Professional Development

Engage with hands-on STEM and STEAM learning, develop the skills it takes to bring others into science conversations and understanding


Badlands: The Power of Water/Mni

Water is a powerful force and its handiwork is evident in the Badlands. Join thi...

Ignite: Braiding Indigenous and Western STEM for K-5

Ignite offers K-5 standard aligned, hands-on STEM lessons that are culturally re...

Science in Classrooms
Professional development for formal and informal educators focused on bringing hands-on science teaching methods into the K-8 class setting.

South Dakota Discovery Center Opportunities
June 10-11, 2024 | Credit and stipend provided with submission of a reflection
The second annual South Dakota Education and Agriculture Conference will bring together our state's brightest, most innovative teachers and agricultural leaders, and we want to make sure your voice is at the table. Join us for two engaging, interactive days as we explore ways to creatively connect agriculture to education standards in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Together, education and agriculture can invest in a brighter future.

Our hands-on instructional sessions about soil and water for both classroom and field trip learning are offered. Sponsored by GroundWorks Connect and SDSU with support from the South Dakota Discovery Center through an agreement with the USDA NRCS.

Ignite: Braiding Indigenous and Western STEM for K-5
July 31-August 1, 2024 | Ignite offers K-5 standard aligned, hands-on STEM lessons that are culturally relevant to the learners and communities of the Oceti Sakowin. Join us for this workshop on the Sinte Gleska University campus* to explore the topics and approaches that make STEM fun, enriching, and culturally relevant.

K-5 in-service teachers are invited to wonder, investigate and grow using Ignite to enrich their STEM instruction. A $250 stipend is offered upon attendance of both days and a submission of reflection.

GLOBE Training
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is an international science and education program—with over 66,000 teachers active in 112 countries—that involves students in investigating the Earth's Systems through collecting data using standardized protocols, reporting data using an internationally accessible database, and participating in research projects and field campaigns. Students who participate in GLOBE collect and report data on local environmental conditions to an internationally accessible database, contributing to field campaigns coordinated by scientists with research collected from their school. GLOBE resources are FREE and equip teachers to meet standards by using science and engineering practices to explore disciplinary core ideas.


  • Attend an in-person GLOBE training at the South Dakota Discovery Center!
  • Complete three online modules with GLOBE e-training 

*When you list the South Dakota Discovery Center as your partner 
(different than your organization/school which is where you work),
you can gain one CEU for each module completed.

Contact to learn more about GLOBE, set up your training, and to enter to receive a GLOBE mini-grant that supports the purchase of monitoring supplies and resources.V

Science Communication

Portal to the Public Science Communication Fellowship

The Portal to the Public (PoP) approach is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded, tested strategy that helps connect public audiences with local researchers and professionals through informal learning organizations. 

If you are a scientist, engineer, researcher, graduate student, or STEM professional looking to share your research with a broad audience and engage the community in current research from South Dakota, join us and become a SD Discovery Center Science Communication Fellow!

Becoming a Fellow teaches you how to effectively communicate your work to diverse audiences of all ages. You will have the opportunity to present your research during a Meet A Scientist event at the SDDC Exhibit Hall and be connected with a network of educators looking to bring scientists into their classrooms.

Meet Our Past Fellows

The application for the Summer/Fall 2024 Fellowship is now open. Please click the button below to submit your application by July 15, 2024. Tuition for the Fellowship is $750 per participant, and thanks to SD EPSCoR a number of Fellows will have tuition waived or reduced. For more information, please contact


Science Communication Crash Course
If you don’t have the time to commit to a full Fellowship, but still want to improve your science communication skills: participate in one of Crash Course workshops.  These workshops are about 2-3 hours and are offered in different parts of the state at different times throughout the year.

For more information, please contact

Custom Science Communication Workshop
Custom science communication workshops are fun, interactive professional development experiences that improve the abilities of content experts to communicate both within their teams and with external audiences. These workshops offer opportunities to learn and practice fundamental communication skills, including using analogies and understandable language, practicing questioning strategies, and crafting messages that convey the importance and relevance of a topic. Workshops can also include development of hands-on activities to help communicate content to non-experts in approachable, engaging ways.

Custom workshops range in length and can be tailored to meet the goals and needs of your group. If desired, training can include individualized follow-up consultation with participants.

For more information, please contact

Community Science Training
There are wonderful opportunities to get involved! You can contribute to research and learn how to help others gain the skills to make impactful observations. Visit our Citizen Science webpage for more information.

Youth Management Training
Are you interested in training your staff with youth management skills? 
Contact us today! Email

STEM Educator Summer Internship Program
Every fall, until early spring, our STEM Educator Summer Internship Program opens to South Dakota students, 11th grade through PhD. This is a great opportunity for students considering a career in education or others that interface with the public. Interns gain skills for children management, public speaking, program organization, leadership as they help plan and lead hands-on STEM programming for preschool through middle school youth at our science center and school, after-school programs, or other locations around the state.