The Arboretum for Educators professional development series has been offered each academic school year at the Arnold Arboretum since September 2015. Monthly gatherings, open to any preschool to high school educator from the greater Boston area, feature hands-on explorations of the Arboretum landscape with the purpose of sharing ways of using outdoor classrooms to teach science concepts. Past events are included here, with links to more detailed blog posts.

Magnolia acuminata in winter showing decurrent growth habit.

Tree habit

December 10, 2019

During an Arboretum for Educators program, teachers learned how to make sense of a tree's shape to differentiate between phenotype and genotype.

Mission Hill playground

Science in the schoolyard

May 28, 2019

Recently, the Arnold Arboretum joined forces with the Museum of Science and Friends of the Boston Schoolyards to promote science based teaching and learning using outdoor spaces and schoolyards.

pussy willow examination

Learning Through Flower Dissections

April 11, 2019

Boston teachers learn not only how to dissect flowers, but also a new approach to student instruction in science.

Teachers examine conifers outdoors

Learning About Conifers

February 8, 2019

The brutal cold could not keep Boston area educators from venturing out to learn about conifers and their unique adaptations.

Olga Mayoral

Impressions from a visiting professor

May 17, 2018

Olga Mayoral, a visiting professor, spent time embedded in the Arboretum's Public Programs department, learning how our volunteer guides for Field Study Experiences are trained, and how we use the outdoors for authentic science education.

spring under snow

Spring marches on, despite snow

March 14, 2018

Boston educators journeyed into a snowy Arboretum landscape in search of signs of spring. They were rewarded with many!

fir close observation

Teachers learn about conifers

February 7, 2018

Boston area teachers visited for an Arboretum for Educators study of conifer adaptations. Hands-on explorations and a short walk highlighted diverse conifers and their various adaptations.

silver maple drawing

Tree Architecture Primer

January 10, 2018

Boston area teachers learn about tree architecture and nature journaling during this month's Arboretum for Educators program.

Teacher examines paperbark maple

Teachers search for tree bark

December 5, 2017

On Saturday, December 2, a group of Boston area teachers searched for trees whose bark resembled string cheese, camo pants, saggy socks, or peeling paint. 

dropping samaras

Investigating Winged Seeds

November 8, 2017

Boston area teachers explore various seed dispersal strategies and apply engineering standards to the study of winged seeds.

Educators examine azalea flowers

Teachers Study Flowers and Pollinators

June 6, 2017

Teachers with the Arboretum for Educators program examined flowers to learn about pollination and pollinators.

Using plankton nets at Dawson Pond

Exploring Freshwater Habitats

May 10, 2017

On Saturday, the Arboretum for Educators program led teachers to explore the freshwater habitats of Dawson, Faxon and Rehder Ponds.

Common Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) in bloom

Searching for Signs of Spring

March 10, 2017

Boston area educators discuss the many signs of spring that can be observed during an outdoor exploration, and how to turn these into investigations with students.

opening hemlock cones

Boston Educators Explore Conifers

February 10, 2017

In February, Boston educators walked through the Conifer Collection to learn about evergreen characteristics and adaptations.

Reading twigs

Boston Teachers Learn How to Read Twigs

January 12, 2017

During this month's Arboretum for Educators, Boston area teachers learned how to interpret the bumps, shapes, and nicks on twigs.

Teachers sketch trees

Boston educators examine tree architecture

December 5, 2016

Andrew Gapinski taught Boston area educators about tree architecture and the factors that influence growth habits.

Mockingbird by Robert Mayer

Boston educators go birding!

November 7, 2016

Boston area educators learned the basics of bird identification on an Arboretum bird walk and participated in activities spotlighting the many ways teachers can bring science alive in the outdoors.

teachers drop seeds

Fall Color and Seed Dispersal

October 3, 2016

The Arboretum for Educators Monthly Exploration began its new season on Saturday, October 1st. Boston area educators gathered to learn more about fall leaf color, and participate in hands-on experiments to investigate the many different ways winged seeds disperse.

Trapping pollinating insects

Searching for Insect Pollinators

June 15, 2016

Two events for Boston Public School teachers highlight a commitment to training educators in the use natural settings for science education.

Casting plankton net

Teachers Explore the Ponds

May 11, 2016

On Saturday, May 7th, Boston Public School educators gathered around the ponds to collect water samples and examine the diversity of macro-invertebrates that live in freshwater ecosystems.

BPS teachers with dissecting scope

Flower Dissections with Boston Educators

April 6, 2016

During the April Arboretum for Educators' monthly exploration, Boston Public School teachers examine the reproductive structures of flowers through close observation and dissections.

Boston teachers search for signs of spring

Is It Spring Yet?

March 7, 2016

Boston educators search for signs of spring in the landscape, and learn to use their exploration as a starting point for helping students determine testable questions.

Conifer Path in the snow

Conifers in the snow

February 8, 2016

Boston Educators explored conifers and their adaptations during a two hour professional development session.

Kyle talks about twigs

Boston educators discover twigs

January 11, 2016

Boston Public School educators walk the grounds with arborist Kyle Stephens to learn how to "read" twigs and discover how trees cope during winter months.

Educators Explore Puddingstone

Boston Teachers explore the geology of the Arboretum

December 5, 2015

Boston Public School teachers participate in a geology walk throughout the Arboretum led by geologist Jennifer Lenz. They learn to use earth materials to replicate geological landforms and how to model earth processes with their students.

Arboretum educators bird watching

Boston Educators Explore All Things Birds

November 12, 2015

Boston teachers participate in a bird walk led by Bob Mayer, followed by a simulated activity to learn about the structure and function of bird beaks.

Preparing Pigment Extract

Arboretum begins new Monthly Explorations series for educators

October 5, 2015

Arboretum for Educators Monthly Explorations are a professional development opportunity for elementary and middle school teachers to introduce the Arboretum landscape as an outdoor classroom.

Arboretum for Educators Open House

Arboretum hosts open house for educators

September 14, 2015

Educators from Boston Public Schools came together on September 11 and 12 for an open house at the Arnold Arboretum, an event highlighting the Arboretum as a unique resource for outdoor learning.