Professional Development

Learning is fun for everyone — including educators — at EdVenture!

Access new teaching tools and resources that will give a boost to teaching skills and enliven lesson plans. Whether you attend a one-hour session or a weeklong summer institute, EdVenture ensures your experience is rewarding and useful in your work of educating the next generation.

Early Childhood Institute for Educators

Preschool providers or child development centers requiring Department of Social Service credit hours can access professional development workshops at their school or center through EdVenture.

EdVenture is hosting our Spring Early Childhood Institute on Saturday, April 22, 2017. We are honored to have Darion McCloud as our keynote speaker. Darion is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia, S.C.. He is also the founder and Creative Director of the NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad, as well as a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow. He is a formally-trained visual artist who found his way to the stage through telling stories. Darion enjoys crafting theatre experiences for the old, young, the initiated and the uninitiated. He has committed his life to the transforming power of art. You can find links to his work below. 

The day will focus on literature and STEAM-based activities for our youngest learners. The institute will run from 9am-2pm, with lunch provided.

Thanks to The PNC Foundation, Head Start educators can attend the conference at no-cost. We would love for you and your colleagues to join us and share in the joy of inspiring our youngest learners. Please register at the link below.

Hands-On Minds On!  

Since 2006, EdVenture has hosted Hands-On, Minds On! (HMO) Institutes, providing quality professional development experiences for over 1,500 teachers. These professional learning experiences have been designed to build teachers’ confidence about science and mathematics, the standards, and their ability to cultivate their students’ curiosity.

Strategies used to gauge student understanding

EdVenture has customized services to schools to provide enriched professional learning opportunities for the teachers. Our most recent PD included a package offering three inter-related components:

  • A four-day Hands on Minds On! Summer Institute for Teachers 
  • Onsite experience and field study, and
  • A follow-up outreach program, classroom observation, and follow up at teachers’ home school.
  • HMO!: The Institute, June 12-22, 2017 (Click the Register button to select a session.)

  •  The first component of HMO is a four-day institute held at EdVenture. This professional learning experience will be developed specifically for teachers from the State’s Priority Schools. Each four-day institute will engage the teachers in STEM-related activities that will require them to:

    • understand and become more confident in their ability to implement the state’s mathematics and science standards;
    • participate in engineering and design activities, to help better understand the elements of the maker education movement; 
    • identify ways to promote greater student engagement with emphasis on teaching creativity, problem solving, and the ability to think like young scientists, mathematicians, and engineers;
    • complete an integrated thematic unit using architecture, engineering or aeronautics as a theme and  incorporating children’s literature and web-based resources; and
    • participate in a book studies and engage in conversations regarding effective teaching strategies that promote reading in mathematics and science (online). 

    HMO participants will also be required to complete out-of-class assignments to include:

    • providing overview workshops at their school using the activities, lessons, materials, and resources used during the HMO experience; 
    • providing documentation, including evaluations, that the workshop was held;
    • and plan and conduct a parent evening event at their school to strengthen family involvement and encourage student interest in STEM areas including building, design, architecture, and aeronautics


The Field Study Experience

Another component of this partnership is to provide a field experience where each participating teacher will bring a class to the museum to explore and participate in a program selected by the teacher. This experience will be geared to the specific grade level and students’ interests. 

Observations and Outreach Program

During the summer, participating teachers will schedule an outreach program to be delivered to their school IN THE FALL. The purpose of the activity is to expand on the summer experience. After the EdVenture team member delivers the program at the school, (s)he will conduct a classroom observation to assess student engagement and the incorporation of increased hands-on activities employed by the teacher. The observation instrument will focus on the following components of professional practice: 

  • Knowledge of content
  • Knowledge of students’ various approaches to learning
  • Use of student interests in the lesson
  • Use of question and discussion techniques
  • Engaging students in learning
  • Strategies used to gauge student understanding


To reach a School and Group Coordinator:


Hours Monday - Sunday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Members Free
Children and Adults $11.50
Seniors (age 62+) $10.50
Military (with ID) $10.50
Educator (with ID) $10.50
Groups (15+ w/RSVP) $8.50
Children under two Free