Summer Institute

The Arnold Arboretum Summer Institute

An Opportunity for Educators

examining ferns

Teachers examine fern structures.


Educator searches for algae and moss.

The Arnold Arboretum offers a 5-day institute each summer intended for educators. Each summer has a different focus and varying target audience. 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. Other specialists are also encouraged to join a team, or apply singly. See more information about the 2019 Summer Institute.

Goals of the Institute

1.  To give teachers needed knowledge about plants and their environments 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 professors and Arboretum staff.
  • 30 PDPs for 5 day attendance.
  • For BPS teachers:  Bus transportation for a self-guided field trip to the Arboretum during the following school year.
  • Teachers from demographics similar to Boston Public School students will be considered for the bus benefit.
  • Access to resources and education staff throughout the year.
  • Breakfast, drinks and snacks provided daily.
  • A collegial atmosphere set in a beautiful landscape for timely and relevant learning.

The 2019 Summer Institute, Investigating Ecosystems Through Fieldwork, was held August 12–16. Read about it!