Online Professional Development for Teachers of Science

If you are responsible for Professional Development for your school, district or state, or a professor teaching pre-service teachers at a college or university (learn more about using the Learning Center as an e-Textbook), the NSTA Learning Center contains a variety of online learning experiences to fit any educator’s learning style and content need and can be accessed by the teacher 24/7. NSTA is committed to providing the very best online professional development to teachers who teach science. See the Multimedia Overview and impact (testimonials, awards, research and evaluation) of the Learning Center.

Texas Regional Collaborative, Galveston
The Learning Center is an outstanding resource that has proven to be invaluable to our teachers! We have used it for both beginning teachers as well as more experienced teachers. All of our teachers have found this to be a convenient way to enhance their science content knowledge, an invaluable resource to assist in explaining specific concepts in class, a useful tool for sharing resources with colleagues, and a central location for compiling their lesson plans, examples of student work, and annual progress.

The Learning Center proved to be extremely valuable during our recovery following hurricane Ike. During that time, teachers were unable to leave their classrooms to attend workshops. The Learning Center came to the rescue and provided a means for teachers to gain essential knowledge, skills, and resources without losing classroom time.

Marguerite A. Sognier, Ph.D.
Director, Educational Outreach
Texas Regional Collaborative, Galveston

See all Awards and Testimonials

  • Convenience and Accessibility: NSTA’s Learning Center allows educators to access excellent and engaging science content and pedagogical implications any time of the day or night – 24/7 – to fit their schedule
  • Fully Customized: NSTA’s Learning Center allows educators to evaluate their content knowledge and teaching skills and choose a path designed specifically for their PD needs and preferences for learning
  • Accountability: NSTA’s Learning Center enables every teacher to manage their PD plan, the training, track their experiences, and receive a certificate documenting their accomplishment
  • Research-Based and Proven: NSTA Learning Center PD is research-based, proven to significantly improve teacher science content knowledge and science-teaching confidence*

Core NSTA Online Learning Center Resources

  • SciPacks are 10 hour highly engaging and interactive learning experiences to explore and explain real world content and help teachers better understand the science content they teach. A teaching strategies section that puts the science content into the context of appropriate instructional strategies based on the grade band being taught. A concluding assessment, which “if passed,” allows for a “certificate” demonstrating mastery understanding of the content addressed in the SciPacks. Unlimited email teacher support from a content expert is also provided.
  • SciGuides are online resources for teachers that assist in implementing customized lesson plans that include over 100 pre-evaluated online resources, samples of student work, media vignettes, and simulations from related SciPacks.
  • NSTA Journal Articles from our 4 "award-winning" journals. All articles are peer-reviewed and archived to be easily searchable by content area or teaching technique. With an NSTA Learning Center subscription your teachers have access to thousands of high quality lesson ideas and strategies.
  • NSTA e-Book Chapters are assembled in easily digestible chapters available from NSTA’s “award winning” science teaching titles. Your teachers gain access to hundreds of e-Book chapters with an NSTA Learning Center group subscription.

Individualize and Customize the PD Experience

  • The PD Indexer offer teachers a self-assessment to diagnose gaps in their content knowledge and delivers recommendations to address those gaps. You may also use this tool for capturing pre/post assessment scores for individual teachers after completing specific SciPacks.
  • A number of integrated tools help teachers manage their PD experience and provide their administrators with clear documentation of their accomplishments. My Professional Development Plan and Portfolio, My PD Record and Certificates, My Notepad, My Library, My Profile, My Community Forums, and My Calendar all work together to document and enrich NSTA’s Online PD experience.

Accountability and Affordability

NSTA is now offering administrators and professors a special opportunity to access a complete set of resources in the NSTA Learning Center with a special suite of accountability tools built in - for one low annual subscription price per educator.

  • Assist your teachers in designing their own professional development plan to meet their content and skills needs and your class, school, district or state’s unique needs
  • Review ‘real-time’ reports of your teacher’s completed PD experiences as a group and as individuals for SciPacks, and via their own Professional Development Plan and Portfolio report, generated by the individual teacher on-demand into a PDF document.
  • Review your faculty’s log-in and frequency-of-usage rates for SciPacks
  • Review the overall number of faculty who have taken and completed SciPacks and view individuals who have passed SciPacks
  • Easily build reports to document your teacher’s participation, progress, and performance of a series of SciPacks
  • Review all online activity tracked by the educator’s activity points (forums posts, collections shared, resources reviewed, web seminars attended, etc.)

Research-Based & Proven

NSTA has been rigorous in the development of all Learning Center materials. External research shows a STRONG POSITIVE impact on teachers who participated in NSTA online Professional Development – both in terms of content knowledge and level of confidence in teaching science concepts.*

See all Awards and Testimonials

Complete Support

  • Set-up Wizard: We help you set everything up – including unlimited online technical help or live phone support.
  • Unlimited Content Help: Access through your subscription to specialists to help with any content questions, problems, or issues on content.
  • Online Advisors: Assist users in finding resources, using tools, and with recommendations for best practices

Getting Started

NSTA Online Professional Development is a great value whether you are accessing NSTA’s FREE PD Resources, or purchasing an annual subscription for a group of teachers to the complete NSTA Learning Center.

If you are an administrator or a professor who wants to provide professional development for your pre-service teacher class, faculty at the state, district or school level, call to get information on our special group rates and highly valued administrator management tools.

Call 800-722-6782 or, e-mail

*All NSTA materials have undergone extensive testing, content and pedagogy expert review, and efficacy research. Formative research was conducted by independent experts to ensure scientific accuracy and credibility.

External Research shows a STRONG impact on teachers who participated in NSTA online Professional Development.

  • Before their NSTA PD experience: Over 91% of respondents in the study identified themselves as somewhat confident (64.6%) or not confident (27.8%) teaching the science concepts addressed before participating in NSTA Learning Center PD
  • After participation in NSTA Learning Center PD, 0% identified themselves as “not confident” in their ability to teach the science concepts addressed and 60% of the participants felt “very confident” in their ability to teach the science content
  • Teachers who participated in NSTA Online PD also showed significant content knowledge gains. A pre-and-post test instrument developed and administered by Horizon Research, Inc., found significant gains in teacher knowledge after taking the Force and Motion SciPack. These research results are published in an article in the Journal of Science Education and Technology titled “Evaluation of Online, On-Demand Science Professional Development Material Involving Two Different Implementation Models, Volume 17-No 1, February 2008, Sherman, Byers, Rapp.

NSTA was supported in the development of these professional development resources by the generous funding of NSF, NOAA, FDA, US Dept of Ed, DOT, NSTA Press, Sally Ride Science, and National Science Digital Library.