Exploring Scientific Practices for Middle School (5th-8th) Teachers

July 18-19*, 8 am–3 pm
August 1-2*, 8 am–3 pm

*You may register for 1 or both programs.

Location: Bell Museum / Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Fee: Free (includes stipend)
Capacity: 12 educators
Teachers of 5th grade–8th grade students

Join science educators from University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the Bell Museum to explore one of the eight scientific practices outlined in the Minnesota State Science Standards. Each session will highlight active ecological research in Minnesota through engagement with two Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) programs: the Cedar Creek LTER (CDR LTER; https://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/) and the Minneapolis-St. Paul LTER (MSP LTER) (https://mspurbanlter.umn.edu/). Sign up for one or both sessions. Space is limited. REGISTER HERE.


Outline for the Program

Day 1: Bell Museum. Join the teaching team at the Bell Museum. Program activities start at 9:00 am, check in begins at 8:30 am. The program will wrap at 3:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. 

Day 2: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, East Bethel, MN. Meet at the Bell Museum at 8:00 am to carpool up the Cedar Creek or meet us at Cedar Creek by 9:00 am. The program will wrap at Cedar Creek around 3:00 pm, with a return to the Bell Museum around 4:00 pm. Lunch will be provided.


Session 1: July 18 and 19 – Developing and Using Models

Models take many shapes and forms but all models are used to make sense of natural phenomena. Learn to think like scientists to harness the power and limitations of modeling natural phenomena as we explore science concepts and ideas. 

Session 2: August 1 and 2, 2023 – Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Scientific data collection and analysis takes many shapes and forms. Explore various methods of data collection and then explore how data is analyzed and interpreted to answer scientific questions. Consider the difference between data collection, analysis, and interpretation as you dive into large data sets available for classroom use. In addition, explore unique data sets in Minnesota housed at the Bell Museum and Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research.