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 three-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.

Our 2021 workshop series is currently full. Please email Kelly Steffen (Kelly@EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org) if you’d like to be placed on our wait list.


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 $100) to help support these outdoor experiences
  • Receive a stipend of $200
  • Qualify for 18 STEM Clock Hours (cost covered by ESC)

During this three-part workshop series, participants will experience all aspects of STEM+C by participating in reading about local phenomena, presentations by ESC staff and PEI staff, 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.


The multi-workshop series will take place between February and April 2021. 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 one Saturday workshop.

Part 1: Introduction to Salmon, watersheds, and leading students in outdoor explorations (Includes 2-2hr evening virtual workshops and asynchronous time to complete student outdoor explorations)

Thursday, February 4th 2021, 4-6pm
Thursday, February 25th 2021, 4-6pm

Part 2: Focus on the Outdoor (Schoolyard or At-Home) Classroom (Includes a small group outdoor Saturday workshop and a 1-hour evening follow-up)

Saturday, March 6th 2021 OR Saturday, March 20th 2021 – both workshops held 8am-2pm*
*Participants will be split into two groups and choose ONE Saturday workshop to attend. By keeping the groups small, we hope to be able to meet in person at an outdoor location. All final workshop details will be announced as we get closer to the date and will closely follow all local and state regulations. 
Thursday, April 1st 2021, 4-5pm, virtual follow-up with the whole group

Part 3: Student-Led Stewardship Action Projects: How to expand outdoor education on your school campus (or at-home) (Includes 1-2hr evening virtual workshop and asynchronous time to complete stewardship action projects)

Thursday, April 22nd 2021, 4-6pm


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 virtual and hybrid learning models.
  • Participants will practice guiding students through quality science outdoor experiences relevant for both learning at home or in-person.
  • Participants will practice leading quality outdoor student-led stewardship activities that are designed for use on their school grounds.

To register:

Thanks to funding from the NOAA B-WET program, there is no cost to attend this workshop series. Space is limited to 30 teachers.

Our 2021 workshop series is currently full. Please email if you’d like to be placed on our wait list.


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