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Press Release

NSTA Unveils New Collection of Professional Learning Units to Help Educators Gain Practical Teaching Strategies That Enrich Student Learning

Self-Paced and Flexible Short Courses That Can Be Completed Anytime, Anywhere

ARLINGTON, Va.—November 8, 2021— The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) today announced the launch of a new line of service—Professional Learning Units (PLUs)—to help K-12 educators enhance their teaching practice. Based on the best research available on how to engage all students in learning science, NSTA PLUs are bite-sized, self-paced, asynchronous short courses that are designed around relevant science education topics. With eight PLUs available now, NSTA plans to release up to three new PLUs each month at

“NSTA Professional Learning Units provide an opportunity for all educators, regardless of their schedule or location, to learn and put into practice research-based pedagogy that places students at the center of learning,” said Erika Shugart, NSTA executive director. “We are thrilled to offer these new short courses to educators nationwide.”

Whether a novice, expert, or somewhere in between, each PLU is designed to meet educators at their current understanding of contemporary science teaching practices, providing the tools necessary so that they are successful in creating a more collaborative, student-centered environment where science ideas are accessible and engaging for all students.

“When educators shift their teaching from a lecture-focused approach, to one where their role is as a guide or facilitator for students, a transformation in the classroom occurs,” noted Shugart. “In a student-centered classroom, students begin to construct their own understanding of ideas and make connections to real-world situations, leaving them feeling more empowered and excited about learning science.”

Current PLU topics include social justice, phenomena, technology, and STEM engineering, to name just a few. Educators can earn a downloadable certificate that could be used towards two credit hours of professional learning upon completion of each PLU.

For more information about NSTA Professional Learning Units, visit

About NSTA
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field.

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Kate Falk, NSTA
(703) 312-9211

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