Professional Development

Teachers are students too! Great Lakes Aquarium is a classroom, a laboratory, a thinking space, and a portal to the natural world.

Check out the Teacher Resource Center for activities and resources from past workshops and events.

Science Institute for Educators

Great Lakes Aquarium offers workshops and field experiences that can connect directly to your work. From Lake Superior Food Webs 101 to using inquiry in the classroom to taking students into the field, our staff and network of collaborators provide enriching opportunities for both formal and non-formal educators.

Science Institute for Educators workshops share tools and content for engaging students in authentic STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning. In each of these FREE workshops, you can:

  • Participate in an inquiry-based, standards-aligned lesson.
  • Learn from local scientists, researchers and experts about their current work in the Lake Superior region.
  • Access free teaching kits, equipment, and materials that can be checked out from the Aquarium’s Teacher Resource Center.
  • Network with local educators.
  • Earn CEUs in every session (CEU value is equal to the number of hours spent in session).

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Bringing Research to Students

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

4:30 – 7:00 pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium

Cost: Free

CEUs: 2.5 hours

This workshop was originally going to take place at the Duluth EPA lab. Alternative plans have been made to host this workshop at Great Lakes Aquarium. Dr. Jay Austin, professor and department head at University of Minnesota Duluth and climatologist with the Large Lakes Observatory will be presenting his research on lake stratification and ice cover on Lake Superior and discuss methods for bringing local climate change research to your learning space. During this workshop we will also discuss how students form misconceptions and methods to help students overcome the misconceptions they hold.

Light dinner provided at 4:15 pm.

Register for Bringing Research to Students

Registration closes March 20, 2019.

Questions? Contact Larissa Giebner at 218-740-2025 or lgiebner@glaquarium.org.

Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA

This workshop has been made possible with funding from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium

Cost: Free

CEUs: 7 hours

Learn about the importance of ocean exploration and the current technologies used to explore the deep ocean. Engage with standards-based, hands-on activities and online resources to guide classroom learning around ocean science literacy. Focus on ocean health, underwater mapping, remotely operated vehicles and unique underwater habitats. Participants will receive an Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA binder of lessons and background material, A NOAA Ocean Exploration Certificate of Participation and additional resources (Lessons are designed for grades 6-12, but many activities can be scaled to suit educator needs).

Continental breakfast, lunch and a $75 stipend provided.

Register for Why Do We Explore? / How Do We Explore?

Registration closes March 25, 2019.

Questions? Contact Larissa Giebner at 218-740-2025 or lgiebner@glaquarium.org.

Past Workshops

Supporting Students with Autism

In partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

4:30 – 7:00 pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium

Cost: Free

CEUs: 2.5 hours

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest-growing disability in Minnesota. Classroom and non-formal educators encounter individuals with autism every day. Take proactive steps towards support, acceptance and inclusion by learning about the neurodiversity of individuals with autism. During this workshop, learn from the Autism Society of Minnesota with a presentation of Autism 101 and Best Practices. Then, join Aquarium educators on the exhibit floor to practice applying positive behavior support in a field trip setting.

Light dinner provided at 4:15 pm.

Questions? Contact Larissa Giebner at 218-740-2025 or lgiebner@glaquarium.org.

Making Way for Mental Health

In partnership with Life House, Northwood Children’s Services and The Hills Youth and Family Services.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Great Lakes Aquarium

Cost: Free

CEUs: 7 hours

Learn how our community empowers youth in this discussion and practice-based workshop. Local experts and students will share their stories along with practical advice on creating a trauma-informed classroom. Learn the latest research on how to tap into your own resilience to foster healthy learning spaces where all students can thrive.

Light snacks provided; please plan to bring your own lunch.