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Science Teaching Network


Teachers looking at insect specimens during professional development workshop

Partner with Nature Museum educators and scientists to incorporate real world science, authentic learning opportunities and unique resources into your classroom instruction.

Teachers in grades 1-4 are invited to join the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s 2018 Science Teaching Network, a grant-funded teacher professional development program focused on best practices in science instruction, the Next Generation Science Standards, and local nature and science topics.

Jump To: Program Highlights | Curricula | Teacher Feedback | Application

“Before STN, I was unsure how to teach science. Now, I feel more comfortable and know what to do and how to start. Before I was lost.” -STN participant

Professional Development Program Highlights:

  • Attend the Summer Institute (3 ½ days) at the Nature Museum to explore an NGSS-aligned curriculum and make connections to local ecosystems
  • Receive a NGSS aligned nine lesson unit with all curriculum and implementation materials
  • Take a free field trip to the Nature Museum and receive a full bus reimbursement
  • Observe one Nature Museum educator-taught lesson in your classroom
  • Participate in 3 Saturday PD workshops to support curriculum implementation, reflection on science teaching practices, and teacher collaboration (September 29, November 10, January 26)
  • Earn a stipend of up to $200 and 36 professional development clock hours

“The workshops allowed me to hear what works and does not in other classrooms. Sharing ideas amongst peers is the best resource.” -STN participant

  • Habitat Seekers (Grades 1-2)

     NGSS: 1-LS1-2, 2-LS4-1

    Explore the biodiversity of Midwestern native habitats! Discover the different animals that live here and how they help their young survive in wetlands, prairies, and woodlands.

    Summer Institute Dates:
    July 24-27 OR July 31-August 3

    Please note: We are no longer accepting applications for July 24-27, but are still accepting for July 31-August 3.

  • Insect Investigators (Grades 3-4)

     NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1

    Did you know that insects represent over 80% of the species alive on Earth? Explore the structure and function, behavior, and life cycles of Chicago’s fascinating local insects.

    Summer Institute Dates:
    August 14-17

    Please note: We are no longer accepting applications for Insect Investigators.

“All the [STN lessons] were hands-on, engaging, and interactive. My kids have loved them all!” -STN participant

Teacher Feedback

“I love the expert lectures by the Museum scientists. They give the teachers the background information in order to better teach the units that we will be presenting to our students. Very, very knowledgeable staff.” -STN participant

“Now, my students are excited for science and it’s like the gem for them. When I’m excited about something, they get amped up about it.” -STN participant

How to Apply

To participate, teachers must apply and be selected to enroll. Priority is given to teams of 2 or more teachers in high-needs schools. Each teacher must submit a separate application. 

Although applications are closed for the first cohort of Habitat Seekers (July 24-27 and closed for Insect Investigators (August 14-17), we are still accepting applications from 1st and 2nd grade teachers to join us for our second cohort of Habitat Seekers (July 31-August 3).

Science Teaching Network 2018 Application     Downloadable Flyer

Looking for Nature Museum offerings during the school year or outside of this grade band? Check out our Science on the Go program for grades K-8 to bring new curriculum units and materials, hands-on science teaching, and museum educators to your classroom by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please e-mail

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