Office of Student and Family Support

Apply Now: Service-Learning Connect Science: Implementation and Design Professional Development Opportunity

The Department is pleased to announce Service-Learning Connect Science: Implementation and Design, an opportunity in which school and/or district teams will receive training and support to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to instruction. This opportunity will give teams tools to use service-learning to weave together instruction in science, social emotional learning, and other content areas, where appropriate.

The goals of the effort are to support teachers' science instruction, boost students' collaborative skills, and spark students' interest in future civic work.

The professional development will be facilitated by Harkins Consulting, and will start with fourth grade and then expand to design new units in grades 3 through 5.


  1. Connect Science Energy: Participants will learn about and implement the Connect Science Energy curricula, a 12-week project-based learning unit through which fourth graders explore the topics of energy and natural resources in depth and engage in science through service-learning. The program prepares students to be knowledgeable and engaged citizens who can collaborate with others to solve community problems.
    • Summer Institute: June 25–28, 2019 (location TBD, likely Central MA)

      Participating districts will identify teams of 3–4 individuals (including 2–3 fourth grade teachers and a curriculum coordinator) to attend the 4-day Connect Science Energy Summer Institute. Note: Ideally the teams of teachers are from the same school and responsible for teaching multiple content areas (either a fourth grade teacher who teaches all core subjects, or a fourth grade team that shares responsibility for teaching all subjects).

    • Fall 2019 Follow-up (1-day, location TBD)

      Teams from the Summer Institute will reconvene for additional training and to plan for implementation during school year 2019-2020.

    • Implementing Connect Science Energy (School Year 2019-2020)

      The trained fourth grade teachers will receive coaching support as they implement the Connect Science Energy unit during school year 2019-2020.

    • Reflection/Celebration (Spring 2020, TBD)

      Teams will reconvene to reflect on their practice and share their successes. In addition, we will gather input on plans for the Design Institute.

  2. Connect Science Design: Curriculum coordinators will provide input and feedback on the Summer Design Institute components and agenda. Then, teams will engage in professional development to design and plan units of study that use an interdisciplinary service-learning approach for new grades and topics, and that include explicit teaching and learning related to social and emotional competencies. These units will build upon the district's existing science curricular materials and/or other vetted materials.
    • Institute Planning and Feedback (2019-2020 School Year)

    • Summer Design Institute (June 2020)

    • Unit Planning — Summer 2020

    • Fall 2020 Feedback (1-day)

    • Implementing New Units (Winter/Spring 2020-2021)

    • Reflection/Celebration Spring 2021

By the end of the institute, participants will have developed (with existing vetted science materials) one or more units that use service-learning to integrate SEL, science and civics education.

The deadline to apply for these opportunities Download Word Document is April 30, 2019. See the MA Connect Science Overview Download Word Document for more details about the June 2019 Institute. Please note that there is no charge for participation, however districts are responsible for supporting the costs of participation (e.g., travel, stipends, etc.) Funding may be available in fiscal year 2019-2020 to support small grants to facilitate district participation.

Please contact Kristen McKinnon with questions.

Last Updated: April 12, 2019

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