Educator Professional Development

We offer a range of opportunities to connect Shedd to your classroom, and your curriculum to the field. Workshops and resources in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are designed to connect you with peers and empower your students to develop deep scientific inquiry. 

Teacher Badging
Workshops and In-Services
Educator Resources
Professional Development FAQ

Which part of your practice will you transform with Shedd?

Badging to Reach Teachers in Illinois and Beyond

The Great Lakes Science badge program is a new wave of professional development for teachers! This free online program allows teachers to work at their own pace through a variety of “missions” (activities) relating to topics of Great Lakes environmental literacy, science literacy and 21st century skills. Teachers are awarded digital badges for their accomplishments and skill building, which can be displayed on resumes and social networks.

Here is what teachers are saying about the program:
• “The course changed the way I approach science and renewed my enthusiasm for it.”
• “Professional development programs that offer badges are a great idea. It is a way that though the entire course, you can see the progress you are making step by step. Each accomplishment is rewarded and acknowledged. It is a very motivating way to keep interest in a self-paced program.”

To learn more about the program and how to get started visit  The program is open to both in-service and pre-service teachers. Illinois teachers are eligible to receive 20 CPDUs upon completion.

Project partially funded by the USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region.

Workshops and In-Services

NOAA: How Do We Explore?
Suggested for science teachers
grades 5–12

Registration is closed.  Please check back for future dates.

During this two-part series, learn how to use inquiry- and standards-based lessons, along with other online resources, to guide classroom inquiries about how sites are selected for exploration, mapping techniques, water-column exploration, remotely operated vehicles and telepresence technology that enables access to real time ocean exploration. 

Space is limited. Participants who attend both days of this two-part series will receive a $100 stipend. Participants receive the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Curriculum Collection, a NOAA Ocean Exploration Certificate of Participation and other materials related to the presentations.

Underwater Robotics Club
For 6-12 educators

Program registration closed for 2013.

Dive deep into underwater robotics programming at Shedd Aquarium—a suite of programming introducing teachers and students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through both the development and application of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to investigate aquatic environments. The Underwater Robotics Club provides educators with the knowledge, materials (an ROV building kit with an estimated worth of over $1000) and support to run their own after-school robotics club. The program ends with a fun-filled pool-side event for educators and students to test out their ROVs.

Educator Open House: Science Learning with Shedd
Check back for next year's date!

Shedd Aquarium invites you to a fun, day-long workshop where you'll get to sample science teaching strategies that will connect your classroom to Shedd and Shedd's animals, exhibits and science resources. You'll have a chance to meet other Chicago-area educators as you explore the aquarium, become a part of Shedd's learning community and find resources custom-made for your classroom. Then bring these lessons learned back to your school.

Complimentary parking, light breakfast and lunch are provided.
6 CPDUs are available for attending.

Wilderness Classroom Teacher Workshop

You and your classroom can interact with Wilderness Classroom founders Dave and Amy Freeman online to learn exciting new ways to study the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes, mangroves, salt marshes and coral reefs.

Wilderness Classroom can also come to your school to train teachers on site. Contact them to set up training at your school or district.


Programs for adults

Shedd experiences don’t stop in the classroom, grab a friend and enjoy some aquatic excitement.

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