Teacher Professional Development

Teacher/educators at a workshop.

Discover new teaching practices and broaden your knowledge through MNHS teacher professional development. Educator workshops are offered by the History Day and Teacher Education teams.

Northern Lights Academy

Date: In-person Monday, November 7, 2022 8:00 am-2:30 pm
Asynchronous strand accessible Nov. 14. 2022 to Jan. 3, 2023
Cost: $100 in-person ($80 for MNHS members) Register
$45 for asynchronous strand ($40 for MNHS members) Register
Location: Minnesota History Center (St. Paul, MN) for in-person workshop; presentation recordings provided online for asynchronous strand
Audience: Teachers using the Northern Lights curriculum

The Northern Lights Academy will return to the Minnesota History Center this fall as the premier in-person Minnesota Studies conference! Sessions will feature Minnesota Studies experts and master Northern Lights teachers from across the state, as well as opportunities to explore MNHS collections items and tour select History Center exhibits. 
Unable to make it to the History Center on November 7? We got you covered! For the first time, choose between in-person or asynchronous registrations options for the Northern Lights Academy. Recordings of half of the sessions from the in-person workshop will be made available as asynchronous sessions after the event. 
Peruse the tentative agenda (sessions are still being scheduled and confirmed). 
Reimbursement subsidies are also back to support in-person workshop participation! Apply for funding to reimburse substitute, mileage, and hotel costs. So much important learning is in the interaction, and we want to ensure that Northern Lights teachers from across the state have the resources to attend in-person. Learn more about subsidies and apply for this first-come, first-served resource.
Sessions align with current state social studies standards, as well as with content and resources in the Revised Second Edition of Northern Lights (print book, 2013; Interactive eBook, 2014+); those with earlier editions of Northern Lights may also find this conference useful. 

Your in-person registration includes:

✔ Light breakfast   ✔ Lunch   ✔ Asynch session access   ✔ CEUs   ✔ Parking

Contact Kara Knight with program or subsidy questions. Contact the Box Office with registration questions.


Opt In to an Exclusive Evening at Gov. Alexander Ramsey’s House

Northern Lights Academy registrants can opt in to a behind-the-scenes visit to the Alexander Ramsey House on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 6 to 8pm. Catch this exclusive sneak peek of the site before it reopens in the spring for the first time in three years! Learn about the complicated legacy of former Governor Ramsey and tour his Victorian mansion, located just south of the History Center in St. Paul’s Irvine Park neighborhood. Hors D'oeuvres will be served.

To Opt-In: Teachers registered for Northern Lights Academy in-person or asynchronously are eligible to opt in. A separate RSVP link for this event will be included in an email sent by mhseducation@mnhs.org on the day that you register. Act quickly as capacity is limited to 30 teachers and will fill on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Kara Knight with any questions.


History Day workshops

Introduction to History Day

Cost: $70 
Location: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 8:30 am - 3 pm (register here)

History Day 101 will address the fundamentals of the History Day program. Staff will discuss everything from the program’s framework and implementation strategies to support resources and next steps to bring History Day into your classroom. Participants will leave with a variety of classroom-ready tools and energized to bring History Day into their own schools.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Theme Exploration and Curriculum Collaboration

Cost: $70 (Buy one ticket, get one free for your colleague!)
Location: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul 

This hands-on workshop will include a deep-dive into the annual theme from the History Day staff and a chance for participants to share their own ideas in the morning. In the afternoon, we will shift gears to curriculum planning. Bring your calendars, rubrics, and other History Day lessons to work with others and make plans for the upcoming year. Open discussion time will give you the opportunity to collaborate with other attendees - for each workshop seat paid for, bring a colleague for free!

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

teacher standing with student

Introduction to History Day (Webinar)

Cost: $15
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Thursday, October 6, 3:30 - 4:45 pm CST (register here)

What is History Day? This webinar addresses  the fundamentals, including the categories, and brief theme discussion. 

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Virtual Research Resources

Cost: Free
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 3:30-4:30 pm CST (register here)

The University of Minnesota has many resources available online, including special access to Adam Matthew Databases for Minnesota students. Learn how to navigate these sources to better support student research.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about these workshops.

Advanced Educator Workshop: Research Process

Cost: $70
Location: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
Date: Thursday, December 8, 8:30 am - 3 pm (register here)

We often say that students become detectives while working on History Day. They search for evidence and analyze the information to draw the best possible conclusions. To coincide with the new Minnesota History Center exhibit, “Sherlock,” this workshop will break down the History Day research process to get students to ask the right research questions and develop their argument.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Running a School Contest

Cost: $15
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Thursday, December 1, 3:30 - 4:45 pm CST (register here)

The projects are done, but how do you showcase them at the school level? This webinar will cover the basics of how to run a successful school-wide contest.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Cancellation policy

  • Registrants canceling 24 hours before the workshop are eligible for a refund or credit. (This includes weather related cancellations.)
  • Registrants unable to attend a workshop may send someone in their place; substitutions will be made at the registration desk the day of the event.
  • No refunds or credits will be granted for nonattendance.