The NURTURES professional development program is designed for preschool through third grade classroom educators, who currently teach science or have the opportunity to teach science within their own classroom, as well as their supporting administrators. Participation in the 2016 program is a partial year commitment and consists of attendance during a two week Summer Institute, as well as academic year requirements for additional professional development hours, science lesson development and implementation, and classroom observation and video recording.

Summer Institutes

The dates for the 2016 Summer Institute are: Monday - Friday, July 11-22, 2016.

During the Summer Institute, participants will network with University of Toledo faculty and staff from the departments of Science Education, Early Childhood Education, Literacy, Natural Sciences and Engineering, along with lead PreK-3 educators. Participants will engage in active, hands-on inquiry activities to experience core science and engineering content, discuss strategies and skills for best teaching scientific ideas and concepts, and integrate those in the design of lessons for their own classroom.

Sessions Focus On:

  • Inquiry-based Early Childhood Science Instruction.

  • Earth/Space, Physical, Chemical, and Biological Science Content aligned with the Next

    Generation Science Standards and the Ohio Revised Science Content Standards.

  • Scientific and Engineering Practices from the Frameworks for K-12 Science Education.

  • Discourse and Literacy Skills within Early Childhood Science Classrooms.

  • Technology and Mathematics Integration in Inquiry Lessons.

By the end of the two week institute, participants will have gained content knowledge and skills to design and implement their own science and engineering inquiry lessons with confidence, while employing scientific and engineering practices, discourse strategies, and literacy competencies best suited to the teaching of core science and engineering ideas and concepts specifically for grades PreK-3.

Content topics rotate grade bands from year to year. Three hours of graduate credit from the University of Toledo are offered to eligible participants for completion of program requirements.

Summer Institue

Prior to the Institute, each participant will receive an iPad and attend a professional development session for instruction on its use for integration in science inquiry lessons. Reinforcement of iPad integration is prevalent throughout the Institute, with participants actively using apps in their own inquiry experiences. Lending sets of iPads are available to participants during the academic year to promote technology use within their own classroom.

Academic Year Sessions

For the 2016 program, participants are required to attend a total of 8 hours of additional professional development during the academic year (2 of these hours include the iPad professional development session), to both reinforce and expand upon skills learned during the Summer Institute. One session occurs before entry into the Summer Institute, in order to prepare participants for using iPads to build science inquiry lessons. The remaining hours will occur as a final conference, to be scheduled in late fall 2016. The date and time will be available soon. This conference will further explore topics covered in the Summer Institute and will allow for deeper reflection upon the skills that are being implemented in the classroom.

Complementary Programming

NURTURES provides additional programming that brings teachers, families and the community together to provide young children with multiple exposures to quality science inquiry.

  • Family Activity Packs serve as extensions of the classroom curriculum and are provided to participating teachers to use in their classrooms. These packs contain instructions, materials and other supplies that families will need to complete engaging, quality activities together.

  • Community events (called Sci-FUN events) are connected to the classroom curriculum and are scheduled to occur twice in fall 2016 at one of our community resources (i.e. Imagination Station, Toledo Zoo, etc.).

  • Short, science modules are aired on WGTE, encouraging families to explore, discuss and think about science together.


There is no cost to participate in the NURTURES program. By participating in the NURTURES program, you will:

  • Receive a generous stipend & iPad for attending and completing the summer institute.

  • Earn 3 graduate credit hours that are aligned with the new science content standards.

  • Attend additional professional development hours during the academic year.

  • Receive access to an iPad lending library. 

  • Have a budget allocation for purchasing science classroom supplies.

  • Gain access to and contribute to a library of quality science lessons.

  • Acquire classroom extension activities and supplies for your students’ families.

  • Be invited to attend community family events (Sci-FUN events) with your students and their families at resources such as:

• Imagination Station
• The Toledo Zoo
• Toledo Metroparks
• Toledo Botanical Gardens
• The Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West
• Lourdes University
• Toledo Grows
• UT Ritter Planetarium
• Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

  • The total benefit package from the NURTURES program is approximately $5500.


Eligible individuals must currently teach in a preschool through third grade classroom, or be an administrator in one of our partnering PreK-3 facilities/school districts. Please see our Partners page for a detailed list.

If accepted into the NURTURES program, you will be asked to:

• Commit to participating in the NURTURES program for a partial year (includes 2-week Summer Institute and academic year PD hours and requirements).
• Commit to open your classroom to videotaping and observations.
• Promote NURTURES, the Family Pack activities and community events to your students and their families.
• Be willing to try new things and grow beyond your comfort zone.


Summer Institute 2016

SI 2014

2016 NURTURES Summer Institute July 11-22, 2016

Program Frequently Asked Questions

Research Framework


Video Presentation

Questions??                                            Contact NURTURES
(419) 530-1630 Office | Email NURTURES

NURTURES Faculty & Staff