Professional Development

Two educators performing a dissection during a Franklin Institute workshop.

Developed and presented by experts in the science of learning, with The Franklin Institute’s signature brand of interactive, dynamic experiences, Professional Development at The Franklin Institute is different than any other PD on the market.

“Forces us to challenge widely held beliefs that impose limitations on our [own] and on students' ability to achieve." - Mary Curley, Chester County Intermediate Unit

With offerings for teachers, administrators, out-of-school time educators, and corporate teams, Professional Development at The Franklin Institute empowers you with research-based knowledge and practices you need to advance your students, your team, or your career. 

Recent evaluation findings show that TFI PD has significant, positive impacts on teachers' and administrators' knowledge, awareness, practices, beliefs, and interests related to the brain and learning.

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  • An in-depth, year-long collaborative cohort program dedicated to empowering educators with research-based knowledge, practices, and a professional network they need to be leaders in their districts and maximize students’ learning.

    Program Highlights:

    • 4 full-day professional development sessions at The Franklin Institute (July–May)

    • 1-year family membership to The Franklin Institute

    • 1 field trip for a class of up to 35 students plus chaperones

    • 20 Act 48 credits

    • Micro-certification upon completion

    MASTER EDUCATOR PROGRAM SESSIONS (attendance required)
    The Science of Learning
    Gain a foundation in understanding the science of learning, supported by current research in neuroscience, cognitive science, and education. Educators from different districts get to know one another and The Franklin Institute exhibits through hands-on interactive activities.

    Mindset and Motivation
    Deepen your knowledge of how factors like curiosity, praise, and errors impact students’ learning and mindset. Begin to adapt classroom curricula, and identify a project for how to utilize knowledge of how the brain works to influence teaching practice and school policies.

    Focus and Creativity
    Extend your understanding of the brain to maximize focus and creativity through exploration of focused vs. diffuse learning, empowerment, and the mindful use of technology in a classroom. Begin implementing projects in schools, and advance work in implementing research-based practices and decision-making in schools and districts.

    Utilizing The Franklin Institute
    In this final session, Master Educators prepare to bring students on a field trip to The Franklin Institute as a capstone experience of the program, and make connections to hands-on science learning in a museum setting. 

    Graduation and Project Showcase
    At the end of the year, colleagues, administrators, and school board members are invited to see a showcase of Master Educator’s work and enjoy a celebratory ceremony for the graduating cohort.

    Teams of 2-6 educators from a school or district are encouraged to apply. Applications are now closed for the 2018/2019 cohort of Master Educators. Applications for the 2019/2020 cohort will open in spring 2019. Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply.

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  • A dynamic learning series dedicated to empowering educators with critical knowledge in neuroscience to make informed, research-based decisions that advance student learning.

    Choose the program that is right for you.
    With three core workshops available, we will work with your team to plan a program that suits your goals. Pick one, mix-and-match, or work with our expert professional development team to customize the content to best help your team to grow and learn.

    CORE WORKSHOPS (5 hours each)
    Part 1 - Becoming a Learning Scientist
    Debunk prevalent myths about the brain as you learn about the structure and function of our most powerful organ. This workshop is centered around an exploration of the award-winning Your Brain exhibit at The Franklin Institute.

    Part 2 - Curiosity, Multisensory Learning, & Taking Breaks
    Discover how curiosity, multisensory learning, and taking breaks enhance learning for students. Begin to apply your knowledge as you adapt classroom curricula to maximize student learning and engagement.

    Part 3 - Growth Mindset, Grit, and Mindful Use of Technology
    Learn the science of how praise, grit, and the use of technology can impact students’ learning and mindset. In this final session, complete and present adapted curricula with peers and create a plan for sustaining use of research-based strategies in the classroom.

    Here's what sets this PD apart:

    • 97% of teachers rate these workshops as better or the best PD they’ve ever experienced.

    • Designed for teachers and administrators at all levels, Understanding the Brain has a proven track record of aligning entire school districts behind a common approach.

    • As a result of participating in the Understanding the Brain PD series, teachers and administrators have reported a significant change in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to the brain, teaching, and learning.

    • Experiencing PD out of the district at a museum allows teachers to take a fresh approach to thinking about their work, and enjoy a fun hands-on learning opportunity with their colleagues.

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  • Join the “Maker Movement” with help from The Franklin Institute.

    As a national leader in informal STEM learning, The Franklin Institute will guide you in transforming your classroom, library, or community center into a meaningful informal STEM maker space.

    Choose the program that is right for you.
    With three core workshops available, we will work with your team to plan a program that suits your goals. Pick one, mix-and-match, or work with our expert professional development team to customize the content to best help your team to grow and learn.

    CORE WORKSHOPS (5 hours each)
    Part 1 - What is a Maker Space?
    Learn about the history and philosophy of the maker movement, and experience accessible open-ended STEM activities that highlight meaningful facilitation strategies with simple materials.

    Part 2 - Fostering a Maker Mindset
    Dive deeper into the “maker” mindset as a facilitator rather than a traditional instructor, and learn how to support students’ ability to openly explore, test, and retest their ideas. This session features an exploration of the Electricity exhibit at The Franklin Institute with thematically aligned activities.

    Part 3 - Preparing for Success in your Space
    Establish a customized framework of expectations for student learning and teacher guidance in your STEM learning space. Begin adapting and creating curricula to be utilized in this space, and establishing measures of success.

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  • Leap into Science is a nationwide program that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books, designed for children ages 3-10 and their families.  We empower educators to offer programs in community settings like libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs, to engage underserved audiences in accessible and familiar settings.

    Informal educators are invited join the national network through trainings in participating states, or apply with partner institutions to become state leaders in new states through our annual application process.

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  • Make STEM approachable, fun, and interdisciplinary by pairing it with your favorite children’s books.

    A program dedicated to elevating children’s engagement and skills in science and literacy.

    Choose the program that is right for you.
    Designed to be customized to suit your goals, all Science & Stories workshops are based in our core program, then customized by age group and science theme to give you the tools you need to facilitate science literacy programming in your preschool, elementary school, library, or out-of-school time organization.

    CORE PROGRAM (5 hours)
    Learn how to engage children and families in the process of science through high quality children’s books. In any Science & Stories workshop, The Franklin Institute’s expert Professional Development team will guide you through the process of engaging students and their caregivers in making observations and predictions, asking questions, and testing ideas using children’s books and hands-on science activities. 


    1.  Are you a preschool educator, elementary educator, librarian, or out-of-school-time professional? We will target the content of your workshop to suit the kind of environment in which you will be facilitating the curriculum.

    2. Your workshop will come paired with a curriculum guide, based in one of ten science themes of your choice: 
      Balance* | Sound* | Wind & Air* | Light & Shadows* | Water* | Measurement* | Magnets | Structures | Engineering | The Process of Science
      *available for pre-school ages

    Our training and curriculum resources have empowered library and out-of-school time professionals across the country to become more comfortable facilitating science learning for children and families, and helped schools and teachers create interdisciplinary learning experiences that are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards.

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  • Learning. Memory. Communication. Efficiency. It all starts in the brain.

    Empower your team with the tools they need to maximize effectiveness in the workplace through an in-depth understanding of the brain and how people think.

    “In addition to being extremely interesting, engaging and fun, [Know Your Brain, Know Your Business] allowed us to take away many useful lessons and strategies that I’m certain will enable us to improve our overall work performance in multiple ways.” – PECO CFO, Phillip Barnett

    Here's what sets us apart:

    • Unlike other corporate trainings which use tests to show employees how they’re different, this session uses science to highlight how we are alike, and how having the right mindset can lead to success.

    • 100% of past participants agree that this workshop is better than other professional development workshops they’ve experienced.

    • Working with trusted scientists and educators from The Franklin Institute, your employees can feel confident that the content of our workshops are credible and reliable.

    Create a Corporate Retreat Package
    The Franklin Institute is the perfect place to achieve your corporate goals. Contact us to learn about pairing your 90-minute professional development presentation with half-day and full-day retreat options that take advantage of our:

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    To begin planning your corporate retreat day, contact:
    Morgan High
    Sales Manager

  • The Franklin Institute’s team of leading Professional Development experts are available for one or two hour speaking engagements at your school or business. Our expertise spans a wide range of topics, including:
    The Science of Learning | Informal STEM Learning and Facilitation | STEM Project-Based Learning | Maker Spaces | Integrating Science and Literacy | Museum Partnerships with Schools and Libraries

    Contact Julia Skolnik at 215.448.1098 or to learn more. 

  • Contact:

    Julia Skolnik, MSEd
    Assistant Director of Professional Development

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