Building STEAM: Professional Development for K–12 Educators

Building Steam Teacher ProD

Science World is committed to supporting science and technology education throughout British Columbia. In recent consultations with BC teachers we identified a need for more in-service teacher support, especially to support the new curriculum. Science World’s professional development workshops embrace an approach to teaching and learning that reflects the new curriculum’s focus on place-based, inquiry learning.

Teacher professional development is part of Tech-Up, Science World's initiative to enhance existing programs to include coding and computational thinking. Working with School District and curriculum  consultant experts in coding and digital skills, new instructional modules will be developed. The modules will be delivered through new and established channels for teacher professional development including: 

  • peer to peer training (with professional coaching, reporting and follow-up)
  • conference sessions (delivered at provincial, district-wide and school-based events)
  • science-centre based and school-based evening and after-school workshops 
  • STEAM Days (week-long summer intensives, held in Vancouver and Prince George in August 2018).

New! Evening Teacher's Series

Science World is pleased to introduce a new way for K to 9 teachers to learn and connect with others in the teaching community around a topic in Computational Thinking. These FREE 2 hour workshops will be held after-school at TELUS World of Science in Vancouver, between November and May, and pre-registration is required. We are also pleased to offer a number of these sessions en français!

Participants do not have to register for all sessions, but we will be building on concepts from one session to the other. Participants are encouraged to register for the entire series in their language of choice.

January 17, 2019
Coding Café (K to 9)

Building on our introduction to computational thinking, this workshop is for those who want to discover more about block coding before diving into how coding can support curriculum in our next Science World Teacher's Series session. This drop-in format evening will include a variety of stations to explore free coding apps such as Scratch, ScratchJR and Twine as well as coding concepts such as pair programming. This is a beginner friendly workshop! We will have staff on hand to answer questions and to help you debug your code. Bring your device (tablet or computer) and come learn to code with us!
Enseignants francophones et d'immersion: Il y aura une équipe sur place pour répondre à vos questions en français. Les ressources partagées seront aussi offertes en français.

January 31, 2019
La programmation… sans technologie! (K to 9)

Pour bâtir sur l'introduction à la pensée informatique, cet atelier permettra aux enseignants d'explorer l'intégration de celle-ci sans technologie. Pendant cet atelier, nous allons explorer une variété d'activités qui nous permettent d'explorer les concepts de la pensée informatique à travers les programmes d'études.


Keep an eye out in January to sign up for sessions starting in February:

  • Computational Thinking across the curriculum
  • Enseignement interdisciplinaire: comment intégrer la pensée informatique dans vos leçons
  • Assessing Computational Thinking through interdisciplinary activities
  • L’évaluation de la pensée informatique à travers des activités interdisciplinaire
  • Using Micro: bits for project-based learning

Each session is based on Science World’s professional development offerings for teachers. See offerings below if you’re interested in Science World delivering a particular session for staff at your school.

Request A Pro-D Workshop


The Science of Computational Thinking

How can we make the process of designing investigations and representing data more relevant to students? Join us as we explore how to incorporate computational thinking, a problem-solving strategy, to the sciences. We'll share effective practices and discover how computational thinking might enhance students' progression through the curricular competencies.

Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum

Explore ways of integrating computational thinking across several content areas. In this workshop, you will engage in hands-on activities that use technology to demonstrate how this problem-solving strategy can be applied in subjects such as language arts, physical education, science, and math. 

Coding without Computers

If you're struggling with equipment and technology, this workshop will give you several ideas of how you can integrate coding into your classroom. In this workshop, we will explore a variety of off-screen activities that apply coding strategies, which will provide a foundational understanding for both you and your students. 

Assessing computational thinking through cross-curricular activities

The ADST curriculum from K to 9 is built on the model of integrating the applied design process into other subject areas. This workshop will allow teachers to explore cross-curricular lessons involving coding and computational thinking. Discussions and hands-on activities will allow participants to leave this session with a better understanding of creating meaningful interdisciplinary lessons, of assessment of curriculum and self-assessment of core competencies that can support both paper and digital reporting and portfolios.

Structuring Inquiry

The transformed curriculum has a large focus on inquiry-based learning and cross-curricular, cross-cultural teaching. Inquiry-based learning positions the teacher as facilitator. How could this look in your classroom? In this workshop, you will engage in inquiry activities that can be used in your class and get tips on how to structure an inquiry! We’ll discuss effective questioning, techniques for scaffolding students’ learning and how to assess student work. New for 2018/19 this workshop may also explore computational thinking as a problem-solving strategy in inquiry-based learning. 

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Scientists

If you are looking to enhance your experience with inquiry-based learning, this workshop is for you! Open inquiry requires students to act like scientists (by formulating questions, designing investigations and communicating results). This workshop aims to uncover the ways in which we can foster life-long learning by encouraging our students’ curiosity. We’ll develop a criteria to help us adapt activities for inquiry and put it to use! Join us to share ideas, explore open inquiry and discuss how to support student-led investigations. New for 2018/19 this workshop may also explore computational thinking as a problem-solving strategy in inquiry-based learning. 

Assessing and Planning for Inquiry

Inquiry-based learning requires inquiry-based assessment. Our students’ development of curricular competencies may not be readily apparent. Test different methods for gathering evidence of learning and looking at student work. We will share best practices for assessment and feedback as we explore how to further inquiry-based learning in our classrooms. 

Design Thinking and Inquiry

The Design Thinking process is aligned with the new Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) curriculum and focuses on risk-taking and embracing action-oriented solutions. This process can further enrich educators’ roles as facilitators of student inquiry. Join us as we delve into the Design Thinking process while engaging in a hands-on design activity and exploring how we might structure design thinking challenges. New for 2018/19 this workshop may also explore computational thinking as a problem-solving strategy in inquiry-based learning. 

Community of Inquiry 

These sessions aim to build capacity and support innovative science teaching methods that are in-line with the transformed curriculum. In 2018/19 we will be working with district mentorship programs and teachers in Langley, Burnaby, Surrey and Richmond School Districts. During these sessions we will:

  • Collaborate with peers, as we work towards sustainable innovation in our classrooms.  

  • Engage in an inquiry approach to teaching and learning that reflects the transformed curriculum’s focus on place-based, inquiry learning.  

  • Explore ways to support student inquiry and enable students to make meaningful connections to their everyday lives and the world beyond. 

  • Test strategies for assessment and problem-solving, including cross-curricular applications of computational thinking


STEAM Days of Summer (held annually during Summer Break)

STEAM Days of Summer is Science World's multi-day summer professional learning workshop for educators. Participants delve into innovative strategies for teaching STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math) while networking with colleagues throughout BC. The theme for August 2018: Computational Thinking. Looking ahead to Summer 2019? Join our educator newsletter list (find the green box on this page!) to be the first to find out when we open the application period. 

Culturally Responsive Science Classrooms (not available in 2018/19 school year)

Explore techniques for incorporating local knowledge into inquiry that enable students to make meaningful connections to their everyday lives and the world beyond. Join us as we unpack cultural ways of knowing that shape our worldviews and influence our teaching and learning.

Asking the Right Questions (not available in 2018/19 school year)

Questions are integral to learning, but which questions are the best launching pads for inquiry-based learning?  Essential questions are excellent starting points for students.  Using Science World’s hands-on activities, we will analyze essential questions, formulate them, and discuss how to implement them to support student inquiry.

Contact Us

For more information or to book a Science World outreach offering, contact us:

604.443.7567  |  1.800.363.1611 (toll free)  |  [email protected]