Summer Institute

examining ferns

Teachers examine fern structures.

The Arnold Arboretum Summer Institute

Build a Plant Bottom to Top

9:00am-4:00pm, August 21-24, 2017
The focus of this year’s institute will be on plant morphology – helping teaches build deeper understanding of tree parts, their functions, and relationships with the environment.

An Opportunity for Educators

This 4 day institute is intended for all educators of grades Pre-K through 5. Preference is given to teachers from the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and we encourage teams of teachers (up to 4 people) from the same school to apply together. Single applications are also accepted. Middle school teachers are welcome to join a team, or contact us to inquire about specific learning goals that may pertain to your needs. Other specialists are also encouraged to join a team, or apply singly.


Educator searches for algae and moss.

Goals of the Institute

1.  To give teachers needed knowledge about plants that will enable them to create lessons/units of study aligned with the new Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards.

2.  To expose teachers to using the outdoors in general, and the Arnold Arboretum in particular, as a means for teaching life science standards.

3.  To share resources, teaching ideas, materials, and expertise with teachers so they can feel confident in and comfortable with leading purposeful life science lessons, both indoors and outdoors.

4.  To develop relationships with teacher teams within BPS schools for continued professional development during the school year, including school visits by Arboretum Educators and facilitated field trips to the Arboretum.

Teacher Benefits

  • Free, high quality professional development taught by Harvard professors and Arboretum staff.
  • 28 PDPs for 4 day attendance.
  • For BPS teachers only:  Bus transportation for a facilitated field trip to the Arboretum during the following school year. Available to the first 20 educators who apply and attend the institute.
  • Binder of resource materials.
  • A collegial atmosphere set in a beautiful landscape for timely and relevant learning.
  • Continental breakfast, coffee, and drinks daily.

Email Ana Maria Caballero or call 617.384.9032 for additional information.

The Summer Institute 2016: “Plants in the Web of Life” was held from August 22-24, 2016.  Read about it!