STEM Research in the Classroom

Connecting Research to Students

June 11-12, 2020

What does STEM look like in the real world? How do we engage students in using the science and engineering practices in authentic ways. Dive into strategies and curriculum written by South Dakota educators and aligned with South Dakota science standards that bring cutting edge research into the classroom.

Dates: June 11-12
Location: Pierre
Fee: Members $15, Non-members $25, School District partners Free
Credit: One 
Grade target: 9-12
To register:

 Sponsored by South Dakota Space Grant 

Exploring Badlands National Park

A Field Based PD
June 15-18, 2020

Go beyond hands-on to full immersion in this four day/three night field based PD in Badlands National Park. We spend one day in Wall (June 15) to learn the field protocols and then move to Sage Creek Campground which will be our base for field studies and exploring the park till Thursday noon.

This year's special theme will be using Google Geo tools to teach with stories told with maps, data, photos and more. We will also use BEETLES, iNaturalist and GLOBE for our field work. We are honored to have botanist and enrolled Ogalala Sioux tribal member Richard Sherman guide us on an ethno-botany hike.

This cross curricular PD is designed to give you experiences to use as teaching artifacts in your classroom and equip you to teach in and about the outdoors. All meals from Monday night to Thursday breakfast are provided. A limited amount of REI quality gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent) is available to rent.

Dates: June 15-18
Location: Wall, Badlands National Park
Fee: Member $25, In State $50, Out of State $100, School district membership Free
Credit: Two 
Grade target: K-12

To register:

Sponsored by the SD 319 Information and Education Project and the SD Space Grant Coalition
with support from Wild Idea Buffalo Company

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Teaching about Healthy Soil

June 23-24

Location TBA

Soil is the unsung hero of the natural world. In this two day professional development opportunity you will learn cross curricular ways for grades K-8 of teaching about what is healthy soil and why it matters to us. Attending teachers will be eligible to apply for a stipend opportunity to pilot the lessons in their classrooms.

Dates: June 23-24
Location: TBD
Fee: Free!
Credit: One 
Grade target: 4-8

To register:

Exploring Your Place

A Field Based PD

June 30 - July 1, 2020

Similar to our Badlands PD but shorter and without camping. Spend two days exploring one of the local nature areas near Pierre using iNaturalist, GLOBE, BEETLES and Google geo-education tools to help you meet standards with educational and fun resources. We'll have an optional evening kayaking opportunity. This PD is developed to provide you authentic, interesting lived experiences for you to integrate into your classroom.

June 30 - July 1
Location: Pierre
Fee: Members $15, Non-members $25, School district partners Free
Credit: One 
Grade target: 4-12

To register:

Links to presentations at the 2020 SD STEM Ed Conference Feb 7-8


The South Dakota Discovery Center is a training partner for GLOBE. GLOBE is an international science and education project sponsored by NASA and NOAA dedicated to earth systems monitoring and research. GLOBE trained educators in South Dakota are eligible for mini-grants to purchase classroom supplies to support implementation. Become a GLOBE trained educator through online e-training or at an in person professional development opportunity.


The South Dakota Discovery Center will provide contact hour certificates if you participate in and reflect up a webinar from NASA, GLOBE, or CLEAN. 

Please visit our mini-site for more information.

National Geographic Educator Certification
The South Dakota Discover Center supports South Dakota educators pursuing their National Geographic Educator Certification.  Contact Anne for more information.


The SD Discovery Center offers professional development to formal and non-formal educators in science using proven, high quality, inquiry resources.

We offer:

  • Accredited Hybrid and in person workshops throughout the year in GLOBE, GEMS, the Leopold Education Project and Project WET that include Phase One training of the National Geographic Educator Certification. We can offer these learning opportunities at minimal cost to participants thanks to partnerships with the Space Grant Consortium and the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Many of these opportunities offer a stipend. Educators who are trained in GLOBE are eligible for implementation stipends as well as mini-grants to purchase supplies.
  • Mentoring and coaching for your science staff. Our specialty is empowering elementary and middle school educators to be confident STEM educators. Contact Kristie for more information.


Upcoming events

Thank you to the 
Friends of the South Dakota Discovery Center. 
Friends provide on going support so that the
children and families in our community have access to hands-on science learning, now and in the future.

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