Mission NGSS for Northern Nevada Teachers

Teacher Professional Development Weekend Workshop


Mission 2018 NGSS was a blast! Sierra Nevada Journeys hosted more than 100 teachers from northern Nevada and northeastern California for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) training.

Sierra Nevada Journeys Education Director, Sean Hill, said, “It has been our best year ever with 110 attendees including teachers, specialists, administrators and pre-service teachers that represented 11 districts across two states.”

NGSS has three distinct dimensions to learning science — crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices and disciplinary core ideas. “Many science educators are familiar with this framework but what is not commonly known are the shifts in teaching philosophy, instruction and assessment that teachers need to know in order to effectively teach students using the current research,” said Hill.

NGSS Bootcamp brings industry thought leaders together to share ideas and best practices for STEM-based programming that focuses on the outdoors. This year’s program wouldn’t be possible without supporters such as Project Learning Tree which presented all teachers with several free lessons through PLT’s new online curriculum, or “e-units”. Additional partners included: Catamount Fund, Ltd.Intel’s Folsom campus, Nevada Division of ForestryNevada’s Northwestern Professional Development Program for Education, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Washoe County School DistrictNorth American Association for Environmental Education EE360 program and Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program. Collaborations between private, public and nonprofit companies like these fuel Sierra Nevada Journeys’ mission to deliver innovative outdoor, science-based education for youth as well as educators through continuing education.


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Mission NGSS was a blast! A total of 96 Nevada teachers learned how to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards into their classroom through the lens of energy and the environment. We simulated a Mission to Mars and identified basic life support systems in order to survive. This hands-on weekend workshop explored the complexities of energy as it relates to NGSS.

The weekend workshop was offered through a collaboration of Desert Research Institute, Sierra Nevada Journeys, Washoe County School District, RPDP of Northern Nevada, Project Learning Tree, and EnergySmart Education (sponsored by NV Energy and Southwest Gas Corporation), Catamount Fund and NAAEE.


In 2016, Sierra Nevada Journeys partnered with Project Learning Tree, the Nevada Division of Forestry and The Catamount Fund, Ltd. Our speakers included Dr. David Crowther from the University of Nevada, Reno, a graduate student and past Sierra Nevada Journeys intern, educators and program coordinators.