Bringing a Sense of Awe to Your Science Instruction: Educator Workshop

An important update regarding the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We are monitoring the outbreak and consider the safety of our participants our number one priority. We are exploring the option of holding the conference virtually and will notify you as the date draws closer if it will be offered in-person or through a virtual conference environment.


Throughout history, science and the natural environment have evoked a sense of awe as humans struggle to understand the magnificent and the mysterious. This workshop will help you think about science in new and unexpected ways.

Recent research on awe has shown there are significant relationships between having a sense of awe and a range of other outcomes, including: an increased sense of comfort with uncertainty, an increased motivation to learn, an enhanced memory, a greater sense of curiosity, increased causal-explanatory reasoning, and enhanced science reasoning. Perhaps most promising for teaching and learning science is the finding that awe evokes interest, curiosity, and a desire to understand the unknown.

In an era where teaching to the test can crowd out opportunities for innovative instruction, this workshop aims to promote science pedagogy that is “intentionally designed to evoke meaning and connection by purposefully pushing toward a sense of the unknown, awe, and beauty” (Gilbert & Byers, 2017, p. 916).

This workshop will bring together small groups of formal and informal educators for an intimate, focused, and highly interactive event. CEU credits are available to eligible K-12 teachers.

Participants will:

  1. Participate in hands-on activities designed to inspire awe.
  2. Engage with other educators to develop tangible next-steps for creating awesome experiences in science.
  3. Learn how educators are exploring awe in formal and informal spaces.
  4. Explore how teaching with awe can impact student motivation and interest in science.


This conference has been funded by The Friday Institute and NC State College of Education 2019-2020 Catalyst Grant program which supports innovative and collaborative research in education. 


Organizers and Presenters