Professional Development

Adler astronomers and educators are bringing the museum—and the Universe—a little closer to you with 'Scopes In The City!

Professional Development for Educators

The Adler Planetarium offers professional development experiences for educators on specific science and engineering topics. Adler Planetarium is an authorized ISBE professional development provider.

Far Horizons Teacher Experience

Audience: Illinois science educators in grades 6-12 Dates: July 11-15, 2016 or July 18-22, 2016

The Far Horizons Teacher Experience 2016 will lead Illinois middle school and high school science educators through a five-day professional development program. Participants will design science experiments, launch them to near-space aboard a high-altitude balloon payload up to 100,000 feet, track and recover the experiments and analyze the data. Then they will learn how to implement a similar, authentic science and engineering experiment design program at their schools during the 2016-2017 school year.

This program is mapped to all aspects of the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices. Each participating teacher will receive a $275 stipend for the summer workshop (note: full attendance at all program hours on all five days is required for participant to be eligible for the stipend) and a $300 stipend for school year program implementation. Additional funding is available for schools to purchase equipment or materials, if needed. Please note that no reimbursements for travel or other related expenses are included in this program. Light refreshments (tea, coffee, pastries) will be available each morning. Lunches are the responsibility of the participant. 28 ISBE Clock Hours will be available to all participants.

If you are a Chicago Public Schools teacher, apply for this program using your CPS Learning Hub account. The course name is the Adler Planetarium Far Horizons Teacher Experience, course #31327 or course #31331. As of April 15, 2016, course #31327 is open only for wait list requests, and there is only one slot open for course #31331. 

If you are at any other Illinois school, unfortunately, our non-Chicago Public Schools enrollment is full for Summer 2016. We are not able to accept additional applications.

Watch a short video about Adler Planetarium’s Far Horizons program.

If you have questions about the Far Horizons Teacher Experience, please email Michelle Nichols at

The Adler Planetarium is grateful to State Farm and the Polk Bros. Foundation for supporting the Far Horizons Teacher Experience.