Explorer's Guild

STEM @ GTRI’s professional development programs directly connect the expertise of higher education and applied STEM research to Georgia’s K12 educators and into K12 STEM classrooms.Working hand-in-hand with partners at the State, district, and local level, STEM @ GTRI prepares and supports Georgia’s STEM teaching work force with technical and pedagogical professional learning. These offerings are aimed to improve student learning outcomes in Georgia’s STEM courses, foster cultures of STEM literacy, and offer opportunities for teacher-driven innovation in STEM teaching and learning. As an integral program within one of the top engineering institutes in the world, STEM @ GTRI has the unique advantage of being at the forefront of technological advances and having the ability to bring real-world STEM applications into learning to prepare Georgia’s technology workforce of the future.

Since 1999, the Explorers’ Guild (EG) program has delivered free professional learning to Georgia’s K12 educators. The EGs focus on equipping educators with critical STEM skills and strategies to incorporate pedagogy effectively into instruction.

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Upcoming EG Sessions

There are no EG sessions currently scheduled.


Past EG Series

"How To..." Series - Feb-Mar 2022

Looking for new ways of doing STEM+CS inquiry and design or how to support students in giving their best presentations? 

This Explorer's Guild "How To" series featured educators and science communicators where they shared resources and best practices for engaging students in creating podcasts, pitch videos, and poster presentations for project-based learning. Educators walked away with new strategies, resources, and rubrics to take student product creations to the next level!

Sessions: 1) How to Make a Compelling Pitch Video, 2) How to Design an Effective Science Poster, 3) How to Create an Engaging Podcast

Resources Link: How to... Series

Virtual EG Series - Nov 2021 | The Educator's Guide to the GPB Galaxy

This GPB series was focused on PBS Learning Media and Lesson Builder and digital media integration strategies. Educators learned how to locate and explore engaging PBS content, organize it into folders, embed it into personalized storyboards and lesson builders, and integrate it into your instruction via your teacher dashboard and associated student accounts. They also learned about the latest, free digital learning tools and model several of GPB's differentiated teaching strategies and explore the PBS Lesson Builder tool and learn how to create lessons and share them with your students.

Sessions: 1) Crash Course into PBS LearningMedia, 2) Digital Media Integration Strategies for any Classroom, 3) If you Build it, they will Learn with PBS Lesson Builder

Resources Link: GPB Series

Virtual EG Series - Sept 2021 | Cybersecurity

This EG Cybersecurity series was created to support teachers curious about cybersecurity – for themselves, their students, or future opportunities. We covered cybersecurity basics, ways to bridge cybersecurity with other curricular areas, and opportunities to engage your students through cybersecurity competitions. The series was presented in collaboration with the University of North Georgia.

Sessions: 1) Cybersecurity Basics, 2) Cybersecurity Connections, 3) Cybersecurity Competitions

Resources Link: Cybersecurity Series

Virtual EG Series - Mar 2021 | The Good of Games in K12 Education

In this EG series, attendees explored how games can benefit student wellness and motivation for learning, how to integrate games into the classroom, how students can develop that connect to jobs in the gaming industry, and how to start an esports program at school! This series was presented in collaboration with the Georgia Tech Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) and facilitated by Laura Levy.

Sessions: 1) Introduction - Games are good for you! 2) Games in MY Classroom?, 3) What does it mean to work in the games industry, 4) Esports: Why should I care?

Resources Link: Gaming-Esports Series

Virtual EG Series - Jan-Feb 2021 | The Powerful Act of Prototyping

In this EG series, attendees learned how technical drawings, paper prototyping, and digital prototyping could be used in the face-to-face, hybrid, or virtual classroom to help students think through ideas in project-based learning curriculum. This series was presented in collaboration with IPaT and the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design and facilitated by Dr. Clint Zeagler.

Sessions: 1) Technical Drawing – From Ideation to Illustration, 2) Paper Prototyping – Time- and Cost-Effective Prototyping, 3) Digital Prototyping – 3D Modeling and Virtual Prototyping, 4) Discussing Prototyping – Pulling It All Together

Resources Link: Prototyping Series

Virtual EG Series - Oct 2020 | Listen Up: Podcasts in the Classroom

In this EG series, attendees learned how to use podcasts to make connections across disciplines, facilitate project-based learning, and increase literacy and communications skills. This series was presented in collaboration with the Georgia Tech Library and Fayette County Public Schools.

Sessions: 1) Communicating Information Using Podcasts, 2) Introduction to Creating Podcasts, 3) Integrating Podcasts in Your Curriculum, 4) K12 Podcast Ideas and Strategies

Resources Link: Podcast Series


Other Professional Development - Summer Inquiry Camp

Our summer professional learning focuses on engaging teachers in the authentic, cutting-edge work of our research faculty. Teachers walk away with new scenarios, methods, and contacts to engage students in authentic inquiry learning. The camp leverages STEM-focused experiential learning, evidence-based practices in instruction and assessment, and collaborative curriculum development. ​


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