Contact Us

Deanne Holste
Program Coordinator, STEM
University of Illinois Extension
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805

Karen Meyer
Extension Educator, S.T.E.M.
University of Illinois Extension
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805

Courtnye Nichole Jackson
Extension Educator, Small Animal Health
University of Illinois Extension
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855

Durriyyah Bryant
Extension Educator, Community Health
University of Illinois Extension
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805

2016 Summer Teacher Institute

2016 Summer Teacher Institute

Accent photo

University of Illinois Extension is excited about offering our  Summer Teacher Institute.  Workshops cover a wide range of topics from math, life science, health, NGSS and social and emotional learning. 

Workshops will be offered in June, July and August. The cost for each 3 hour workshop is $15. Teachers will receive CPDU hours for each workshop. The deadline to sign up is two weeks prior to the workshop.

These workshops can also be offered very economically and conveniently at your school or district. Please contact us at 708-449-4320 to find out more.

The Chicago workshops will be held at 9415 South Western Ave, Chicago, IL. 60643. (THIS IS A NEW LOCATION)

The Westchester workshops will be held at 2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501, Westchester IL 60154.

The Matteson workshops will be held at 4747 Lincoln Mall Drive, Suite 601, Matteson, IL 60443.


Number Sense and More (1st-2nd grade) ***

Teaching math can be fun for you and your students. Learn new activities and games to involve your students as a large group or in centers. Leave with lots of new ideas to start the school year.

·         June 21 @ Chicago from 9am-Noon

·         June 28 @ Westchester from 1pm-4pm

·         August 2 @ Matteson from 9am-Noon


Math Beyond the Book (3rd -5th grade) ***

Need hands-on ideas to reinforce the curriculum? Learn ways to review the concepts that will engage your students. These fun games and exciting activities will help your students not only learn about math operations and fractions, but practice these concepts in a new way. Let’s put the fun in fundamentals.

·         June 21 @ Chicago from 1pm-4pm

·         July 12 @ Westchester from 1pm-4pm

·         July 19 @ Chicago from 9am-Noon


Math You Can Count On (Pre K- K) ***

Review some favorites as well as learn new activities and games to engage young learners in math. Leave with lots of ideas to start the school year.

·         July 13 @ Westchester from 1pm-4pm

·         July 19 @ Chicago from 1pm-4pm

·         August 2 @ Matteson from 1pm-4pm


Math in the Middle (6th -8th grade) ***

Ready to play? Come, review and learn new games to reinforce the concepts you are teaching. Activities are easy to implement and will make your class their favorite!

·         July 14 @ Westchester from 1pm-4pm

·         July 21 @ Chicago from 9am-Noon


Get Ready! Math Make and Take (Pre K-8th grade)

Get ready for the school year now! This session will focus on preparing materials for your classroom. Teachers will take time to make activities and games from the math workshops so they will be ready for the start of the school year. Participants must have attended one of the math workshops during the summer institute

·         July 29 @ Westchester from  9am –Noon and/or 1pm- 4pm  (Choose one or both)


Mission Motion: Making Sense of Graphs: (5th-8th grade) ***

In this session, you will receive training in using a series of ready-made activities that engage students in making sense of distance-time graphs as they “fly their helicopters” to create and match various graphical representations. A classroom set of graphing calculators and motion detectors will be available for check-out during the school year for teachers that complete this workshop. Come fly with us!

·         July 27 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon

Social Emotional Learning


The E4 Project: Introduction to Project-Based Learning (6th -12th grade)

Have you heard about Project Based Learning (PBL)? Are you interested in implementing it but are unsure of where to start? Come and dive into the inquiry-driven strategy as we explore, experience, engage, and extend (E4) the art of project-based learning. This workshop will also serve as a prerequisite for this fall’s E4 Project, a comprehensive PBL initiative for middle and high school teachers, which includes sample projects, coaching and technical assistance.

·       June 29 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon

Diversity and Inclusion: Learning Across Difference (Pre K-5th grade)

Come explore and discuss how you can successfully engage in diverse teaching and learning strategies to reach all of your students and contribute to an inclusive environment for all! Explore how enhancing your cultural competency can strengthen relationships with colleagues and empower students intellectually, socially, and emotionally. This workshop is interactive and you will leave with tools and materials that you can readily implement in your school, classroom, and personal life.

·         June 22 @ Chicago from 9am-Noon


Emotional Intelligence for Teachers (Pre K-12th grade)

As an educator you have probably quickly discovered that being an effective teacher is about more than your Intellectual Quotient (IQ); it also depends on how well you can use your Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This very engaging workshop will allow you to assess your EQ, differentiate your teaching style, strengthen relationships with colleagues, motivate students, and much more!

·         August 3 @ Matteson from 9am-Noon

Life Science


Inquiry Adventures: Investigating the Forest Preserves (6th-12th grade) ***

In partnerships with the Forest Preserve of Cook County, U of I Extension leads inquiry based field trips where students conduct scientific investigations in a nearby Forest Preserve. Come to this workshop to learn about the program and conduct an investigation as your students would. This free program is only available to schools in Cook County and preference is given to teacher who attend the workshop. Transportation reimbursement is provided to schools with 75% or more students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. (Lunch not included)

·         June 17@ Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center from 10am-2pm

·         July 15 @ Sand Ridge Nature Center from 10am-2pm


Little Scientist: NGSS Aligned Life Science Activities for K-2 (K-2nd grade) ***

This workshop aims to supply K-2 teacher with NGSS aligned activities for immediate integration into current lesson plans. There is an emphasis on the life science disciplinary core idea. In addition, teachers will gain a deeper understanding of the standards, their application and the transformative shifts necessary for science teaching in preparation for assessment. Teachers are asked to bring a video of themselves teaching. (4 minutes or less)

·         June 22 @ Chicago from 1pm-4pm

·         August 3 @ Matteson from 1pm-4pm

 Beyond School Walls: Life and Animal Science Activities for Outside Learning (3rd-5th grade) ***

Research has proven that students who consistently interact with nature have less behavioral stresses and issues within the classroom. In an effort to help teachers brave the great outdoors with their students, this workshop will focus on activities that bring nature indoors and those that can be implemented outside the classroom. When applicable the Next Generation Science Standards are integrated into the presentation. Come prepared to venture outside and be very hands on!

·         June 24 @ Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center from 9am-Noon

·         July 22 @ Sand Ridge Nature Center from 9:00am-Noon.


Botany on Your Plate (3rd-5th grade) ***

Seeds are for more than planting. This workshop will prepare participants to instruct their students on the diversity of seeds through tasting, journaling, dissecting, observing and reflecting their experience with seeds. Participants will also gain ideas of how seeds can be incorporated in curriculum beyond science.

·         June 28 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon

·         July 12 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon


Introduction to Trauma, Compassion, and Resiliency (Pre K-12th grade)

While the presence of children affected by various traumas is now new to the school atmosphere, research has shown there is an elevation in the pervasiveness and resultant effects on student’s overall performance. In this workshop participants will learn how to recognize symptoms of trauma and vicarious (secondary) trauma, understand how trauma affects the brain and classroom learning, and explore the role of compassion and resiliency needed when working with students dealing with these issues.

·         July 13 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon

·         June 23 @ Chicago from 9am-Noon

·         August 4 @ Matteson from 9am-Noon


Self-Care for Teachers (Pre K-12th grade)

Teachers are often overworked and many times carry the burden of feeling underappreciated despite their tireless efforts. Additionally, they are often first responders; that is, they are among the “first outsiders” to learn that trauma is affecting students and their families. Without proper attention to self-care, teachers may develop compassion fatigue and even burnout. In this workshop participants will explore different self-care strategies, learn tips for preventing burnout, and practice setting and monitoring self-care goals. Every teacher will leave with their own self-care action plan that can be implemented immediately.

·         June 23 @ Chicago from 1pm-4pm

·         July 14 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon

·         August 4 @ Matteson from 1pm -4pm


Workshop Strategies for Building a Compassionate Classroom (Pre K-12th grade)

A guiding maxim of trauma informed classrooms is, “You cannot reach the mind until you reach the heart.” In this workshop, both content and method will be illustrated including the Six Principles of Compassionate Instruction and Discipline, as well as the Three Domains of a Compassionate School Curriculum. Through the demonstration of games, projects, and activities, participants will learn strategies for building resilient learners and ultimately positively contributing members of society.

·         June 29 @ Westchester from 1pm-4pm

          July 1, @ Westchester from 9am-Noon

·         July 21 @ Western from 1pm-4pm


Sexual Health Education in the Classroom (3rd-5th grade)

Based on the “National Sex Education Standards, this workshop will give teachers the tools, skill and lessons to use and incorporate into your curriculum.  These lessons will teach students about puberty education, learning their bodies, addressing body odor, good touch bad touch, and anatomy among other things.

·         July 20 @ Western from 1pm-4pm


Health Education in the Classroom: How to engage your students by keeping them healthy (PreK-5th grade)

Based on the National Health Education Standards, this workshop will explore health education activities for the classroom. Topics covered in this workshop include healthy eating, physical activity, good touch bad touch, germs and more.

·         July 28 @ Westchester from 9am-Noon




Evaluating and Creating NGSS Lessons and Units (K-12th grade) ***

Mandatory Pre-Requisite: Familiarity with NGSS and 3D Learning from multiple workshops/webinars

In this full day workshop, teacher will learn how to evaluate lessons and units with the EQuIP Rubric for science. They will also learn research-based strategies for their own unit and lesson planning. Participants will have in depth conversations with their peers and have many opportunities for collaborating.

·         July 26th at Westchester from 9am-4pm  (All day workshop, lunch is not included)