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Professional Development

To teach is to make a life long commitment to learning--for our students and for ourselves. Teachers must work hard to stay abreast of new science content and pedagogy, which is why most states typically require ongoing professional development for re-certification every five years. LAB-AIDSĀ® can help teachers acquire new content and skills, whether you are a veteran teacher, new to the profession, or somewhere in between.


SEPUP programs are written for "off the shelf" use. However, most teachers tell us that our professional development enhances their use of the materials. Training can be provided on all SEPUP courses, units, and modules, and is available on-site or online. Although most Districts prefer to schedule this first-time training during the summer, it can be scheduled at any time during the year. The following content is provided in all workshops:

Course Design

SEPUP uses environmental and societal issues to provide a context for learning science by connecting science concepts to students’ everyday lives. This is matched to an inquiry-based approach, since we believe science is an active process. Teachers will learn to use the four important elements of a SEPUP program: student book, teacher’s guide, materials kit, and website support.

NGSS/Common Core Support

This workshop content explores support in SEPUP for the NGSS and Common Core ELA/Mathematics initiatives, including unpacking/understanding the Common Core and NGSS, and alignment of SEPUP to the Performance Expectations, including support for the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. Teachers will receive basic support for understanding the NGSS, and will map the DCI, SEP, and CCC elements to a unit of their choice.

Learning Cycle and Differentiated Instruction

SEPUP's course design is based on a learning cycle model that supports the 5E approach, uses issues in science to connect and motivate all students, and supports inquiry teaching and learning.  Detailed support for working with diverse learners, including GAT, ELL, and students with special needs, is provided in introductory and follow up workshops.

Classroom Management

Included are day-to-day topics such as getting started with SEPUP, using the equipment kit, management of student laboratory activities, lab safety, monitoring group work, using technology, and using post-activity discussions to make connects to science content.

Literacy, Numeracy and 21st Century Skills

SEPUP training provides support for developing student literacy skills – reading, writing, speaking, and media viewing and support Common Core for ELA/Mathematics and the 21st Century Skills. These are developed in workshops and online.


Using the SEPUP formative assessment system, students complete tasks, producing student work that can be scored using rubrics developed for nine major areas, including Content Understanding, Designing Investigations, Using Evidence, Analyzing Data, Communicating, Scientific Information, Group Interaction, and more. The assessment opportunities are distributed over time, allowing teachers to monitor student progress, and, an item bank (using the Exam View ® software) is used as a summative check for student understanding. Teachers will examine support for assessment and will discuss and moderate samples of actual student work.

Instructional technology

SEPUP supports each program with external web content, simulations, PowerPoints, Android and iOS apps, and more as well as a suite of Exam View tools.  Initial-use and follow up workshops can include content to support effective student use of tablet devices with SEPUP programs, and our LABSENT video suite for students who are absent during lab work.

The following topics can be included based on local interest:

Developing Local Capacity for SEPUP Training

We can work directly with Districts seeking to develop their local capacity for training and leadership, based on our approach and model developed with the Chicago Public Schools.  This model is based on ongoing mentoring and support from LAB-AIDS Institute senior consultants, and a combination of internal and external support from local university providers, including Loyola University of Chicago.

How Students Learn Science

This includes content and background on brain research, social cognition, critical thinking, alternative frameworks, and related topics (e.g., How Students Learn Science, Donovan and Bransford, 2005; Taking Science to School, Duschl et. al, 2007).  SEPUP design supports best practices suggested by research, and features ten distinct activity types that support effective acquisition of knowledge and skills. Crossover content from the literacy and assessment breakouts are included.

Workshop Price
PD-SEPUP-NU1 $1,600, first day, inclusive
PD-SEPUP-NU1-AD $1,000, additional consecutive days, by arrangement
PD-SEPUP-AD1 $1,450, additional nonconsecutive day, by arrangement

What is needed?  One session (PD-SEPUP-NU1) is usually sufficient to provide an overview of the SEPUP fundamentals and course design, plus in-depth study on one unit of interest.  Districts generally choose between 3-5 days of training, with a summer start and mid-year follow up where possible.

Contact us at for more details.