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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

Susan Gasper
Extension Educator, S.T.E.M.
University of Illinois Extension
8753 South Greenwood Avenue Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183

Courtnye 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

Meghan McCleary
Extension Educator, STEM
University of Illinois Extension
8753 South Greenwood Avenue Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Our educators are providing a wide variety of professional development programs that focus on animal science, biology, chemistry, engineering, math, and social and emotional learning. Sessions can be offered at your location during the school year or summer and can be adjusted to fit the needs of your teachers. Teachers will receive ISBE Professional Development Hours for each workshop. If you have any questions call (708) 449-4320. Don't delay - call us today!


Currently our math programs are on hold as our Math Educator has retired!

Mission Motion Equipment is available.  Please click HERE to submit a request.

NOTE:  Must have taken workshop prior to submitting a request, as we no longer have a Math Educator.  

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!

Any questions regarding equipment for Mission Motion or activities, please contact Maria E. Gutiérrez at 708.449.4320, email

Math Outside the Book

In these math workshops teachers will experience classroom-ready activities which they will be able to use with their students immediately.

Each workshop will be geared to a particular grade band and provide an extensive collection of materials and ideas that are ready to use! Suggested grade bands are PreK-K, 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, and 6th - 8th.  These can be adjusted for your location.

Teachers will receive ISBE professional development hours.  Sessions can be held at your school or district as well as an Extension office in Chicago, Westchester or Matteson.

Topics include:

  • High impact, low cost, low prep activities to engage your students in fun ways to practice and review math concepts
  • Effective ways to use manipulatives to broaden students’ understanding
  • Experiencing and sharing strategies to differentiate activities for all learners
  • Hands-on ideas to reinforce your curriculum – no matter what series you use
  • Playing games that you can use with your whole class, set up in math centers, use as part of family math nights, or include in math back packs
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of the 8 Math Practice Standards
  • Learning some new and fresh ideas as well as some “oldies but goodies”
  • Collaborating with other teachers to sharpen your math teaching skills

For more information please contact Karen Meyer ( or 708.449.4320

Science & Engineering

Little Scientist: NGSS Aligned Life Science Activities for K-2 Teachers (Grades Band K-2)

This workshop aims to supply K-2 teachers with NGSS aligned activities for immediate integration into their current lesson plans. There is an emphasis on the life 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.
For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (

Teaching with Science Journals (Grade Band 3-5)

Are you thinking of ways to integrate science journals into your classroom?  These wonderful educational tools assist students in learning through various outlets.  We will discuss how they connect with the Next Generation Science Standards, how to use them in the classroom and why they are necessary.  Come prepared to create and experience science journaling for yourself!
For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (

Animal Adaptations for your Classroom (Grade 3-5) This workshop focuses on various physical and environmental adaptations of animals.  Workshop participants will leave with cost effective ideas, techniques, and reading materials to incorporate animal adaptations into the current curricula immediately.
For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (

Teaching your students animal anatomy (Grades 6-8)

This workshop is for educators who eagerly embrace the notion of dissection labs to those that are a bit squeamish about the subject.  It will demonstrate the responsible use of animals in the classroom, handling of specimens, alternatives to dissection and dissection techniques.  Expect to learn very general anatomical terminology. For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (

Real World, Real Science, Real Fun: Teaching with the real world in mind (Grades 6-8)

Welcome your students to a new way of learning with fun and exciting real-world scenarios that get their minds thinking!  Walk away with the tools to turn your classroom into an escape room.  Emphasis is life science.  For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (

Cost Effective Science (K-8)

Discover ways to give students the opportunities to delve into life science lessons while on a budget. For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (

NGSS for the Novice (Open all Grade Bands)

With the adoption of the standards, it is imperative that educators understand them prior to implementation and assessment.  This workshop gives background information and a brief introduction to reading, understanding and incorporating the standards into their current curricula. Participants also delve into the main concept shifts necessary for today’s science teaching. This workshop is geared towards teachers that have little to no experience with the new standards.

What Parents Need to Know About the NGSS

Are you interested in discussing what the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards means for your child’s education?  This workshop gives a brief but thorough overview of the standards and what the shift means for student science learning and how parents can help them during the transition.  (1 hour).  For more information, please contact Courtnye Jackson (


We are currently working towards the best practice of conducting extended teacher professional development programs. Other than NGSX, which is already meeting this goal, the following programs may be scheduled as a series of workshops.

Please contact Meghan McCleary ( or Sue Gasper ( to start a conversation about fully integrating your teachers to the NGSS.

Next Gen Science Exemplar -- NGSX (Grades K-12, Administrators, Educational Leaders)
NGSX has a variety of pathways that can be leveraged to fit the needs of your school or district staff, including pathways for administrators and those who want to implement NGSS-designed curriculum. 

NGSX is a blended professional learning system designed to help teams of K-12 science educators apply the pedagogical shifts described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards to their own teaching. NGSX is organized into learning pathways structured to immerse participants -- as learners and as teachers -- in 3-Dimensional learning using a web-based system of tasks, tools and resources. The NGSX experience combines first-hand science investigations, videotaped expert commentary and classroom case studies along with facilitated individual, small group and whole group discussions. In a collegial, seminar-like environment, NGSX participants will engage in modeling and constructing explanations of complex phenomena, hallmarks of Next Generation Science. They will also learn to use questioning strategies, or talk moves, to create a classroom culture in which students explain their thinking, listen to and build on the ideas of others and function as a community of critical thinkers.

Thinking about NGSS: Introducing the Practices (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Looking for ways to begin aligning your instruction with the NGSS? This workshop offers a brief but comprehensive overview of the NGSS as well as activities designed to deepen teachers understanding of the Practice of Science and Engineering. Teachers will also examine a common lesson to get ideas for revising materials to enhance student engagement with the Practices.

Introducing Engineering in the NGSS (Grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Start using engineering in your classroom! This introductory session is intended to familiarize teachers with the engineering design process in the context of the NGSS and provide them with a starting point for integrating engineering into their classrooms. Teachers will have the opportunity to engage in both a simple and a more complex project in order to experience the engineering design process.

Engineering Design Projects for Specific Grade Bands (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

This workshop provides teachers with information on how to execute design projects for grades 3-5 or 6-8. Teachers will walk through iteration and optimization of activities in different NGSS disciplinary core idea realms: physical, life, and earth and space science. It is a prerequisite that you attend an introductory Engineering NGSS session or are very familiar with the NGSS prior to this workshop.

NGSS for Administrators: An Introductory Guide to Implementation (K-12 Administrators)

This workshop is intended to introduce administrators to the NGSS, identify the support their teachers need, and get them thinking about how to make a successful transition. An introduction to NGSS, as well as research based methods for implementation will be discussed. Connect with other administrators and educators, get answers to your critical questions, and leave with a better idea of how to get your school on the right path.

EQuIP Yourself for NGSS - 2 parts (Grades K-12)

In this 2-3 session workshop, teachers will get to know the EQuIP Rubric for Science and begin to evaluate lessons and units for their alignment to the NGSS. Teachers will further develop their proficiency with the rubric by reviewing lessons or units for instructional supports and monitoring student progress. Attending one of our other NGSS sessions or a similarly rigorous session prior to this workshop is a prerequisite.

Evaluating and Creating NGSS Lessons and Units (Grades K-12)

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 collaboration. It is a prerequisite that you attend an introductory Engineering NGSS session or are very familiar with the NGSS prior to this workshop.

Social and Emotional Learning

Maximizing Academic Growth with Social & Emotional Learning (Grades K-12)

This engaging, interactive professional development workshop will provide an overview of Social & Emotional Learning (SEL), how it connects to the academic mission of schools, improves test scores, and why it provides the foundation for students' lifelong success. We will also explore the SEL Learning Standards and five essential keys to integrating it into current academic lesson plans.

Diversity and Inclusion: Teaching and Learning Across Difference (Grades K-5)

Come and explore how you can successfully engage in culturally relevant teaching to reach all of your students! Learn how incorporating culturally relevant activities and lessons empower students intellectually, socially, and emotionally. This workshop is interactive and you will leave with activities and materials that you can readily utilize in your classroom.

Emotional Intelligence for Teachers (Grades K-12)

As an educator you have probably quickly discovered that being an effective teacher is 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. *There is a nominal fee (to cover materials) for this workshop.

Real Teaching with Real Colors (Personality Instrument) (Grades PreK-12)

Picture yourself having a unique level of communication, understanding, and insight into the things that motivate you as a teacher and your students as learners. The power to accomplish this exists - you just have to unlock it! The key is Real Colors! Come and explore how Real Colors will complement the learning environment, assist in whole-child teaching and behavior modification, and enhance the social and emotional development of all students.

The Science of Veterinary Medicine

The following veterinary medicine workshops can be presented at your organization or please contact Courtnye Jackson ( to sign up for an upcoming workshop at an Extension location.

All workshops are 1 to 1.5 hours in length


This workshop is for new pet owners or those that have just added a new puppy or kitten into their home.  Participants will gain valuable information about caring for their new puppy or kitten. Topics include vaccinations, socialization, general care and training techniques.  Come with plenty of questions!


Want to know what to do in an emergency for you pet?  This workshop will touch on topics such as poisoning, how to do a quick splint and CPR for dogs and cats.


Many times, people find that their pet’s age at a faster rate than they are prepared to handle.  In this workshop we will discuss steps that you can take to ensure a great quality of life for your senior dog or cat


Many times, cats and dogs are taken to the vet for things that are easily preventable, such as feeding your pet something you didn't know was dangerous!  This workshop will touch on some foods that are unhealthy for your pet as well as clinical signs and diseases that can occur due to harmful foods.


With the increasing expansion of our cities, encounters with wildlife are common occurrences.  This workshop discusses ways to keep your pet safe, disease prevention and zoonosis.

The following workshops are veterinary and animal career related programs for students and their families.               


This workshop can be presented at an offsite location per request or contact us to sign-up for a workshop at an Extension office

This informational is open to families and students of all grades!  The following information will be discussed:

  •      Steps to take at any age learn more about pursuing a career in veterinary medicine
  •      Gain information about skills required to be a veterinarian and the application process
  •      Obtain information about various veterinary schools

S.A.V.E.S - Shelter Animal Volunteer Education Series

A three week, six hour session for individuals that desire to volunteer at small animal shelters or individuals that are currently volunteering and desire a more in-depth understanding of small animal disease processes, husbandry and handling techniques. Information presented during the workshops focuses on feline and canine care and can be built upon while volunteering in an animal shelter.

ARCSi - Animal Related Career Summer Intensive (Begins July) 8-12 grade

The Animal Related Career Summer Intensive is a four-week summer workshop for students interested in pursuing animal related careers.  Students have the opportunity to interact and learn about animals through:

  •       Field trips that focus on a variety of careers in the fields of veterinary medicine, animal        science and more
  •       In house workshops and sessions focusing on animal related careers
  •       Interactions with career professionals
  •       Learning about animal related internships through many of the locations visited
  •       Encountering a variety of animals

Click here for more information


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Additional Websites

  • Best of Friends: Kids and Dogs
    This website helps children learn about dogs, the responsibility of caring for dogs and how to be safe around them. (Intended for 4th-6th grade students)
  • Riding the Winds with Kalani: A Weather Adventure
    This website teaches the concepts of temperature, clouds, precipitation and basic earth movements. (Intended for K-2nd grade students)
  • Trees Are Terrific
    Travel with Pierre as you learn all about how trees are important to us! (Intended for K-2nd grade students)
  • Let's Talk about Insects
    Join C.P. to learn the benefits of insects, their basic anatomy, and what makes an insect an insect. You can even create a new insect! (Intended for 3rd-5th grade students)
  • Dr. Arbor Talks Trees
    Dr. Arbor teaches all about trees! (Intended for 6th-8th grade students)

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