Professional Development for Teachers

Science Center of Iowa professional development classes and workshops provide educators with the innovative strategies and best practices for quality learning to serve your classroom.

SCI offers two formats for teacher PD:

  • Classes provide teachers with in-depth learning on specific topics. Classes meet at the Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines for 15 hours over multiple days. Hours may be applied toward re-licensure or graduate credit.
  • Workshops provide condensed learning opportunities focused on a specific skill or concept. Workshops meet at the Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines on Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm.

To sign up for classes or workshops, contact our Director of Innovative STEM Teaching at 

2017-18 CLASSES

Equity & Access in STEM Learning - Equity & Access addresses gender, racial, ability and class-based achievement disparities in STEM education. This class will explore best practices in group work, system functions and communication.

  • January 11, 12 and 18

Making in the K-8 Classroom - Making builds upon the natural inclination to tinker and encourages students to use STEM principles and 21st Century Skills as they design, create and make. This class provides teachers with strategies and skills to incorporate a makerspace and the maker movement in their classroom. 

  • October 13, 14 and 26
  • February 23, 25 and March 6
  • June 7-8

Pint Size Science: Developing Young STEM Investigators - Hands-on experiences that engage and inspire young minds to explore scientific phenomena promote intellectual growth. This class builds science understanding as well as strategies and skills to respond to the ever-changing interests and abilities of children through hands-on, authentic experiences.

  • November 9, 10 and 30
  • June 5-6

Using the Project Approach for STEM Integration - The Project Approach is an engaging and powerful way to teach children how to love learning, especially for young investigators. Child-initiated learning engages children, reduces behavior problems and invigorates classrooms. Throughout this experience, instructors will guide you through doing a project in your own classroom from topic selection to closing activities.

  • March 30, 31 and April 7


Thursdays from 6:00-8:00 pm

Making: Circuits 101 - Circuits have application in various STEM topics such as physics, biology and computer science. Participants will learn basic circuity and ways that circuits can support learning and address standards.

  • October 19

Making: Using the Design Cycle - Design thinking is fundamental in fields ranging from engineering to art. Participants will use tools and maker equipment to explore this process.

  • November 16

Making: Coding & Computational Thinking - Computer science and technology are foundational in the 21st Century. Participants will use various robots and coding applications to discover methods of imbedding technology in their classroom.

  • December 7

Pint Size Science: Computational Thinking Beyond Computers - Computational thinking supports computer science and technology application. Participants will use various robots and coding applications appropriate to young learners to support the steps in computational thinking.

  • December 7

Tiny Tinkerers: Using Making with Young Learners - Young learners can use appropriate tools and equipment as they design, create and make. Participants will learn safe and effective ways to support children’s natural inclination to tinker.

  • February 1