P'unk Ave
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.


DATE CHANGE! Join Riverbend and MCIU for a special professional development training on May 30th

Nature-based STEM is a way to engage all students in STEM, using authentic experiences in nature.

This 1-day training will allow participants to experience a hands-on introduction to Inquiry Based learning and the 5E cycle in nature through building science skills like observation, questioning and collecting evidence.

Participants will conduct hands-on nature based investigations using science practices and nature journaling at Riverbend’s 30-acre nature preserve. After experiencing nature-based STEM in the morning, participants will work in the classroom setting to learn strategies for using nature-based STEM to support existing curriculum goals.

Focus will be placed on strategies for making Nature-Based STEM accessible for ALL students and breaking down barriers that could potentially be in place. Teacher participants will receive access to Riverbend’s Teacher network which includes hands-on science lessons and resources that encourage inquire based lessons in the classroom.

MORNING SESSION: 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM here at Riverbend

AFTERNOON SESSION: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM at MCIU 2 W. Lafayette St. Norristown, PA 19401

COST: No cost to subscribers - $100 for non-subscribers

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Summer Science Inquiry Institute

Open to all educators in Philadelphia who teach grades 3-5.

*Now accepting educators from Upper Darby and Norristown Districts*

August 5th to August 9th 9:00am - 4:00pm

Educators spend a week working with peers and experts in informal education to learn strategies for incorporating inquiry based and nature-based  STEM teaching strategies. Graduates of this institute are eligible to join the PCAN fellowship which includes an Aquaponics system for your classroom and ongoing curriculum support. Visit different location each day, having fun and experiencing all that Philadelphia has to offer for STEM education.

ACT 48 Credit is Available! Free for teachers in Philadelphia.*


* A $200 check is required to hold your space and will be refunded upon completion of the program.

Click here to download PDF Flyer.

For more information please contact

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Erin McCool

Director of Education and Strategic Initiatives