Professional Development

We thank you for thinking of the U.S. Botanic Garden as an extension of your classroom. In addition to the rich offerings we have for students, we offer a variety of courses, workshops and teacher trainings to support you in teaching plant science, STEAM and environmental science. Professional Learning Units (PLUs) are offered for each of the professional development offerings.

Please check our calendar of events for dates and additional information.

DC Teacher Night

Welcome to the 2018/2019 school year. We are very excited to be collaborating with the DC Environmental Education Consortium to offer DC Teacher Night 2018. This is an environmental educational resource evening for all DC area educators. We invite 40 environmental organizations together and under one roof, you can learn about the diversity of offerings for you and your students, both in and outside of the classroom. DC Teacher Night 2018 date to be announced shortly. Event is free however registration is required. Registration coming soon.

2019 HOPS Teacher Institute

Fifteen teachers will be selected to attend our 2019 HOPS Teacher Institute. Teachers will immerse themselves in our National Garden and experience 16 modules over the course of two days. Teachers successfully completing the Institute will receive a HOPS box which contains the equipment to carry out these hands-on experiments back in their classroom and 14 professional learning units. Please note: This training occurs outdoors. For an application and additional information on the HOPS Institute, please click here. Applications are due no later than April 1, 2019.

HOPS Teacher Institute Program Description: Day One will cover 8 modules. We will learn all about water, its importance to plants and plants' importance to water, the importance of water to all life and the current health of our local bodies of water. We will use microscopes, test water for temperature, PH and dissolved oxygen, learn about watersheds, and build a watershed and water filter. The afternoon is all about how plants work and photosynthesis. Participants will perform plant cuttings and see how oxygen leaves the plant and how plants take in our carbon dioxide, learn that sugar really does happen in the leaf using refractometers, create art using the power of the sun and make seed balls.

Day Two explores nature as art in the morning. Participants will have a chance to settle into the quiet of the National Garden and watercolor, use compasses to make sundials and microscopically explore the tiniest of plants. Participants will dissect flowers and learn how pollination works while we keep our eyes out for the many pollinators in the Garden. The afternoon is when will tie everything together with an investigation during which we explore seed dispersal, pollen identification using microscopes, learn that nectar differs from flower to flower, that different flowers have different pollinators, and that soil is not dirt.

Professional Development Outreach

Wish you could get to the Garden for training but stuck at your school? Consider incorporating one of our professional development offerings into an established professional development day or, as an evening program at your school. Programs last 60 - 90 minutes and support you in STEAM and inquiry training for grades Pre-K - 12. Please contact Lee Coykendall, Senior Education Specialist, at lcoykend@aoc.gov for additional information.