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Exploratorium to Offer Teacher Professional Development Courses Online Via Coursera

For Immediate Release:
May 01, 2013

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

Exploratorium to Offer Teacher Professional Development Courses Online Via Coursera

Teacher Learning Resources to be Made Available to Anyone in the World For Free

The Exploratorium has partnered with Coursera, a leading Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider to offer professional development courses for teachers all over the world, free of cost. The Exploratorium will be offering online courses to support teachers’ integration of the Exploratorium’s unique inquiry-based, hands-on approach to learning into the classroom.

The Exploratorium is one of the first three museums to offer teacher professional development courses via Coursera’s online platform. Two initial courses will be offered, with room for development of additional materials in the future:

Tinkering Fundamentals: Integrating Making Activities into Your STEM Classroom will be taught jointly by Exploratorium staff members Mike Petrich, Karen Wilkinson, Dr. Luigi Anzivino and Dr. Bronwyn Bevan, and is designed for K-12 science and math teachers.  The course will draw on research-based design principles to build teachers’ vision, interest, and capacity to introduce tinkering activities into the classroom.

Integrating Engineering Into Your Science Classroom will be taught by Exploratorium staff members Dr. Linda Shore, Eric Muller, Dr. Julie Yu and Dr. Paul Doherty, and is designed for middle and high school science teachers. This course will support the engineering practices outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards.

“The Exploratorium has long been committed to providing ongoing educational opportunities for teachers,” said Exploratorium Associate Director of Program Bronwyn Bevan. “Museums play a crucial role in supporting teachers with both content and pedagogy, and through this partnership with Coursera we hope to expand our impact to work with more teachers than ever before possible.  Today we are honored to contribute to creating a hub of resources and a support network for the people who hold the great responsibility of educating the next generation.”

This partnership with Coursera is the latest of several long-standing, highly regarded professional development programs from the Exploratorium, including the Teacher Institute, which supports secondary science and math teachers; the Institute for Inquiry, which offers workshops about the theory and practice of inquiry-based teaching and learning; the Exploratorium Network for Exhibit-Based Teaching (ExNET), which shares Exploratorium exhibits and teaching practices with other science institutions; and The California Tinkering Network, which provides professional development to informal educators working in afterschool programs that serve children from underserved communities.  

“We are constantly tinkering with new ways to expand our impact and reach those who stand to benefit the most,” added Exploratorium Associate Executive Director Rob Semper. “Our professional development programs for teachers have had a profound impact on thousands of science classrooms in every state. To put that impact in perspective, 90% of beginning science teachers who graduated from the Exploratorium's two-year mentoring program are still teaching science after 5 years, compared to a national average teacher retention rate of 50%. The potential to raise this impact to new heights by bringing our teaching methods online is remarkable.”

To sign up for a course today visit www.coursera.org/Exploratorium

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367