• 2020 Mississippi River Institute featuring
    Waters to the Sea

    Free for Educators!

    Mississippi River Institute - July 20-22, 2020
    Participants - Click here for Mississippi River Institute locations  

    Apply for the Mississippi River Institute

    *Please note, due to a lack of funding, the St. Croix River Institute will not be held in 2020*

    “Becoming a learner as a teacher in the Rivers Institute was immensely important, because I put myself in my students’ shoes. I now understand how active field investigations can scaffold and further deepen knowledge of science and related subjects.” ~5th Grade Teacher, Rivers Institute Participant

    Our natural affinity to water makes rivers and watersheds a useful and familiar context for teaching and learning. Join us this summer, as Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) presents its acclaimed Mississippi River Institute, a three day field-based professional development opportunity that inspires, educates, and prepares 3rd-8th grade teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through hands-on, inquiry-based investigations at local watersheds.

    The standards-informed River Institute is designed to increase teachers' knowledge in water related content, enhance STEM-focused investigation skills, expand literacy skills, and help area educators translate professional experiences into meaningful, engaging classroom investigations for students.

    The focus for the institute is on elementary and middle school classroom teachers, as well as science specialists and teams of teachers. All educators are welcome to apply.

    Through their work in the Mississippi River Institute, participants will:

    1. Understand the teaching and learning opportunities represented by their watershed; 

    2. Learn specific social science and natural science content relevant to the river; 

    3. Explore the natural overlap between science processes, literacy skills, inquiry and STEM integration, and engineering design;

    4. Engage in critical thinking and real life application of skills and knowledge that lends itself to interdisciplinary system of thinking;

    5. Investigate existing resources and programs to enrich their teaching.

    Activities to Accomplish
    During the River Institute experience, participants will:

    • Explore the watershed from the vantage point of the water while in a paddle boat; 

    • Articulate field investigations through accurate, richly described scientific observations; 

    • Create and utilize science notebooks;

    • Participate in learning activities utilizing Waters to the Sea*, and Project WET materials, as well as several other classroom resources and tools; 

    • Participate in inquiry-based investigations of flood plain forests, unique geology features, macro-invertebrates, and engineering with water in mind;

    • Share strategies for helping students ‘think like a scientist,’ ‘design like an engineer,’ and ‘write like an author.’   

    waterstothesealogoWaters to the Sea
    River Institute participants will receive and explore Waters to the Sea, a suite of award-winning multimedia learning modules that help students grades 4-8 understand critical water issues through engaging stories and visualizations. This educational resource is accompanied by an instructional companion for teachers use in elementary and middle school settings.

    The Mississippi River Institute take place over three days, with pre- and post-course components. Participants interact directly with professionals working on the river to investigate how concepts taught and experienced in the field can be directly transferred to classroom practice. Core concepts in science, engineering and literacy will be introduced and explored, as well as strategies for integrating curriculum using the river as a context for learning. 

    What else? 
    Each participant will receive:

    • Three full days of experiential instruction and lunches;
    • 21 CEUs;
    • The Waters to the Sea multimedia tool and additional resources for your classroom;
    • The option to purchase two graduate-level credits at a reduced rate of $195/credit

    The 2020 Mississippi River Institute is provided, in part, through the generous financial assistance of Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation and the Meraux Foundation. With their ongoing support we enable hundreds of teachers to improve the way they understand and teach science, and help thousands of students connect with the natural world.

    2020 Mississippi River Institute:  

    Mississippi River Institute
    July 20-22, 2020
    8am-4pm daily 

     Past Institute Participant Documents for Reference: 

          2017 Mississippi Agenda 
          2017 Mississippi Syllabus 
          Institute Bibliography 
          Engineering Activities 
          Reflection Paper Details and Rubric 
          Lesson Plan Details and Rubric 
          Implementation Plan Details and Rubric  

    Multimedia Links: 

    If you have any questions, contact Sara Robertson at srobertson01@hamline.edu or 651-523-2895.

    Looking for the Trinity River Institute for Texas teachers, or the Mississippi River Delta Institute for Louisiana teachers?

    Learn about the other Teacher Professional Development opportunities at the Center for Global Environmental Education.