Free three-day St. Croix River workshop offered for science teachers

Professional development for educators will take place at sites up and down the lower St. Croix this June.




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Via the Hamline University Center for Global Environmental Education:

Participants in the 2016 St. Croix River Institute, at William O’Brien State Park. (Photo courtesy CGEE)

Our natural affinity to water makes rivers and watersheds a useful and familiar context for teaching and learning. Join us this summer, as Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) presents its acclaimed Rivers Institute, a three day field-based professional development opportunity that inspires, educates, and prepares 3rd-8th grade teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through hands-on, inquiry-based investigations at local watersheds.

Full scholarships are provided for teachers admitted to the program, with assistance of Andersen Corporate Foundation, Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, and the Meraux Foundation.

“Becoming a learner as a teacher in the Rivers Institute was immensely important, because I put myself in my students’ shoes. I now understand how active field investigations can scaffold and further deepen knowledge of science and related subjects.” – 5th Grade Teacher, Rivers Institute Participant

St. Croix River Institute
June 26-28, 2017 (Monday-Wednesday)

Mississippi River Institute
July 24-26, 2017 (Monday-Wednesday)

Standards-informed Rivers Institutes are designed to increase teachers’ knowledge in water related content, enhance STEM-focused investigation skills, expand literacy skills, and help area educators translate professional experiences into meaningful, engaging classroom investigations for students.

The focus for the institutes is on elementary and middle school classroom teachers, as well as science specialists and teams of teachers. All educators are welcome to apply.

Through their work in a Rivers Institute, participants will:

  1. Understand the teaching and learning opportunities represented by their watershed;
  2. Learn specific social science and natural science content relevant to the river;
  3. Explore the natural overlap between science processes, literacy skills, inquiry and STEM integration, and engineering design;
  4. Engage in critical thinking and real life application of skills and knowledge that lends itself to interdisciplinary system of thinking;
  5. Investigate existing resources and programs to enrich their teaching.

Activities to Accomplish
During the River Institute experience, participants will:

  • Explore the watershed from the vantage point of the water while in a paddle boat;
  • Articulate field investigations through accurate, richly described scientific observations;
  • Create and utilize science notebooks;
  • Participate in learning activities utilizing Waters to the Sea*, and Project WET materials, as well as several other classroom resources and tools;
  • Participate in inquiry-based investigations of flood plain forests, unique geology features, macro-invertebrates, and engineering with water in mind;
  • Share strategies for helping students ‘think like a scientist,’ ‘design like an engineer,’ and ‘write like an author.’

Learn more and register at this link.


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Free three-day St. Croix River workshop offered for science teachers