Science Institute for Educators

2015-2016 Science Institute for Educators Workshops and Field Days

Register online here or contact Samantha Smingler: or (218) 740-2027.

 Project WET Facilitator Training – December 4 & 5, 2015 

 Great Lakes Aquarium will host Janine Khon, the Minnesota Project WET Coordinator for two full days of Project WET!  Learn valuable information and hands-on applications for teaching youth and communities about water resources using the Project WET curriculum. All educators are welcome to attend Friday’s workshop to earn certification in Project WET curriculum. Day two will certify you to lead Project WET workshops and will also feature an opportunity to learn, see, and play the new Watershed Game: Classroom Version (WSGCV).

The WSGCV is a hands-on, highly interactive simulation that helps students understand the relationship between land uses within a watershed, water quality, and their community. Working in teams, students apply tools (practices, plans, and policies) to decrease water pollution while balancing financial resources. The goal of the activity is to reduce pollution from various land uses to the stream without going broke.  WSGCV includes a two part lesson.  Part one is an introduction to watershed and water pollution core concepts prior to game play using activities, demonstrations, and presentations.  In part two, teams of students play using both self-guided and teacher led instructions.  The WSGCV is just now being released and is modeled after the very effective Stream, Lake, and River Versions that have been used for years with community leaders. Participants will receive a Watershed Game: Classroom Version kit as part of this training.

*One graduate credit available through Hamline University.

Friday: 9:30 – 5:30, Saturday: 9am- 3:30pm

Pricing: $55 for both days ($45 for Friday only).  Cost covers updated Project WET curriculum and resources, lunch, and morning snacks.

Please mail payment to Samantha Smingler; 353 Harbor Drive; Duluth, MN 55802.  For registration assistance, contact

Winter Field Day – Winter in the North Woods – January 23, 2016

Winter is a great time to get students outside—join us for a day of inquiry that you can replicate in your school yard to connect learners with the abundance of life in winter.   Presenters will share the science of snow, how Lake Superior affects our local winter weather, how  plants and animals adapt in the coldest months, and take a look at the carbon cycle to see how forest play a key role in carbon sequestration.  6 CEUs available! Please bring your own lunch.

Time: 10am -4pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium, 353 Harbor Drive; Duluth MN 55802

Teaching with Lake Superior Workshop- February 6, 2016

Join Great Lakes Aquarium Education Staff and other local environmental agencies to connect with resources for field trips and facilitating place-based learning opportunities with a Lake Superior focus.  This half-day conference will allow participants to choose the sessions that best meet their professional development and planning goals.  5 CEUs available to prek-12 formal and non-formal educators who attend five sessions.  Please plan to bring your own bag lunch.

Session Topics will Include:

  • Field trip opportunities at Great Lakes Aquarium and additional field trip locations in downtown Duluth – make the most of your day away from school
  • Behind the Scenes Tour – see the science behind running an aquarium
  • Outdoor Education – tools and tips for planning field experiences and taking your classroom outdoors with Boulder Lake’s John Geissler (6-12 audience)
  • Winter Explorers –  channel young children’s curiosity to explore the North-land in any weather!  (pre-k audience)
  • Snow Study – there is much activity under the winter snow, dig into snow study. (k-5 audience)
  • Teacher Resource Center Kit Demonstration – explore the free teaching kits, equipment, and curriculum while participating in a hands-on lesson
  • Lake Superior under the scope – join Sea Grant research biologist to explore macro-invertebrates, plankton, and more!
  • Western Lake Superior Sanitation District – where does our solid waste go…
  • Duluth Children’s Museum – Books Alive! A focus on literacy and Great Lakes

Time: 9am – 2pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium, 353 Harbor Drive; Duluth MN 55802

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Now 2 workshops in 1:  Why Do We Explore?  AND How Do We Explore? 

March 12, 2016 

Great Lakes Aquarium will host NOAA Professional Development team to share their curriculum collection developed to have students engaged in the voyages and discoveries of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.  Intended for educators of grades 5-12, participants will learn how to use their standards-based lessons and online resources that guide classroom inquiry into important reasons for ocean exploration including Climate Change, Energy, Ocean Health and Human Health.  The second curriculum will dive under water with technology and includes lessons on selecting sites for exploration in a largely unknown ocean, underwater mapping, and exploring the water column. Deep ocean exploration with remotely operated vehicles and telepresence technology that enables participation during ocean exploration missions from shore in real time is also addressed.

The workshop will conclude with demonstrations of equipment and current research projects from the EPA and Large Lakes Observatory  while ON-BOARD a research vessel – see how the same equipment and questions asked of the oceans are being studied in the Great Lakes.  Breakfast and lunch is provided and 7 CEUs are available!  Registration is required.  Space is limited. 

Time: 8am – 4pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium, 353 Harbor Drive; Duluth MN 55802


Register online here or contact Samantha Smingler: or (218) 740-2027.

Summer 2016 Workshops

 Renewable Energy Teacher Workshop

Great Lakes Aquarium is partnering with Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center to host two day workshops on renewable energy.  This free workshop  is generously supported by Minnesota Power Foundation.  Plan to build content knowledge of the science of energy and electric connections,  spend time with hands-on energy related activities, and go on many behind the scenes tours, including: Taconite Ridge Wind Energy, Hibbard Biomass Facility, Thomson Hydroelectric, and local solar installations!   Lunch is provided, along with 15 CEUs. Space is limited to 20 participants per workshop – register today to hold your spot!

Offering #1: June 20-21, 2016

Offering #2: June 23-24, 2016

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium (transportation will be provided for field trips)

Questions: Contact or 218.721.3731

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Science Institute Teacher Resources (presentations, lesson plans, kits):

2014-2015 Awakening the Next Generation of Scientist and Engineers

All materials available in the Teacher Resource Center. View a list here. 

2013-2014 Real Stories in Research

All materials available in the Teacher Resource Center. View a list here. 

2012-2013 The Story After the Storm!

Presentation VIDEOS

All materials available in the Teacher Resource Center. View a list here. 

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