P'unk Ave

Teacher Professional Development

professional development

To transform schools and prepare students to address critical environmental issues and succeed in STEM-based careers, there is a growing recognition that strong partnerships between informal and formal education institutions are key. This informs Riverbend’s focus on collaborating with schools to provide tested programs, adapted to individual and district needs.

Riverbend experts will work with you to create a professional development program that supports your teachers in delivering nature-based STEM programs designed to excite students and improve academic outcomes.

Teachers who participate in Riverbend's professional development program will gain skills in integrating nature and STEM topics across disciplines.  They will walk away with activites that they can implement in their classrooms.

Riverbend can host professional development sessions at your school or at our 30-acre preserve with indoor facilities in Gladwyne, 10 miles from Philadelphia off the Schuylkill Expressway.   Our professional development programs are designed to be cross disciplinary. Major concepts might include life science, environment and ecology and inquiry and design, depending on school subjects.  We work with teachers from early childhood through high school and will create a customized program that supports your teachers in your school’s curriculum goals and Pennsylvania academic standards.

Join Us for the 2020 Summer Science Inquiry Institute - August 3rd to August 7th!

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Nature provides an authentic setting to practice observation, ask questions, build investigations and solve problems.

This week-long institute will focus on food and the environment, exploring urban agriculture, water and ecosystem health. Educators connect with experts from informal education centers and participate in lessons that utilize the practices of science to explore how changing environmental conditions will impact our food systems.  

Using the 5E cycle for inquiry, educators build a hands-on, inquiry based lesson that aligns to PSSA Science Eligible content, PA Academic Standards and NGSS.

THANK YOU! Applications are now closed for this year's SSII

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Who is Eligible?

3-5th grade educators in Philadelphia, Norristown and Upper Darby

Where is the workshop?

If possible, we will visit a different partner location each day. If public health restrictions are still in place, we will have virtual classes available.

What do I get for participating?

  • Learn strategies for facilitating inquiry based science in a virtual setting

  • Access to a professional network and peer support for virtual


  • There is no cost to participate in the program

  • 40 hours of professional development in Inquiry Based Science Instruction

  • 5 sample lesson plans aligned to PA eligible content for science, PA academic standards and NGSS

  • Act 48 credit

  • Competitive Stipend available upon completion of program

What are the requirements?

  • Completed online application

  • A letter of support from your school administrator

  • Collaborative spirit and enthusiasm for learning!

Questions? Contact Erin McCool at emccool@riverbendeec.org

Limited space available. Admission to the program is competitive and deadline for registration is July 10th.


For more information please contact

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Erin McCool

Director of Education and Strategic Initiatives