K-12 Educator Professional Development Offerings from NCSSM

The North Carolina School of Science and Math Division of Extended Learning provides free professional development opportunities and trainings for K-12 public school teachers throughout North Carolina. We offer customizable sessions, workshops, Professional Learning Communities, book studies, conference sessions, and more. These opportunities can be scheduled at the convenience of schools or districts and can be conducted virtually or in-person. These opportunities vary from 45 minute presentations to multi-day events and can be offered in virtual settings, or in-person on NCSSM Morganton Campus, NCSSM Durham Campus, and Home Districts. 

Current Professional Development and Training Offerings 

Makey-Makey Integration Across Subjects Training

Jan 26, 2024
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

NCSSM Morganton Campus

The Makey Makey training is a hands-on experience introducing participants to creative electronics. Attendees learn how to turn everyday objects like bananas or playdough into computer input devices using Makey Makey. Through interactive activities, educators gain knowledge of circuitry and programming, making it suitable for all skill levels. This workshop fosters creativity and problem-solving, leaving participants with practical skills and a greater understanding of electronics' creative potential. 

Teaching Contemporary Mathematics (TCM) conference

February 23-24, 2024

NCSSM Durham Campus

The annual Teaching Contemporary Mathematics (TCM) conference brings together speakers and educators from across the country to collaboratively explore innovative and research driven math curriculum for the classroom. The conference offers sessions applicable to subjects ranging from Math I to college level calculus courses. In addition to these interactive presentations, participants have the opportunity to network at shared meals, Art Space, Lightning Talks, and an evening reception.  Registration includes all meals, sessions, and the evening reception, and a discounted rate is available for NC public high school teachers and Early Birds!

Data Science Summer Institute

July 8-12, 2024

NCSSM Morganton Campus

The week long institute introduces educators to data science principles and instructional content while helping participants understand how data science can fit into curriculum and requirements at participants' home institutions. Educators will experiment and gain familiarity with popular data science tools used in education. You can expect the sessions to be interactive and hands-on. Some sessions may ask you to get outside and collect data (weather permitting!), and then come back in the classroom to practice using your newly acquired data science skills. (2.55 CEU)

Professional Development and Training by Request

District or school leads may complete the form to request a FREE professional development workshop or training with the NCSSM Extended Learning Team.

An Introduction to Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

This session provides educators with an overview of some of the major principles and thought leaders in culturally and historically responsive teaching (CHRT). Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be able to define Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, reflect on the role of curriculum in culturally responsive and relevant teaching, and develop one or more activities or resources for use in their classroom. 

An Introduction to Differentiation for Gifted Learners  

Gifted learners exhibit exceptional intellectual, creative, and/or artistic abilities that require tailored approaches for optimal growth and development within the classroom. This workshop provides educators with a comprehensive overview of gifted learners, their characteristics, and effective strategies to support their unique educational needs. 

Blend It Better I: Introduction to SAMR 

In this session we will examine several STEM lesson plans from the pre-pandemic era and workshop them using the SAMR model to meet ISTE Standards and increase student engagement and collaboration. Participants will walk away with strategies to revive their old lesson plans, access to lesson plans ready to use in the classroom on Monday morning, and a new perspective for how to use technology to strengthen today’s instruction.  

District or school leads may complete the form to request a FREE professional development workshop or training with the NCSSM Extended Learning Team.

Blend It Better II: Enhancing Your Teaching with Google Slides 

Are you looking to up your presentation game? Are you tired of fighting with Powerpoint or Keynote? Join us to learn how you can spruce up your instructional materials with Google Slides. In this session we’ll introduce Hyper Slides, walk you through adding Google Slides to your course in Canvas, and introduce you to plenty of free templates to help you work smarter. By the end of this session you will be able to create interactive presentations, share them conveniently, save time, and improve the accessibility of your presentations.

Getting Started with Probes and Sensors in the STEM Classroom Training 

How are we monitoring and protecting our environment for future generations? Join us as we explore water quality through data and research using a blend of high and low-tech options! Vernier probeware will be used to test the following parameters in water samples: temperature, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Dissolved Oxygen, and Turbidity. Test strips will be used to test other chemical parameters.

Getting Started with Systems Thinking in the Classroom 

What is Systems Thinking (ST) and how can you use it in your classroom? In this session, participants will be introduced to Systems Thinking through interactive examples, discussion, and classroom templates using Google Slides and Jamboard. Participants will have the opportunity to generate Slice-of-the System (SoS) maps, brainstorm strategies for incorporating SoS maps in the classroom, and adopt a Systems Thinking approach for helping students connect their learning to the world around them. 

District or school leads may complete the form to request a FREE professional development workshop or training with the NCSSM Extended Learning Team.

Grading for Equity 101 


In this session, educators are invited to discuss the pitfalls of traditional grading strategies as a supportive peer learning community before exploring the three pillars of equitable grading as articulated in Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman. We will conclude the session with a small team discussion around the challenges and benefits of adopting some equitable grading practices in their classrooms. 


Hands-On Biology 

This workshop is designed to empower educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources to deliver effective hands-on biology instruction. By immersing teachers in practical strategies, engaging experiments, and safety protocols, this program aims to enhance the teaching and learning of biology in a dynamic and interactive manner.

Hands-On Chemistry

This workshop is designed to empower educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources to deliver effective hands-on chemistry instruction. By immersing teachers in practical strategies, engaging experiments, and safety protocols, this program aims to enhance the teaching and learning of chemistry in a dynamic and interactive manner.

District or school leads may complete the form to request a FREE professional development workshop or training with the NCSSM Extended Learning Team.

Introduction to Standards-Based Grading

This session is tailored to educators seeking a comprehensive understanding of standards-based grading (SBG) and its implementation in the classroom. By exploring the philosophy, strategies, and benefits of SBG, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively assess student learning, provide meaningful feedback, and enhance overall instructional practices.

Implementing Data Science in the Classroom

This session will demystify data science and highlight several curricula and tools that you could use to bring data science to your school to supercharge your students' learning. No previous experience with data science is required! Topics and materials from this session align to ISTE Standards for Students 1.3, and 1.5.

Problem-Based Learning in STEM

This workshop outlines the key characteristics of problem-based learning (PBL) and will help educators develop lessons for this approach. The session aims to empower educators by providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate and utilize this educational methodology effectively in their classrooms. Participants will gain access to valuable resources for crafting engaging and effective lesson plans based on this approach. 

District or school leads may complete the form to request a FREE professional development workshop or training with the NCSSM Extended Learning Team.

Project-Based Learning in STEM

In this session, we'll break down project-based learning (PBL) and show educators how to create PBL lessons aligned to their standards. The aim is to give educators the tools and knowledge to use PBL effectively in their classrooms. Participants will also gain access to useful resources for making engaging and successful PBL lesson plans.

Science Lab Safety Training 

Wondering if your science lab safety programs are outdated? Which safety regulations apply to your school? Are your chemicals labeled and stored properly? Do you have Safety Data Sheets for your hazardous chemicals? Are proper protocols in place to protect your employees and students? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, we can provide you with the knowledge base, resources, and a variety of tools to support you as you train other teachers in your school or system! Participants will gain familiarity with OSHA regulations that affect schools (HazCom Standard CFR 1910.1200, Lab Standard CFR 1910.1450, and many others) and recommendations from other professional agencies on how to address these regulations. Come prepared to create or improve upon your school science lab safety or Chemical Hygiene Plan. Receive free resources and information so that YOU can train other teachers in your school or science department.

Grading for Equity Book Study for Educators

Are you an educator fed up with traditional grading? Are you worried that your grading strategies do not equitably evaluate student learning? Are you concerned about biased grading practices? Then you might benefit from reading Joe Feldman’s Grading for Equity (2019)! There’s a lot to discuss and consider when it comes to grading and this book helps to get us started in considering where traditional grading practices are impeding our learners and where we have opportunity to empower our learners with feedback. We are excited to partner with local school districts for facilitated discussion, brainstorming, and lively professional development around Grading for Equity with educators near and far! 

District or school leads may complete the form to request a FREE professional development workshop or training with the NCSSM Extended Learning Team.

Team Teaching

This session will clarify what is team teaching.  After the session, learners will recognize the different models of team teaching. We will also help learners identify the characteristics your partner brings to the team teaching experience (with the goal of appreciating those traits), and help teams initiate a team teaching collaboration plan for the school year.