Certified Professional Learning Providers

University of Illinois Extension, Cook County

Cook County Extension STEM Educators extend knowledge and change lives by supporting the implementation of NGSS-aligned instruction in K-12 classrooms.

Organization Description

The Cook County Extension STEM Team focuses on providing local teachers with extended, engaging, and reflective professional learning designed to help them align their science teaching practice with the shifts called for in the NRC’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Non-traditional Extension programming in Cook County Illinois aims to meet the unique needs of people in the Chicago metropolitan area and is supported by the Cook County Initiative.

Focus of OpenSciEd Work

As writers on instructional materials for the OpenSciEd middle school science sequence, Cook County Extension STEM Educators are eager to provide local teachers with OpenSciEd professional learning to familiarize them with the curriculum and engage every student in learning science. Our efforts focus on providing high-quality professional learning tailored to your teachers and include space for discussion, reflection, equity and access, and planning for NGSS implementation. Most programs are available both virtually and in person.

Supporting Equitable Science Instruction

Equitable science learning strategies are at the forefront of our professional learning programs. We provide opportunities and tools that teachers can use to foster a culture of figuring out for ALL students. Our programs leverage embedded OpenSciEd supports as well as other research-based methodologies to build equity and access via examples and opportunities to practice strategies. Teachers walk away ready to take the next step toward a classroom that creates the space for all students to engage in scientific sensemaking.

Supporting School Systems

Extension STEM Educators have the ability to host open sessions and in-district professional learning both online and in person. We offer the suite of OpenSciEd professional learning, and other NGSS-aligned opportunities like NGSX, and can tailor each session to fit your adoption strategies and your teachers’ needs. Ongoing support via virtual study groups, in-person PLCs, or in-classroom coaching can also be provided.

We preferentially work with teachers, schools, and districts in the Chicago metropolitan area, but can make exceptions on a case by case basis. Our mission includes providing support to under-resourced schools and districts, and we have the ability to make professional learning accessible through partnerships with need-based applicants.

Where We Work

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OpenSciEd Professional Learning

  • Curriculum Launch
  • Facilitator Training
  • Ongoing Support/Unit Launch

OpenSciEd Grade Level Focus

  • Middle School

Other Professional Learning

  • Strategic District Implementation
  • Supporting Science Coaches