Upcoming Events Workshop Catalog Teacher Partner Program E-Newsletter  


Educator Professional Development

The Fleet Inquiry Institute provides workshops and resources to K-12 teachers, informal educators, after-school providers and the university community to enhance understanding of science inquiry and to increase awareness of science standards.  

Since its inception in 2002 the Fleet Inquiry Institute has worked with over 14,000 educators in long-term, on-site and in-classroom professional development workshops. 

Book a Workshop

For additional information about educator workshops or to book a workshop at your school or district office, please contact the Fleet Inquiry Institute:

(619) 238-1233 x874  schoolprograms@rhfleet.org


Like a Scientist

Science Inquiry

 Future Scientists

For K-8 educators seeking to enhance their skills and confidence as a science educator. 

Listed as individual programs.

For K-12 educators looking to create a student-driven learning environment that is aligned with NGSS. 

Listed as a three-day institute and as stand-alone programs.

Programs designed specifically for educators teaching grades K-2. 

Listed as individual programs.

Act Like a Scientist and Engineer
Through exploration of Fleet exhibitions, discover NGSS science and engineering practices (SEPs) and then compare how science practices are different or are similar to engineering practices. Participants discover ways to shift science activities to engineering activities.

Think Like a Scientist 
View the world through the lens of science using Crosscutting Concepts. Discover how to identify science around us, both inside and outside of the science classroom. Thinking like a scientist permits an interdisciplinary approach to science education and highlights the science in every school subject.

Question? Like a Scientist

Not all questions are created equally. Some questions lead to insightful investigations while others are better suited for research. In this workshop, educators identify investigable questions through an inquiry investigation and learn ways to turn student questions to be more investigable.

Notebook Like a Scientist 
Improve student's scientific observation
skills while creating a classroom environment that welcomes feedback, critique, and evidence-based reasoning. This workshop includes an arts component and is an opportunity to incorporate more STEAM in the classroom. 

Argue! Like a Scientist
Discover strategies to enhance student arguments using claims from evidence, real data and opposing scientific views. Educators find new ways to align lessons to NGSS through science and engineering practices.  


Three-Day Inquiry Institute 
Participants experience inquiry as a learner, examine different approaches to hands-on learning, explore science practices through phenomena, engage in full scientific inquiry, and consider ways to include inquiry in your own classroom. This three-day workshop can be offered sequentially, over several weeks, or as stand-alone programs.

Comparing Hands-On Science Approaches
Educators discover different approaches to hands-on science support different learning goals. Educators experience three different approaches and how each can be successfully deployed in the classroom.


Raising Investigable Questions
Experience the science process through phenomena and personal curiosity and then raise questions that can lead to insightful investigations. Learn pedagogy related to scanning and facilitating the turning of noninvestigable questions into deeper scientific questions.


Subtle Shifts: Adapting Activities for Inquiry
Participants work through two similar science labs and identify ways to modify existing science activities to include more inquiry. It is highly recommended that participants go through Comparing Hands-On Science Approaches and Raising Investigable Questions first.  


Picture Book Science
Integrate of reading and science in an engaging way. Each workshop pairs a grade-appropriate fiction and/or non-fiction book with hands-on inquiry-driven science investigations that can be easily replicated in the classroom.


The Power of Inference in Science Inquiry
Science inquiry is the process of understanding the natural and material world through questions and discoveries. This workshop emphasizes the importance of inference in the science inquiry process. Participants practice making discoveries and claims based on evidence.


Observe Like a Scientist with Art and Illustrations
Increase student observation skills through a teaching strategy made popular in art galleries. Apply this teaching strategy across all disciplines, including in the science classroom.


Make, Take & Teach

Around the Park

Recurring Programs

For K-12 educators seeking enhanced content knowledge and tools to take back to their classroom. Make, Take & Teach workshops utilize the Fleet Science Center's Studio X workspace.

These workshops make use of Balboa Park and are occasionally in partnership with other Balboa Park museum and institution. 

Mark your calendars K-12 educators! You can count on these programs taking place at regular intervals.

Launch the Perfect Rocket 
Discover how easy and fun it is to take a science inquiry approach to rocket design. Groups work together to build rockets and collect data after each launch. The class collaborates on data analysis before designing, building and launching the ultimate rocket.

Make and Take Component: Educators build and take one PVC rocket launcher and receive plans on how to duplicate the launcher for a minimal cost.

Engineering with Hydraulics 
Through inquiry, educators will discover properties of air and liquid before building a robotic arm with pneumatic and hydraulic systems. 

Make and Take Component: Educators build a robotic arm that operates with hydraulics. 

Gravitational Wells
Conceptualize gravity using a model that can be manipulated with objects of various masses and discover interactions between masses

Make and Take Component: Educators make their own gravitational well and learn safe ways to assemble and disassemble the model.

Wave Machines
Explore wave properties through science inquiry using a hands-on wave machine. The wave machine model encourages students to observe and define wave property terminology through their own exploration while also providing ample opportunities for students to investigate "what if?" scenarios.

Make and Take Component: Educators have the option to build a wave machine suitable for small or large groups. 



Schoolyard Citizen Science
Students and citizen science are a perfect fit, but where should a teacher begin with a citizen science project at their school? This workshop will highlight ongoing citizen science projects and how the citizen science process can be ported to a classroom or schoolyard.

Science in the Park
Balboa Park becomes our canvas as we discover ways to bring the outdoors into the classroom. 

Coming Soon!

Teachers Eating Pizza
This astronomy and space science-themed program takes place on the first Wednesday of each month. Educators experience a new hands-on science activity each month and are offered complimentary passes to the Fleet Science Center's evening The Sky Tonight planetarium show. 

Summer Films for Educators
Now that the school year is reaching a conclusion, it's time to catch up all the things you didn't have time for during the school year. Start that catch-up with discounted films at the Fleet Science Center just for educators. From June - August, come for a late-afternoon film and a short film-inspired activity during the mini-workshop time. 

Film titles and descriptions will be made available one month prior to film date.