The Science Center of Iowa is a partner of formal education in the Des Moines metro and across the state.

With STEM-focused professional development opportunities, Scale-Up programming, lesson prompts and more, we want to be a resource for you and your students.

Professional Development Programs:

Pint Size Science

Introduce children ages 3 to 8 to STEM topics through inquiry learning. Learn more

Making STEM Connections

Bring the Maker Movement into the classroom. Learn more


Examine implicit bias in your classroom, and learn best practices to foster inclusion. Learn more

Classes and Workshops:

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

2020 summer classes and workshops to be announced.

To sign up for classes or workshops, click here and find the date of your class.


Classes meet at the Science Center of Iowa for 15 hours over multiple days to provide teachers with in-depth learning on specific topics. Hours may be applied toward re-licensure or graduate credit. Current classes are:

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.

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.

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.

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.


Workshops meet at SCI on Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm to provide condensed learning opportunities focused on a specific skill or concept. Current workshops are:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Contact our Science Learning team at educators@sciowa.org.

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