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Teacher Workshops

Earn Science Equipment Grant Money for Your School

Take advantage of 20 different workshops designed for elementary, middle and high school teachers. Workshops are designed to help teachers implement fun experiments into their classrooms.

    Saturday & Sunday, October 22 & 23, 2016

    David L. Lawrence Convention Center

By participating in the workshops, teachers are eligible to receive up to $2,000 per school in grant money to purchase science equipment. (More about Teacher Grants)

Teacher Workshops proudly sponsored by Ward’s Natural Science

Act 48 Continuing Education Credit will be issued to each teacher upon the successful completion of each workshop.

Registration is limited for all workshops, and will be filled on a “first come, first served” basis. A confirmation email as to the status of your registration will be sent to your registered email.

Register Now

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Registration is now closed.

Have A Question?
Don Antczak

Marc Hubert

800-825-3221, x208

Prize Raffle
All teachers who attend a Science Week Teacher Workshop will be entered into the teacher prize raffle.

Prizes include:

  • Samsung Tablet
  • Hand-held LCD Microscope from Fisher Scientific
  • $300 Gift Certificate from Wards Science
  • 2 $100 Gift Certificates from Sargent Welch
  • Fuel Cell Car Science Kit from Fisher Scientific
  • 2 Tickets to a Pittsburgh Sporting Event from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Additional Information
Lunch will be provided to teachers who participate in either full day workshops, or morning and afternoon workshops within the same day.

Parking will be provided by Science Week. Parking information will be emailed to you at a later date.

Workshop Details

ES = Elementary School
MS = Middle School
HS = High School
ES-MS = Elem / Middle
MS-HS = Middle / High

Morning Session: 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Afternoon Session: 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
All Day Session: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Saturday Workshops

Workshop Title School Level Session Time
Engaging Students through Modeling! ES Morning
The Next Generation Science Standards call for teachers to do things differently in the classroom, but what does that actually mean in reality? Explore the practice of “developing and using models” in a way that engages students and constructs knowledge over time rather than using models as a one hit wonder. We will walk you through a two-week unit that utilized this practice, show you evidence of the success modeling the NGSS way through a snapshot of a 6th grade classroom and allow you a chance to participate in a mini-modeling activity that you can take back to the classroom.
STEM Design Challenge for the Classroom ES-MS Morning
You’re maybe familiar with Pennsylvania’s STEM Design Challenge and the use of K’Nex kits for this elementary & middle school project based learning program. But what are other ways teachers can use these kits and get more students involved? Learn how to create and develop questions about force, energy, and motion for an interactive lab. Then, solve engineering problems using creative and realistic world processes. Finally, support your understanding with fun and exciting team competition.
Fuel for the Next Generation? HS Morning
How do you teach core chemistry topics while using a timely and relevant context for learning them? Come and experience the newest module on hydrogen fuel cells while applying chemistry topics such as chemical reactions, conservation of matter, stoichiometry, and rates of reaction. This module stresses the relationship of essential science and engineering practices as participants investigate the fuel cell redox reaction and use a computer simulation to understand applications of this alternative energy source. Grade Level: 9-12
Leveraging the Education Ecosystem to Find Funding and Get Grants K-12 Morning
This half-day, hands-on workshop offers more than a traditional grant-writing session. Through this professional development opportunity teachers will (1) explore the educational ecosystem and identify strategies to uncover, build, and leverage partnerships, (2) collaborate with colleagues to identify funding sources and resources, (3) gain skills in responding to requests for proposals, and (4) begin designing a fundable project for a grant proposal. In today’s funding environment, it is not enough for teachers to simply articulate their need for equipment, materials and supplies for science education and hope that with a little luck, resources will come their way. Most schools and classrooms rarely have enough budget allocated to science education so when teachers want to bring the best to their students, they must be willing to go beyond their content areas and comfort zones and actively identify and tap the universe of possibilities that exists around them. To that end, the workshop begins with a focus on the importance of placing tangible and intangible science essentials in the larger context of an education ecosystem that stresses the interdependence of people and the school and curriculum with business and industry, technology, and the physical environment. We will explore how that ecological interdependence can provide resources and support sustainability. The next part of the workshop builds on the concept of partnerships. Participants will share their experiences finding funding and resources and will have the opportunity to collaborate to identify resources and potential partnerships in their communities.They will also explore the concept of the “elevator pitch” and practice developing key phrases to engage and motivate potential partners and funders. Next, we will consider strategies to respond to requests for proposals putting special focus on the needs of the students, since students’ needs, benefits, and outcomes are what funders respond to. Participants will practice identifying needs as well as assets because funders want to know what already exists that they can build upon. Then, participants will engage with a process to obtain grant applications and evaluate the match between funder and school. They will come away with increased skills in accessing appropriate national and local grant opportunities and grant-writing resources. Finally, participants will increase their skills in articulating projects that will be most competitive for funding. We will practice using a design model that outlines goals, and specifies inputs, activities, and outcomes so that teachers are clear on what they are asking for and funders know exactly what they are supporting. Using current and upcoming requests for proposals and grant applications, participants will begin preparing a grant proposal. There will be time for questions and answers and one-on-one consultation.
Is Cancer In My DNA? HS Afternoon
Through a complete hands-on session, help Jane determine if she has a genetic predisposition to colon cancer. Learn how genetic mutations can cause cancer and the role genes have in cancer risk by examining family history, comparing DNA sequencing and lab analysis in this real life case study.
Making the EM spectrum vivid for your students ES-MS Afternoon
Although we live an EM waves-enabled lifestyle, most of us (middle school students included) have no idea how they actually work. Join us for an activity that’s new middle level NGSS content from the new module, Investigating Energy from the Sun from LAB-AIDS. We will explore properties of light by investigating colors of the visible spectrum and investigate the energy levels of the different colors of white light through the use of a phosphorescent material. Activities exemplify the NGSF and show how SEPUP embeds the research-based practices and real issues to deliver powerful content learning.  Grade Level: 6-8
Science Olympiad Roundtable for Previous Olympiad Grant Winners ES-MS Afternoon
Network, collaborate, share best practices, and refine your current Science Olympiad. Showcase school districts will guide the discussion; provide resources to enhance your Olympiad. New and innovative STEAM based stations will be incorporated. Grow your Olympiad to showcase status!
Chemi-paloosa: Demonstrations and Hands-On Activities That Really Get a Reaction! K-12 Afternoon
Learn how to incorporate exciting and engaging chemical demonstrations and hands-on activities into your chemistry curriculum. Join us for an overview of Innovating Science’s chemistry kits, including sample activities highlighting topics like hydrogen fuel cell technology, electrochemical remediation of wastewater, and several other topics. Door prizes will be awarded!
Using the Nature of Science to Create Global Citizens EM-MS All-Day
Air Quality. Evolution. Climate Change. Big Bang. Vaccinations. Stem Cells. How do educators address these seemingly controversial topics in the classroom when they elicit such strong emotional reactions from educators, parents, and students, alike? Unfortunately, the most common answer to this question is to avoid these real-world issues altogether. But if these are relevant topics in our students’ lives, how can we address them in a scientifically accurate but socially-sensitive way? This Nature of Science course will equip classroom educators with the confidence in teaching and content knowledge needed to help students engage in the Nature of Science to explore real world, global issues. Through a real world “controversial” scenario, educators will engage in activities that deepen their knowledge of the scientific community’s processes for convergence and consensus to generate new knowledge. Educators will reflect upon these experiences to make the connection between nature of science and its role in eliminating the “controversial nature” of scientific topics.
Writing in Science to Build and Communicate Understanding ES-MS All-Day
For many students, putting their knowledge of science concepts into writing is difficult. However, being able to communicate their understanding through writing is a necessary and important skill to develop. Through this session participants will engage in an inquiry-based science exploration that utilizes targeted writing strategies to help students build and communicate their understanding through writing.
Safety In STEM Education MS-HS All-Day
An intensive one-day workshop covering a wide range of critical STEM safety topics; Introduction: Safety is really just a matter of choices. But, you are not free to choose unless you know the choices. And, equally importantly, you don’t make the best choices unless you understand the consequences. This course teaches about the choices and the consequences in a way that makes them both fun and memorable. Scope of the Problem Life is filled with hazards. Labs have them too, but that’s just part of life. Tens of thousands of people die and millions are injured each year. Billions of dollars are wasted. And yet, the solution is clear, simple, and obvious. By taking the time to make health and safety an integral and important part of science education, work, and life, we can live safer, healthier, longer lives. Accidents LSI has been collecting anecdotal accounts of lab accidents for 35 years. In this section we share some stories. They are powerful examples, make lasting impressions, and serve as a graphic reminder. The stories have been published in our series, Learning By Accident, Volume 1 & 2.Please send us your account of the most serious lab accident you recall. Legal Aspects One of the unfortunate outcomes of accidents is a lawsuit. Liability and negligence issues can’t be ignored in today’s lab operations. In this section we explain the types of negligence, the responsibilities of supervisors and employees, and how to reduce the likelihood of lawsuits. Planning for Emergencies What are the twelve most common types of lab emergencies? What immediate action should be taken? How should you prepare to deal with those emergencies? Sadly, less than five percent of the more than 100,000 scientists and science educators LSI has spoken to have been discussing these emergency situations with their colleagues or written plan to deal with them. Handling Chemicals There are four properties of chemicals, which make them dangerous. We review those properties and draw the connection to similar chemicals in our homes. What about the experimentation? What are the prudent practices, protective equipment and protective facilities needed to minimize the risk? Storage of Chemicals Six critical areas are discussed: Access, Space, Fire Control, Ventilation, Shelf Security and Arrangement. LSI believes that keeping the door locked is the most important. And, we suggest some simple ways to have less crowded storage. Biological and Animal Hazards Infection is the biggest problem. Five percent of lab infections result in death. Appropriate precautions are discussed along with other bio lab hazards including fieldwork. Eye and Face Protection The ANSI standard sets the stage for a discussion of glasses, goggles, and face shields. When should each be used? Why are ANSI approved safety glasses four ways better than street glasses? Contact lens use, portable shields, and eyewash fountains with the related problem of a blindness causing amoebae are covered in this section. Who was Bob Aspromonte? Disposal of Chemicals In this section, LSI presents the concept and practice of a chemical management system. It begins with assuming responsibility. Then, we discuss determining hazard, inventory, purchasing philosophy, avoiding waste formation, obeying the law, and selecting a vendor. This section concludes with teaching the home application. Electrical Safety Here is an area of lab safety that most lab workers don’t understand. Ninety-nine percent of the people we speak to were never taught the correct way to plug in a two prong unpolarized plug. You’ll learn that here along with a graphic and musical demonstration of why ground fault interrupters are necessary. Your Worst Problem We are going to have a discussion by the seminar participants of their most serious lab safety problem. We’re sure many of them might well be yours as well. Safety Program Planning It takes a lot of things to have an effective safety program. Join the course participants in a group discussion to improve their lab safety program. Then, we present our five top characteristics for an effective program. You’ll learn about the one thing, which causes more accidents and injuries than anything else. Concluding Comments After the course participants complete an evaluation, there will be some summary and concluding comments. Remember, whenever you have lab safety questions, LSI is happy to help provide answers. You can contact LSI at info@labsafetyinstitute.org.

Sunday Workshops

Workshop Title School Level Session Time
A Better Approach to Chemistry MS-HS Morning
During this session resembling a Science Olympiad, earn ‘points’ as you learn how to flip your chemistry lab with innovative STEM solutions that will put the power in your student’s hands and make your operations easier – from chemical inventory management to data logging. Sharpen your lab skills and safety knowledge along the way.
Biotechnology Basics – Building Blocks to Creating a Cutting-edge Biotech Classroom MS-HS Morning
From the very basics of electrophoresis to fun and easy DNA manipulations, this workshop will take you on a journey thought the fundamentals of teaching biotechnology and give you the confidence you need to share this knowledge with your students. You’ll see how simple it is to incorporate all of the tools and technology you need to transform your classroom into a biotechnology teaching lab. Hands-on activities and lesson plans will be provided so that you can use what you learn as soon as you return to class.
Develop your own Science Olympiad ES-MS Morning
Utilizing the techniques of STEAM participants will engage in a session encompassing a variety of hands-on activities to develop classroom enhancing projects for every student. Presented through a Science Olympiad framework the events can be tailored to meet your needs in your individual classroom or school. In addition to joining a national network of established STEAM Program facilitators, participants will also leave with various resources including an entire manual that features nearly 100 STEAM events, a flash drive with handouts, and a blueprint for your very own Science Program.
More than Silly Putty: Silicon Science K-12 Morning
This workshop explores the properties of Si materials (inorganic and organic), whose development resulted from pioneering work at Carnegie Mellon University, for which they earned National Historic Chemistry Landmark status. The differences among silicon, silica and silicones will be demonstrated, as well as the myriad properties of organosiloxanes. Comparisons will be made to other (natural and synthetic) polymers, and the history of these materials will be discussed. Silicon solar panels will also be featured. Among the activities planned for attendees are: comparisons of polydimethylsiloxanes, lotion-making with silicones (showcasing their aesthetics), using silicones as antifoams, learning about silicones as medical materials, and investigation of silica gels.
Enhancing Critical Thinking in Elementary Classrooms Using STEM Lessons ES-MS Afternoon
Discover how to actively engage young minds in critical thinking and the how to ask inquiry based questions during this hands-on session. Follow the five ‘E’ model of instruction as we introduce lessons that align with both NGSS and Common Core. Teacher’s Guides include background information on the topic, at least 5 inquiry based hands on lessons, vocabulary definitions, critical thinking questions and take home lessons for both parents and children.
Beyond the Basics – Taking Your Biotechnology Classroom to the Next Level HS Afternoon
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, let’s take it to the next level! This workshop will guide you through more advanced biotechnology content , such as PCR – but don’t be intimidated. The equipment utilized in this workshop is designed specifically for teaching and the activities are simple to use, teacher tested, and easily incorporated into any classroom. We’ll provide information you can use to help your students understand more complex biotechnology concepts and introduce you to the tools you need to transform your biotechnology classroom into a biotechnology lab of the future.
SMART: Science Meets Art K-12 Afternoon
This workshop links and uses science concepts with art activities. We will discuss the following and utilize the art to reinforce the science: -temperature: dry ice bubble paintings -centrifugal and centripetal forces: spin art -reduce, reuse, recycle: make paper and use Friendly Plastic -van der Waal’s forces and nanotechnology: nail polish art -Si materials: sand mandalas, sand art and glass painting -luminescence, leuco dyes: glow-in-the dark paints, mood bracelets -surfactants: milk art
Light, Color, and Spectroscopy for Kids ES-MS Afternoon
Using materials provided, workshop participants will be able to project a large and very bright visible spectrum (rainbow?) in their own classrooms. They will use that spectrum together with other materials to demonstrate why colors appear the way they do, addition & subtraction of colors, investigate the entire electromagnetic spectrum and understand the value and uses of spectroscopy in science & everyday life. They will also experience “spectroscopy as an art form” as a way of integrating science with art.
Implementation of Science Literacy Strategies for Middle School MS-HS All-Day
This session will incorporate a presentation of foundational literacy skills scientists use to approach problems, pose questions, gather data, make conclusions, and generate hypotheses.  Participants will be able to support the literacy work that students do, encourage them to interact with text like scientists, and engage them in meaningful scientific thinking and practice.
Teaching Elementary School Science Using Children’s Literature Books EM-MS All-Day
Too often science takes a back seat to language arts and/or reading in the elementary curriculum. To alleviate this problem and to make teaching more enjoyable for both the teacher and the children, science and reading can be integrated through the use of children’s literature books and associated science activities. Children will begin to see that science is not an isolated subject but can be found all around us. For example, using the children’s book Who Sank the Boat, children can experiment with buoyancy and displacement; using the book Stellaluna, children can learn about echolocation and the habits of various kinds of bats; other books can be used to illustrate colloids. These simple activities can be expanded so that the children have their own experiences with inquiry, vital to their understanding of science and the fostering of their innate curiosity about the natural world around them. This all-day workshop is designed for teachers of K – 6. Teachers will be active participants. Books and activities for each grade level will be used and teachers will be provided with copies of the books and the science lessons.
Teaching Science with Toys ES All-Day
Have you ever been intrigued by toys that glow in the dark? Have you ever wondered what Grow Toys have to do with diapers? Why are they called “Paint with Water” books? During the Teaching Science with Toys workshop, teachers will use an inquiry based approach to discover a connection between popular toys and the science that explains “why” it works. Toys are an ideal mechanism for inquiry based science instruction because toys are an everyday part of a student’s world and carry a user-friendly message about science for students and their teachers. The Teaching Science with Toys workshop will model methods for teaching science to the teachers while presenting science content in a meaningful, relevant way. The teaching strategies used in the Teaching Science with Toys workshop address the needs of a broad spectrum of students. Through the Teaching Science with Toys workshop, teachers will increase their interest in and knowledge of science and science instruction. Included in the session will be asking questions and trying to find answers about popular toys; connecting to literature; engaging in hands-on, inquiry based activities through which content will be learned; creating take home reminders of the content learned in the workshop.