire specific tools, robots, etc. for your classroom, visit the websites of the manufacturers of these devices. Many of them have extensive training opportunities and learning resources. Here are some of my favorites:

MakeyMakey training
MakeWonder professional development (makes of Dash, Dot, and Cue)
littleBits webinars
Sphero professional learning
Let’s Start Coding online training

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