Mote to host professional development workshop for teachers on November 4-5, 2017

On November 4-5, Mote’s education staff will be hosting another session of their professional development workshop series for southwest Florida high school teachers. This session’s theme is Florida coastal mammals and is continuation of series launched earlier this year.

 “Teachers are clearly a very important influence on student achievement and we are thrilled to be able to provide opportunities for science-based professional development,” said Aly Busse, Mote’s Assistant Vice President for Education.

Each of the themed workshops in the series aims to connect educators with cutting-edge science and the researchers who lead it at Mote, while also allowing educators to tour behind-the-scenes areas such as research labs. Additionally, educators gain training and practice in various instructional methods and strategies, and they are given access to lesson plans and resources aligned with Florida science standards for use in their classrooms. The workshops are designed to help professionals from various schools and settings work together and learn from one another.

“I feel like the Mote Professional Development Workshops for teachers are so very helpful for getting information that is not provided in other ways,” said Lee Maxwell McIntosh Middle School. “I love that they keep me in touch with actual working scientists who are studying present issues in our environment. Being able to collaborate with other professionals on these subjects is awesome.”

The teacher workshops offer two separate tracks — one for those teaching high school and another for younger grades, made possible by generous funding support from The Koski Family Foundation, Inc., and The Charles T. Bauer Charitable Foundation, respectively. The elementary track focuses more on modeling science inquiry methods with current scientific research, clarifying links to state education standards, and providing opportunities for interdisciplinary connections. The high school workshops provide more focused marine science content as well as integrated, practical hands-on training in digital technology that can be incorporated into classrooms.  Future workshops for both tracks are being planned for 2018 and will be listed on the website.

“Teachers are incredibly busy and their time is very valuable!” Busse said. “We designed these separate tracks to allow the educators we’re serving to get the most out of each workshop. We strive to empower these teachers with real scientific content and resources that they can actually use in their classrooms.”

“Mote workshops provide me with real-world applications of research,” said local teacher Mia Conlon, Lemon Bay High School. “They also allow me to make connections with scientists. My students want to know ‘Why does this matter?’ Now I have more answers.”

Interested educators can learn more about this session and other up-coming sessions by visiting or contact Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski at or (941) 388-4441 ext. 26