Great Lakes Science Teacher Badging

The Great Lakes Science badging program is an inspiring and engaging professional development opportunity for educators!

This online program allows you to work at your own pace as you accomplish “missions” (activities) related to Great Lakes environmental literacy, science literacy and 21st-century skills. Teachers are awarded digital badges for their missions and skill building, which can be displayed on resumes and social networks.

There are three ways to participate in this program:

Continuous Learning: this track allows you to participate for free and at your own pace without time restrictions.  Upon completion you will receive a letter that can be shared with your school administration.

Clock Hours: Illinois teachers registered for this track will receive 20 Clock Hours upon completion as well as a letter that can be shared with your school administration.  The program must be completed within one year of your registered start date.  Program fee: $10.

Graduate Credit: Shedd Aquarium has partnered with National Louis University to bring students participating in the Great Lakes Badging experience an opportunity to earn one semester hour of graduate credit.  To receive credit, students must complete their badging requirements during an NLU academic term. Please refer to NLU’s academic calendar for term start and end dates. Enrollment for the Winter 2018 term has ended. Enrollment for the Summer 2018 term (June 27-August 29) is now open. Tuition is $150 per semester hour. For more information, email National Louis at or call 888-658-8632.

Eligible states for NLU graduate credit.

This program is open to in-service and pre-service teachers.


Program Registration

*Please note that these applications are not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please use an alternative web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.

Register for one of the following tracks:

Continuous Learning

Clock Hours

NLU Graduate Credit*

*Before registering with Shedd for NLU Graduate Credit, participants must first register through NLU

Frequently asked questions

We’re here to help! Find out more about the Great Lakes science badging program.

Contact us

Contact Digital Learning.

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Program outcomes

Every Shedd program is evaluated so we never stop learning from you. Here’s what we’ve learned from our participants about Great Lakes Teacher Badging:  

 • Great Lakes Teacher Badging grows teachers’ knowledge of science, confidence teaching science and use of resources to do so.

 • Online badging breaks down and simplifies information to scaffold and motivate learning in enjoyable ways.

 • As a means of professional development, badging provides engaging and interactive activities, valuable instructor feedback and relevant information.

 • One participant noted, “The course changed the way I approach science and renewed my enthusiasm for it.”

What our participants had to say

Going through the Shedd Aquarium Great Lakes professional development has been a wonderful experience for me as a teacher and a citizen scientist. Each mission in the program helped me hone my critical thinking skills and gave me insights into different approaches to use with my students to help them sharpen their own. The missions also provided some extremely useful resources, for which, as a library media specialist, I am always hunting!"

“I would say this program was FAR better than others I have participated in with respect to my growth as an educator.  The topic was definitely out of my comfort zone because I really didn’t have much knowledge about the Great Lakes or invasive species before beginning this experience.  I feel like a bit of an expert now…This is just how professional development should be—focused and guided but with freedom to individualize the experience.”  

- previous teacher participants