Science Teaching Network

Teens 6

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

Time of Year
At The Museum
K-1, 3-4, 6-8

Teachers in Grades K-1, Grades 3-4, and Grades 6-8 are invited to join the Nature Museum’s 2024 Science Teaching Network, a grant-funded teacher professional development program focused on best practices in science instruction, the Next Generation Science Standards, and locally-relevant nature and science topics.

"The program breaks the NGSS down in an easy to understand way and shows teachers how to apply them in lessons that are hands on and engaging."

Science Teaching Network Program Highlights

With Science Teaching Network, you’ll invest in:

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

"I love how we were able to connect everything we learned to real life by bringing kids here on a field trip!"

Summer Institute Choices

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August 5-9

Explore how milkweed and all the things that live on and around it get what they need in the city. Study the ways these organisms use their structures to survive, and use them as inspiration to design solutions to our everyday problems.

NGSS: K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1

Untitled design 35 min

July 22-25

Investigate how populations of common (and uncommon) birds vary across the city of Chicago. Gather evidence about the ways species respond to changes in local habitats.

NGSS: 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 4-ESS2-1

*Updated for 2024!

Untitled design 4

July 15-18

How are local species affected by climate change? Students will construct an explanation about the cause of a changing climate and its effect on biodiversity in the Chicagoland area

NGSS: MS-LS2-2, MS-ESS3-4, MS-ESS3-5

*Updated for 2024!

How to Apply

To participate, teachers must apply and be selected to enroll. Priority is given to teams of two or more teachers in historically under-resourced schools. Each teacher must submit a separate application. Application deadline is June 14, 2024. Click the button below to get started.

Questions? Email us at

"I loved that by the end of the unit, students WERE scientists. They were using scientific words they were exposed to and speaking the scientific language in discussions. It really gave them independence and sparked their creativity."

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