Science and Teaching for Field Instructors


National Leadership Institute

August 2-7, 2015
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning, and Expertise Sharing) helps residential outdoor science schools take full advantage of the rich opportunities for science learning in the outdoors. The residential outdoor science school setting is a unique context, and requires different tools than those designed for classrooms, schoolyards or outdoor day programs. The BEETLES team at the Lawrence Hall of Science has designed and tested a toolkit of engaging professional learning experiences and trail activities specifically for residential outdoor science schools. These resources have been tested in programs throughout California, and now we are ready to test them in programs nationwide. These resources are student-focused, nature-centered, discussion-based, and grounded in research about science teaching and learning. They are designed to inspire exploration, deep understanding, wonder, and critical thinking in program leaders and instructors.

The BEETLES National Leadership Institute will build participants’ leadership expertise to incorporate effective practices into professional learning experiences for their staffs. Professional learning sessions modeled during the Institute will include: Teaching and Learning, Constructing Understanding, Questioning Strategies, Promoting Discussion, Nature and Practices of Science, Explanations from Evidence, Making Observations in Nature, Assessing for Student Learning and Matter and Energy in Ecosystems. (Click here to see session descriptions). Participants will receive a presenter’s guide for implementing the BEETLES professional learning program, as well as a student activity guide. We will also address the strategic opportunity to elevate the prominence of environmental education provided by the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.


The BEETLES National Leadership Institute for residential outdoor science school leaders will take place in California from August 2nd to 7th, 2015. This Institute is open to 2 leaders (one person in a director/administrative role, and one education director/lead instructor with staff training responsibilities) from each of 25 selected programs across the country.

Our commitment to you:

  • 5 days of shared professional learning
  • Print and online access to field test professional learning sessions
  • Student activities that demonstrate and support research-based professional learning concepts
  • Ongoing support for implementation during the next year (online and by phone)
  • A new community of national environmental education leaders willing to share resources and expertise
  • Delicious meals and lodging
  • All free of charge, including travel expenses

Your commitment to us:

  • 5 days of sharing your time, focus, creative energy, and expertise
  • 2 leaders from your program attend (e.g., director plus program manager, program coordinator, or lead instructor)
  • Make and carry out a plan to implement BEETLES approaches and resources with your staff
  • Participate in all BEETLES-related evaluation and research activities

Applications are closed.

The deep experiences, resources, and thought-provoking discussions are the reasons to attend, but the camaraderie, food and California setting alone are worth the trip.

To learn more, contact:

Jedda Foreman, BEETLES Project Manager
(510) 642-7504

“THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so so so excited. This was like manna from the heavens, exactly what I have been looking for, the best PD that I have been to. It was like a whole year of grad school in a week…Thoughtful, amazing, innovative, impactful, applicable, exciting… I’m blown away. I have so much to think about and consider personally and organizationally…. Truly life changing for me.”

—Participant in 2013 BEETLES California Leadership Institute


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