Contact Us

Susan Gasper
Extension Educator, S.T.E.M.
University of Illinois Extension
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
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

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

Meghan McCleary
Extension Educator, STEM
University of Illinois Extension
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183

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

Discover the Possibilities: Enrichment Workshops for Teachers

Discover the Possibilities: Enrichment Workshops for Teachers

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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. 

The following is a list of workshops that 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 PDH credits for each workshop.  If you have any questions call  (708) 449-4320.

Don't delay - call us today!



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! Currently the sessions are grouped PreK-Kindergarten, 1st - 2nd grades, 3rd - 5th grades, and 6th - 8th grades.

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

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!




Science Journals (Grades 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!

Animal Adaptations (Grades 3-5)

Animals are equipped with physical and environmental adaptations to help them survive. This workshop centers on these adaptations and incorporates the Next Generation Science Standards when applicable. Workshop participants will leave equipped with cost effective ideas, techniques, and reading materials to incorporate into their current curricula.

Bugging out! Teaching with Insects (Grades K-5)

If the thought of housing insects in your classroom doesn't bug you this workshop is for you!  There are many things that can be learned through observing and teaching with insects.  This hands-on workshop gives detailed lessons that align with the Next Generation Science Standards and safely incorporate bugs.  Be prepared to be very hands on! 

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

This workshop aims to supply K-2 teachers with NGSS aligned activities for immediate integration into 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 prepartation for assessment.

NGSS for the Novice (Grades PreK-8)

With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards it is imperative that educators in Illinois understand the standards prior to implementation and assessment.  This workshop gives a very broad overview of the standards from inception, why they were created, and how this makes a difference in your classroom.  It was developed with the novice in mind and is meant to introduce educators that have not yet begun to familiarize themselves with deciphering the standards.  Come prepared to interact with other educators and be extremely hands on.  Participants should bring 1-2 lessons they currently use in the classroom and a technological device (laptop or tablet) for internet use.

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

Looking for ways to begin to align your instruction with the NGSS? Learn ways to incorporate science and engineering practices into your instruction. Participants will experience and examine a series of science and engineering activities as a starting point for integrating the NGSS. Extension Educators will help you update and revise your curriculum so that it begins to address core disciplinary ideas, crosscutting concepts and scientific practices. Sessions and activities can be tailored to desired grade levels and ambitions; choose science and/or engineering concepts as the focus of the session.

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)

Mandatory Pre-Requisite: Familiarity with Engineering in the context of NGSS from multiple workshops/webinars

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. 

NGSS for Administrators: An Introductory Guide to Implementation

The NGSS is up us! If you’re wondering how to get your school started, we’re here to guide you. 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 the first session of the two-part workshop, teachers will get to know the EQuIP Rubric for Science and begin to evaluate lessons and units for their alignment to the NGSS. Attending one of our other NGSS sessions prior to this workshop is highly recommended.
In the second session of this two-part workshop, teachers will further develop their proficiency with the EQuIP Rubric for Science by reviewing lessons and units for instructional supports and monitoring student progress.

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

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

Next Gen Science Exemplar -- NGSX (Grades K-12)

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.



Social & 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, 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.

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.

Diversity and Inclusion: 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 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!