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2014 Summer Teacher Programs - Supported by Academic Outreach Programs


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty members provide various summer workshops on the Institute’s campus. The following programs will be offered in Summer 2014. Additional programs may be added.

Space Science and Next Generation Science Standards

July 14-18, 2014, Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 3:30pm

Receive 40+ Contact hours!!

The Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) places more emphasis on astronomy and Earth Science. It has been adopted by over 26 other states. New York State will most likely adopt it too with some modifications it feels better prepares students for college. All topics support the present New York State Math Science Technology (MST)Standards and are articulated to NGSS." .

Advances in imaging the interior of Earth have caused us to revise our ideas about how Earth formed and is evolving. Satellites and powerful telescopes such as the Hubble have brought surprising new information about the universe. This 5-day summer institute for teachers of science (elementary – high school) will strengthen your content knowledge of astronomy and help you and your schools develop curriculum for astronomy and planetary geology. The institute includes engaging lectures by cutting-edge researchers, teaching strategies, hands-on classroom activities, and solar and night-time observing. You will also be certified to borrow NASA lunar and meteorite disks.

The program's fee is $125.

Included in this fee:

  • Breakfast and Lunch daily
  • Paper and electronic resources to use in their classroom plus some equipment for their classrooms.

**There is a residential option for those who wish to reside. Participants will be responsible for this fee of $185 for the week. You may choose this option upon registration. Internet is also available to residing participants for a small fee, as well.

Topics and Activities include:
· Formation of the Universe
· Stellar Evolution
· Planetary geology
· Motion in the Universe
· Telescope observing (two evenings, depending on weather)
· Solar observing
· Climate change
· NASA certification to borrow Moon rocks
· Teaching strategies to enhance delivery of curriculum

Continued support for the integration of these topics into the classroom will continue throughout the 2014-2015 school year. Receive 40+ professional development contact hours.

pdf Space Science and Next Generation of Science Standards - Summer 2014 Flyer (130KB PDF file)

Registration Process:

There is no application process for this program. You may register and secure your spot in this program immediately. The program fee of $125 is due upon registration. June 1, 2014 is the deadline for refunds. In the event of a cancellation after June 1, 2014, the program fee will be non-refundable.


If you have any questions regarding the academic component of this program, please contact:
Program Director, Heidi Newberg, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, (518) 276-2652,
All other questions regarding registration and accommodations, please contact the office of Summer, Outreach, and Advanced Professional Services: Julie W. Wilson
Director of Summer, Outreach, Advanced Professional Services

Smart Lighting – Smart Power Curriculum Development Institute

Continued support for the integration of these topics into the classroom will continue throughout the 2014-2015 school year. Receive 30+ professional development contact hours.

Monday, June 30 to Thursday, July 3, 2014.

  • WHO: High school and middle school general science, physics, math, and technology teachers as well as some combination of interdisciplinary teams of teachers from school districts are encouraged to participate to develop projected based curriculum modules.
  • WHAT: The Smart Lighting – Smart Power – Smart Systems Curriculum Development Institute is a 4 day program organized and sponsored by the NSF Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center. This program is team taught by graduate students and university faculty who introduce teachers to leading edge lighting, power and sensor technologies and how they can be integrated into real world, sustainable and well-engineered Smart Systems. Participants will be engaged in hands-on activities using the fundamentals of electronics and photonics to engineer solutions that address today’s social and environmental challenges. The agenda allows time for collaborative curriculum development among participants and faculty.
  • OUTCOME: Science & / or technology teachers will come back with the knowledge, skills, confidence, and a strategy to create unique curriculum to meet common core education standards.
  • WHERE: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
  • WHEN: June 30-July 3, 2014: 4 days! This is a full day (8:30AM to 3:30PM) program (Note: Possibility of late afternoon/evening in the event of field trips scheduled.)
  • PROGRAM FEES: Program is free including supplies and workshop proceedings. Transportation, lunch and other costs are the expense of the participant.
  • HOUSING - RESIDENTIAL OPTION: On campus housing (single) and meals for non-local participants can be provided at an additional cost.
  • APPLICATION PROCESS: Teachers are encouraged to apply on or before April 17, 2014. An email will be sent to confirm receipt of materials, please make a copy for your records. After April 17, 2014, applications will continue to be considered for the 2014 program on a rolling basis until the program is full. Faculty decisions will begin after April 17, 2014. Decisions will be sent to teachers by email.


Application Questions & Answers: If you have any application/registration questions, please contact Alicia Randazzo at (518) 276-6809.

Academic Questions: If you have any academic questions, please contact Elizabeth Herkenham at

Program Inquiries/Questions/Customized Programs

Interested in a custom training for your state, district or school or additional information on summer teacher programs at Rensselaer? For further information, Request Information.

Rensselaer faculty members customized a Summer STEM Acadenmy that provided several innovative project-based learning sessions that gave participants experience in integrating transdisciplinary STEM-based tools, technologies, and practices into their high school’s curriculum. For additional details visit Rensselaer's Summer STEM Academy.

Last modified: March 13, 2014