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Teacher Courses

Perimeter Institute's Educational Outreach team has developed a series of short courses for educators. 

Working within a renowned theoretical physics research facility, the team has access to many of the world’s top scientists, and decades of experience in science education. 

Our train-the-trainer model empowers teachers to learn innovative pedagogical tools as part of our ever-expanding Perimeter Teacher Network. 

These short courses contain both asynchronous and virtual synchronous components as outlined in the descriptions below. 

Upon completion of the course, including attendance to both virtual synchronous sessions, participants receive a digital badge of completion.

Upcoming Teacher Courses

Browse our library of courses below to register. If a course isn’t currently open for registration, you may sign up to be notified when it will be offered next. Registration for open courses closes when capacity is reached, or approximately 24 hours before the course opens.

CourseCourse opensMandatory synchronous sessions (1.5 hours)Registration
Teaching Particle ModelMay 27

May 30th 7pm ET, and

June 6th 7pm ET

Registration Closed
Astronomy: Stars & ExoplanetsJuly 8

July 16th 11am ET or 7pm ET, and

July 23rd 11am ET or 7pm ET

Register here
Teaching Wave-Particle DualityJuly 8

July 17th 11am ET or 7pm ET, and

July 24th 11am ET or 7pm ET

Register here
Tools for Teaching ScienceAugust 14

August 19th 11am ET or 7pm ET, and

August 26th 11am ET or 7pm ET

Register here
Teaching Climate ChangeAugust 16

August 21st 11am ET or 7pm ET, and

August 28th 11am ET or 7pm ET

Register here

 

 

 

Stars & Exoplanets is an introductory astronomy course that explores how astronomers make measurements and models of these celestial objects. We will explore measurements of stellar brightness, distance, colour, temperature, velocity and mass. We will then examine how these measurements allow us to develop models to understand stellar evolution and exoplanet characteristics.

Main concepts: Stars, stellar evolution, exoplanet detection and characteristics

Expectations: Stars & Exoplanets consists of ~ 4 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous, online sessions on Zoom. The asynchronous component has video lectures, short quizzes and assignments that must be completed before the synchronous component. The synchronous sessions will be interactive and involve small group discussions and activities. Participants must attend and participate in both 1.5 hour synchronous sessions.

The course is designed for teachers without a background in physics and astronomy. Mathematical equations will be shared for those that are interested, but solving mathematical problems is not required.

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Galaxies explores the physical characteristics of different galaxies, their dynamics and formation and evolution. Topics include the Milky Way, black holes, active galactic nuclei and dark matter.

Main concepts: Galaxy types, interstellar medium, galaxy dynamics, active galactic nuclei and quasars and dark matter

Expectations: Galaxies consists of ~ 6 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous, online sessions on Zoom. The asynchronous component has video lectures, short quizzes and assignments that must be completed before the synchronous component. The synchronous sessions will be interactive and involve small group discussions and activities. Participants must attend and participate in both synchronous sessions.

A knowledge of Grade 12 physics and mathematics is assumed, and some assignments include mathematical problems.

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Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing humanity. Join us as we explore the science behind climate change and our role as teachers in preparing students for an increasingly uncertain future. In the first half of the course we will examine the basic science of climate change, the role of computer modeling, and common misinformation techniques used to cast doubt in society. The second half of the course concentrates on what can be done to adapt to or mitigate the problem. Time will also be spent discussing issues surrounding climate anxiety in our classrooms.

Main concepts: Conservation of energy, heat, weather, carbon cycle, acids and bases

Expectations: Teaching Climate Change consists of ~ 5 hours of asynchronous material and two 90-minute synchronous, online sessions on Zoom. The online sessions build on the material from the asynchronous material so the expectation is that the asynchronous material will be completed before each online session.

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The particle model for matter is standard in most high school science courses. Join us as we examine the science behind the idea that everything is made of tiny particles. We will start with the evidence for atoms and then proceed to the evidence for subatomic particles. Along the way we will see how the periodic table and Standard Model both emerge from finding patterns in the properties of particles.

Main Concepts: Kinetic Molecular Theory, Periodic Table, Standard Model

Expectations: Teaching Particle Model consists of ~5 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous sessions, via zoom. The asynchronous content consists of short videos, activities, and readings. The synchronous content will be Zoom sessions with breakout rooms to maximize interaction. The online sessions build on the material from the asynchronous material so the expectation is that the asynchronous material will be completed before each online session.

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The Standard Model of Particle Physics is one of the greatest achievements in modern physics. Join us as we examine the science and technology behind the development of this fantastic model. We will begin with an overview of the Standard Model and consider ways to connect high school physics with the acceleration and detection of particles. We will examine recent discoveries and look at what may lie beyond the Standard Model.

Main Concepts: Conservation of Energy and Momentum, Fields, Relativity, Standard Model

Expectations: Advanced Particle Physics consists of ~6 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous sessions, via zoom. The asynchronous content consists of short videos, activities, and readings. The synchronous content will be Zoom sessions with breakout rooms to maximize interaction. The online sessions build on the material from the asynchronous material so the expectation is that the asynchronous material will be completed before each online session.

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Would you like to learn more about the abstract and perplexing world of quantum physics? This course starts with the familiar concepts of classical waves and particles. It then uses the double-slit (or two-slit) experiment to explore the quantum world of electrons and other subatomic particles. This includes discussing the key concepts of the wave nature of matter, wave-particle duality, and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.  

Main concepts: Classical waves & classical particles, wave nature of matter, wave-particle duality, interpretations of quantum physics, uncertainty principle

Expectations: Teaching Wave-Particle Duality consists of ~ 5 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous, online sessions on Zoom. The asynchronous component has video lectures, multiple-choice quizzes, open-ended questions, and assignments that must be completed before the synchronous component. The synchronous sessions will be interactive and involve small group discussions and activities. Participants must attend and participate in both synchronous sessions.

Some familiarity with quantum physics is helpful.

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Quantum physics is our best model of the physical universe so far. Join us as we take a deep dive into the quantum world and explore some of its most important ideas and applications. This course uses the results of actual experiments to help build up key quantum ideas of the wave function. It then applies it to construct a full quantum model of the atom. Finally, the course uses the wave function to understand how various quantum experiments lead us to the revolutionary idea of a quantum computer—a completely new type of computer whose basic components are individual quantum particles.

Main concepts: de Broglie relationship, wave functions, quantum model of the atom, orbitals, Schroedinger equation, quantum computers

Expectations: Wave Functions & Quantum Computers consists of ~ 6 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous, online sessions on Zoom. The asynchronous component has video lectures, multiple-choice quizzes, open-ended questions, and assignments that must be completed before the synchronous component. The synchronous sessions will be interactive and involve small group discussions and activities. Participants must attend and participate in both synchronous sessions.

It is recommended that you take Teaching Wave-Particle Duality prior to taking this course. Familiarity with wave-particle duality, the de Broglie relationship, and have some knowledge of the main interpretations of quantum physics.

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Tools of Teaching Science is an introductory course that explores the many strategies that teachers can use in their classroom. While not an exhaustive list, the Tools of Teaching Science resource features 48 tools we can use during class to engage learners. Each of the tools is also categorized in when to use them, for example which to use to introduce a topic and which to use to deepen understanding. Teachers in this course will also get to look at some other aspects of their course design including unit plans and assessment. 

Main concepts: Engaging teaching strategies to increase student thinking

Expectations: Tools of Teaching consists of ~ 4 hours of asynchronous content and two 90-minute synchronous, online sessions on Zoom. The asynchronous component has video lectures, readings and tasks that must be completed before the synchronous component. The tasks are designed to allow you to implement some of the tools into your own teaching practice through redesign of current lessons. The synchronous sessions will be interactive and involve small group discussions and activities. Participants must attend and participate in both 1.5 hour synchronous sessions.

The course is designed for teachers who have or are going to teach science in grade 7-12. This course is intended for any teacher on the spectrum; from newer teachers looking to add to their tool box to experienced teachers looking to try something new.

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Digital badges will be awarded to participants who complete all of the asynchronous course material in addition to attending both virtual synchronous sessions.