Professional Development

Liberty Science Center partners with teachers, schools, and districts to offer highly interactive professional development programs that emphasize evidence-based learning, exploration of science phenomena, and scientific discourse.

Experience our engaging and capacity-building professional development programs, and utilize new tools and techniques in your science teaching. Our programs can be delivered online and in person.

Interested in learning more about our climate change education programming? Click here to get all the details.

Climate Change

In June 2020, New Jersey became the first state to fully integrate climate education into its K-12 learning standards. The New Jersey Student Learning Standards require climate change education across seven areas: 21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. The goal is to prepare students to understand how and why climate change happens and its impact on our local and global communities, and to act in informed and sustainable ways. Our courses can help you reach these goals in your classroom.

Climate Change: Classroom Connections

Educators will engage in sample activities that address the science of climate change. The activities will have an interdisciplinary focus, highlighting that every area of study has a part to play in addressing climate change. Participants will also explore the climate change resources offered by the NJ Department of Education.

Investigating Climate Change & Human Impact on Ecosystems

Engage in Critical Science and Engineering Practices (e.g., Developing and Using models, Asking Questions) while building content knowledge to support teaching climate change and human impact on ecosystems. Explore and discuss how to effectively structure inquiry while using science practices to build an understanding of the disciplinary core ideas.

Deep Dive Into the NGSS Workshops

These workshops offer K - 12 teachers comprehensive training in unpacking the Next Generation Science Standards, also known as the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science and New York State Science Learning Standards. Participants experience and reflect upon the standards-based shifts for classroom instruction.

Integrating the NGSS with Common Core ELA and Math Standards

Explore learning synergies between the NGSS (NJSJS-S), the Common Core ELA (NJSLS-ELA), and Common Core Math Standards (NJSLS-Math) for Grades K - 8. Engage in student-centered investigations, which illustrate Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking; Engaging in Argument from Evidence; and Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information. Gain mastery in modifying existing science lessons to emphasize connections between these disciplines.

NGSS Overview: Teaching Science in Three Dimensions

This workshop introduces the Next Generation Science Standards, highlighting key shifts in content and practices that the new standards bring to classrooms. Educators will become familiar with teaching through the three dimensions of NGSS: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Crosscutting Concepts. Participate in hands-on activities that illustrate how the standards support inquiry. Discuss and revise activities to effectively support the standards and meet performance expectations.

Phenomena-Based Classrooms

Explore NGSS (NJSLS-S) phenomena designed to motivate students to figure out why something happens to build three-dimensional understanding. We will explore phenomena rooted in compelling real-world situations, including hands-on investigations and local exploration.

Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Planning Investigations

This workshop focuses on two Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Engage in different questioning protocols and participate in investigations that highlight the synergy of these two practices. Reflect on the inquiry-based science investigations to modify existing science lessons.

Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Investigate ideas through the Science Practice of Analyzing and Interpreting Data and the Crosscutting Concept of Patterns. Engage in hands-on activities and carry out investigations that highlight the importance of qualitative and quantitative data in science learning. Reflect on these investigations to plan modifications of current science lessons.

Science and Engineering Practices: Evidence-Based Explanations and Argumentation

Focus on two high-leverage Science Practices: Constructing Explanations and Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Conduct investigations that require collecting data and other evidence to form the foundation for constructing explanations and engaging in evidence-based science argumentation. Based on this learning, modify existing science lessons to be better aligned to the NGSS (NJSLS-S).

Inquiry-Based Learning Workshops

These workshops have a particular emphasis on educators participating in inquiry-based lessons and activities. Teachers will experience the effectiveness of inquiry as the basis of student learning while learning strategies that will increase inquiry activities in their classrooms.

Investigating Climate Change & Human Impact on Ecosystems

Engage in Critical Science and Engineering Practices (e.g., Developing and Using models, Asking Questions) while building content knowledge to support teaching climate change and human impact on ecosystems. Explore and discuss how to effectively structure inquiry while using science practices to build an understanding of the disciplinary core ideas.

OpenSciEd Science Curriculum Introduction

Participants will explore the educational rationale and learning strategies that are the foundation of OpenSciEd, an NGSS-based science curriculum for Grades 6 - 8. Educators will experience sample phenomena, reflect on the importance of teacher and student roles, and gain a better understanding of three-dimensional learning and student sense-making.

OpenSciEd Science Curriculum Launch (Multi-Day Series)

This multi-day professional learning series focuses on the requisite pedagogical skills and practices that educators need to launch the OpenSciEd curriculum successfully. During these sessions, teachers will get a comprehensive understanding of the instructional model. They will participate in anchoring phenomena activities, engage in science sense-making, and participate in discourse centered on scientific investigation. There will also be an emphasis on reflecting as educators with respect to the learning and instructional shifts necessary for student-centered science learning and teaching.

Technology & Engineering Workshops

These workshops will engage educators in lessons that encourage learners to build their problem-solving skills in technology and engineering. Teachers will learn effective strategies for increasing their students' technological literacy and engaging more deeply in the NGSS (NJSJS-S) Engineering Practices.

Computational Thinking for STEM Educators

Explore the major competencies in computational thinking (i.e., pattern recognition, decomposition, abstraction, and algorithms), experience hands-on STEM activities that support those domains, and purposefully incorporate computational thinking into existing lessons.

Design Thinking for STEM Educators

Learn how to integrate science investigations, engineering, and design thinking as you explore how to develop students’ creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills. Engage in design challenges and discuss how to leverage design thinking to support national standards and 21st-century skills.

Engineering is Elementary Overview

Engineering is Elementary is a research-based elementary engineering curriculum that has proven engaging and effective in involving Grade K - 5 students in STEM units that focus on Engineering Practices. During this workshop, you will explore a sample curriculum unit designed to build proficiency in the NGSS-based Engineering Practices.

For more information, call 201.253.1214, email, or fill out our info form.