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Connect, Explore, Engage in Inquiry Summer Institute

Event Date

Monday, July 29, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 4:00 p.m.
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Event Description

Thanks to partnership with National Geographic, a limited number of scholarships are available! Priority for scholarships will be given to middle level educators teaching in Title I schools. Registration must be paid in full and scholarship is provided as reimbursement after completion of the workshop.

Register for 1, 2, or 3 days! Choose one workshop each day:

July 29

  • Connect, Explore, Engage in Inquiry (Step 1 of the Nat Geo Educator Certification Process)—Start the day with an inquiry immersion activity building off of the National Geographic Educators “Explorer’s Mindset.” Feel the excitement of discovery that we view learning experiences through the lens of the geo-inquiry process. Make connections to the Wisconsin Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability and collaborate with other participants as we move from theory to practice in your own teaching context.
  • Making [Systems] Thinking Visible—Making our thinking visible for students helps develop shared understanding of a concept and develops critical thinking skills. Developing a shared understanding or “mental model” is essential when trying to design projects or address issues. The process can also help teachers formatively assess student understanding and uncover misunderstandings. Build your systems thinking skills and learn how to use Plectica software to help students make thinking visible!  

July 30

  • Tools of Inquiry—Learn about a variety of ways to engage students in real-world data collection, such as: Google My Maps; Arc GIS survey 123, Siftr, and 360 image capture. Find out how to move your students from simply collecting data to storytelling with the data. This workshop is designed to build upon the “Connect, Explore, Engage in Inquiry” workshop, however there is an option to attend an additional “geo-inquiry” session for those who can only attend this day.
  • Nurturing Wonder through Play in Early Childhood— Spend the day exploring how outdoor play and nature-based learning enriches the whole child, as well as your teaching experience. Come dressed for the weather as we venture outdoors to explore ways to adapt lessons to incorporate play-based learning and strengthen our students’ and our own connection to nature. In addition to leaving the workshop with inspiration and strategies to take play-based learning outside, participants will also receive the Growing Up Wild and Getting Little Feet Wet activity guides. 

July 31

  • Inquiry Design (Step 2 of the Educator Certification Process)—Design a full inquiry project for  classroom. National Geographic Educators will provide insights and support as participants plan a project to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year. This workshop is designed to build on the "Connect, Explore, Engage in Inquiry" and “Tools of Inquiry” workshops, however there is an option to attend an additional “Step 1” session for those who can only attend this day.
  • Outdoor Inquiry with Project WET and Project WILD—Project WET and Project WILD are great entry points for educators looking to bring environmental education into the classroom or for experienced educators looking for more hands-on activities! Participants will receive three activity guides, each with over one hundred activities, and the tools K-12 educators need to integrate water or wildlife education into every school subject. This workshop will focus on taking learning outside with an inquiry twist!

Complete details and pricing here:

Register Now

Registration deadline: 11:49 PM, June 29, 2019


Perlstein Retreat Center
Wisconsin Dells


Victoria Rydberg
Environmental Education Consultant