Teacher Professional Development

ESC’s Teacher Professional Development Workshop Series:

From Salmon Heroes to Schoolyard Heroes

Using the outdoor classroom and school yard to inspire observation and action in the local community. 
(Grade level focus: upper elementary through middle school teachers)

ESC’s four-part workshop series is designed to give teachers to tools and confidence to successfully lead quality outdoor learning experiences with their students. Teachers will understand how the health of the watershed in our local communities has an impact not only on our iconic salmon but on those of us who live here. Local actions, in neighborhoods and on our school grounds, have the ability to make a difference.

Outcomes:Display of Teacher PD kit of materials including a water quality testing kit and instructions, rite in the rain paper, cones and flagging, tarp, clinometer kit, measuring tape, and red bucket to store everything.

Upon completion of the entire workshop series, teachers will:

  • Have gained tips/techniques and NGSS correlated lessons to support outdoor experiences for students
  • Receive a physical kit of materials (valued at $130) to help support these outdoor experiences
  • Receive a stipend of $150
  • Qualify for 15 STEM Clock Hours

During this four-part workshop series, participants will experience all aspects of STEM+C by participating in reading about local phenomena, presentations by ESC staff and outside collaborators, planning/collaboration time, outdoor lesson experiences, and supported individual stewardship activities. Throughout the workshop series, participants will be given time to reflect and plan independently and collaboratively.

Part 1: Introduction to Salmon, watersheds, and leading students in outdoor explorations 

Part 2: In-depth focus on student outdoor explorations (Includes asynchronous time to pilot outdoor explorations with students)

Part 3: Focus on student outdoor investigations

Part 4: Student-Led Stewardship Action Projects: How to expand outdoor education on your school campus (Includes asynchronous time to complete stewardship action projects with students)


The next multi-workshop series will take place between March and May 2023. Participants must attend all sections in order to qualify for the stipend, materials, and STEM clock hours. Evening workshops will be held on Thursdays after school hours and there will be two Saturday morning workshops. Exact workshop dates will be posted in January 2023.


This workshop series is designed for teachers in upper elementary through middle school (4th-8th grades).

Detailed Workshop Objectives:

  • Participants will increase their local knowledge and understanding of salmon habitat needs and challenges they face including stormwater pollution and ocean acidification.
  • Participants will collaborate with their peers to synthesize outdoor learning resources relevant for in-person and virtual learning models.
  • Participants will practice guiding students through quality science outdoor experiences.
  • Participants will practice leading quality outdoor student-led stewardship activities that are designed for use on their school grounds.

To register:

Thanks to generous funding, there is no cost to attend this workshop series. Space is limited to 25 teachers. Registration will open in January 2023.


Contact Kelly Steffen (Kelly@EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org) for more information.