21 Amazing Summer Professional Development Adventures for Teachers

Equal parts fun and educational.

Summer professional development feature

While many non-teachers think that teachers spend their summers sitting poolside, eating bonbons, and sipping margaritas, teachers know that the summer months are all about prepping for the upcoming academic year. And while all teachers deserve a big dose of rest come summertime, most teachers spend their summer months focused on their teaching practice by taking advantage of summer professional development opportunities. Thankfully, many summer professional development opportunities for teachers are equal parts fun and educational. We’ve rounded up the best summer professional development for K-12 teachers for summer 2024.

Summer Travel Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

1. Explore the Great Migration in Harlem at a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute (New York, NY)

Aerial view of NYC

Every summer, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers tuition-free opportunities for K-12 educators to study various humanities topics at locations across the United States. Stipends of $1,300 to $3,420 help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs. At the From Alabama to New York: How the Great Migration Shaped the Harlem Renaissance summer institute, teachers are immersed in the vibrant, historic neighborhood for an in-depth study of the Great Migration and its impact on the Harlem Renaissance. Among the 30+ other professional development seminars this year, topics include Grand Coulee Dam: The Intersection of Modernity and Indigenous Cultures (Spokane, WA), Shakespeare and Digital Storytelling (Decater, GA), and Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and the Japanese American Incarceration (Powell, WY). Some programs are also offered online.

Dates: Saturdays, June 1-29 (virtual); July 7-19 (residential); (submission deadline: March 5, 2024)

Cost: Free ($TBD stipend provided)

Audience: K–12 educators


Learn more: National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Education Professional Development Programs

2. Study community, conservation, and the environment (Walden Pond, Concord, MA) 

Aerial view of Walden Pond

Approaching Walden is a six-day summer professional development seminar for educators that includes workshops on conservation and the environment based on the works of Henry David Thoreau. There are also field visits to Walden Pond in historic Concord, MA.

Dates: July 14-19, 2024 (submission deadline: March 1, 2024)

Cost: $50 (up to $600 stipend provided)

Audience: 9–12 educators

Learn more: Approaching Walden | The Walden Woods Project

3. Dig deep into the life of President George Washington and the 18th-century world he lived in at Mount Vernon (Alexandria, VA)

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Dig deep into the life of our nation’s first president and the 18th-century world he lived in at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate. K-12 teachers of all disciplines are invited to attend this five-day immersive professional development program. You’ll also learn student-centered ways to bring Washington to life in your classroom. 

Dates: Choose from six thematic programs hosted between June 11and August 3, 2024.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: All costs associated with program resources, meals, and lodging are covered as part of your participation. Mount Vernon will reimburse an average of $350 to $700 per teacher for travel depending on your geographic region.

Learn more: Summer Residential Programs at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

4. Teach abroad with Fulbright Teacher Exchanges (worldwide)

Group of students standing with English teacher who is teaching abroad, as an example of summer professional development for teachers
Fulbright Teacher Exchanges

Are you looking to bring an international perspective into your classroom? The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program sends K–12 educators to participating countries to support projects in schools, teacher training colleges, government ministries, or educational nongovernmental organizations.  

Dates: Program dates depend on the assigned country. Applications are rolling.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Participants receive funding that covers project activities including international airfare, living expenses, meals, and an honorarium for the time in country. Host organizations support participants to find housing and transportation while on-site.

Learn more: Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program

5. Sail aboard an ocean research vessel with the NOAA Teacher at Sea program

NOAA ship at sea

Spend two weeks to one month sailing the high seas Teacher at Sea program, a fantastic opportunity that brings K-12 teachers and working scientists aboard an ocean research vessel. Teachers will return to their classrooms with firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to live and work at sea plus ideas for incorporating marine science into the classroom. 

Dates: Dates vary but participants can expect to be at sea anywhere from one week to one month, with the average cruise lasting 12 to 14 days. (Submission deadline: NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program uses an online application that is open during a 30-day application window in the fall. One month in advance, they share a sample application to help interested applicants prepare. Once it is time to apply, applicants can create accounts in the online application and fill in the requested information and essay responses.)

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Educators’ on-ship living expenses and meals are covered by NOAA.

Learn more: Teacher at Sea Program | NOAA Fisheries

6. Examine life in early America (Williamsburg, VA)

The Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. A brick Colonial house with a courtyard, and former home of Thomas Jefferson.

From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg, Virginia, was the political and cultural hub of the American colonies. Colonial Williamsburg examines life in colonial America during its informative and fun three-day on-site seminars, workshops, and webinars for K-12 educators. 

Dates: Program and submission dates vary, with most programs hosted during the summer months.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Program costs vary; many programs are offered free of charge thanks to the Friends of Colonial Williamsburg.

Learn more: Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute Programs

7. Journey through the history of Ancient Egypt, visiting the iconic pyramids and sailing down the Nile River; hike the Inca Trail in Peru; encounter resilience and rare wildlife in Rwanda and Uganda; or cycle Sri Lanka

The Pyramids and bedouins in the desert of Giza, Egypt.

Intrepid Travel introduces teachers to the world via summer travel itineraries that promise to be educational, inspirational, and unforgettable. Earn professional development credits for continuing education as you embark on a journey through the history of Ancient Egypt, visiting the iconic pyramids and sailing down the Nile River; hike the Inca Trail in Peru; encounter resilience and rare wildlife in Rwanda and Uganda; or cycle Sri Lanka. There’s an adventure for every type of teacher under the sun: from the teacher who wants to trek in search of gorillas and the Big Five in Kenya to the teacher who wants to while a week exploring the wineries and cultural gems of Tuscany

Dates: Program and application dates vary.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Program costs vary; present your teacher ID upon registration for a 10% discount.

Learn more: Intrepid Travel

8. Learn how to help students better understand science concepts using graphic novels at the American Museum of Natural History  

Outside view of the American Museum of Natural History in NYC

The David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning at the American Museum of Natural History invites K-12 teachers to continue learning and stay engaged with free online, hybrid, and on-site professional learning opportunities from February through late May 2024, with the addition of more programs over the summer likely. Programs for 2024 include “Taking the Scenic Route: The Benefits of ‘Slow Looking’ on Museum Field Trips,” “Reimagining Elementary School Science Teaching,” and “Adventure Is Out There! Connecting Social Emotional Learning Through Nature.”

Dates: Program and application dates vary.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Free for K-12 educators

Learn more: CTLE Professional Learning for K-12 Teachers | AMNH

9. Bring Asian culture into your classroom with a National Consortium for Teaching about Asia seminar, workshop, or summer travel program

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Crater including the hotels and buildings in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu island, Hawaii. Waikiki Beach in the center of Honolulu has the largest number of visitors in Hawaii

The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) hosts low or no-cost online and in-person seminars, workshops, and travel programs for K-12 teachers of all content areas throughout the year. NCTA programs are offered by seven national coordinating sites and several partner sites located at major universities across the country. University credit is available for some programs. Summer teacher programs for 2024 include the East Asia Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers, Women in Modern East Asia: Understanding Their Challenges and Successes, and Teaching East Asian Literature Workshop.

Dates: Program and application dates vary.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Free for K-12 educators

Learn more: Asia Educational Programs & Courses – NCTAsia

10. Conduct research alongside working scientists worldwide with an Earthwatch Education Fellowship

Two teachers backpacking out on green trails for summer professional development

Are you a K-12 teacher passionate about conservation, environmental sustainability, and lifelong learning? Earthwatch gives K-12 teachers of any discipline the fully or partially funded opportunity to conduct real-world research alongside working scientists in incredible locations worldwide. Project Kindle, another amazing Earthwatch opportunity, is a fully funded expedition for K-12 teachers looking to create more immersive, STEM-focused learning experiences.

Dates: Program and application dates vary.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Program costs vary, with most programs for K-12 educators fully or partially funded.

Learn more: Teacher Fellowships | Earthwatch

11. Explore the Global Legacies of World War II at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California 

USS Midway Museum

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History offers 23 academically rigorous online and in-person programs for K-12 teachers looking to learn about a wide range of American history topics. Programs for 2024 include Statesmanship in American History (hosted at Princeton University), Reframing Lincoln (Springfield, Illinois), and The Global Legacies of World War II (USS Midway Museum, San Diego, CA).

Dates: Program and registration dates vary. There are limited spots available for each course, so once a course is full, registration for that course will close.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Program participation is free, but there is a $200 registration fee. Participants are responsible for their own travel and transportation costs for in-person programs.

Learn more: 2024 Summer Professional Development | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

12. Immerse yourself in German culture (Germany)

Historic town Rothenbourg ob der Tauber with colorful houses on street, Franconia, Bavaria, Deutschland.

The Transatlantic Outreach Program – Goethe-Institut USA fellowship allows K–12 STEM teachers to live in Germany for two weeks. As you explore Germany, you’ll also have the chance to connect with German educators, learn about European Community education initiatives, and develop curricula that you can take home to your stateside classroom. 


  • Social Studies: June 8-22; June 22 – July 6; July 6-20, 2024
  • STEM: June 22 – July 6, 2024
  • The submission deadline and application link for 2025 study tours will be posted in the fall.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Airfare, ground transportation in Germany (trains, buses, public transit), accommodations in Washington, D.C., and Germany, two meals per day, entrance fees and resources and materials for your classroom are all graciously covered by the Goethe-Institut USA.

Learn more: 2024 Study Tour Information – Goethe-Institut USA

13. Learn how to increase critical thinking skills in the classroom at the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)


The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., hosts a free, three-day professional development workshop where K-12 teachers can learn and practice strategies for using primary sources and increasing critical thinking in the classroom. The Library of Congress also offers several self-paced, online webinars and workshops so you can design your own summer professional development. 

Dates: June 26-28, 2024; July 1-3, 2024 (science-focused program); July 10-12, 2024; July 15-17, 2024

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: Tuition and materials for the workshops are offered at no cost to participants. However, please note that participants are responsible for all other costs, such as transportation, meals, and lodging.

Learn more: Library of Congress Professional Development

14. Set off on a Lindblad Expeditions ocean voyage for a life-changing, field-based experience that promises to bring new geographic awareness into your home classroom

Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) at the beach of Espanola island

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship (GTF) is a free, professional development opportunity for exemplary pre-K–12 educators. Set off on a Lindblad Expeditions voyage for a life-changing, field-based experience that promises to bring new geographic awareness into your home classroom. Fellows also take on a two-year leadership commitment to support National Geographic’s education initiatives and may be asked to conduct webinars, co-design resources, participate in meetups, and mentor other educators.

Dates: The call for applications begins each fall. Stay tuned for more information on the next application later this year, and sign up for updates from National Geographic.

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: National Geographic covers all on-ship expenses for teachers.

Learn more: Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program | National Geographic Society

15. Learn to interpret and analyze weather information acquired through direct and remote sensing of the environment and understand significant weather systems (Kansas City, MO)

Kansas City Missouri Lake Skyline

Project Atmosphere is an online and (one-week) in-person teacher professional development program offered by the American Meteorological Society’s Education Program in partnership with Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest) and the National Weather Service. Designed for K-12 teachers who include weather content in their curriculum, participating teachers learn to interpret and analyze weather information acquired through direct and remote sensing of the environment, understand significant weather systems, and earn three graduate credits from Pennsylvania Western University upon completion of the program requirements. For Summer 2024, the Academic fee will be waived for all teachers selected to participate.

Dates: Pre-residence online work: July 8-20, 2024; on-site residence experience: July 21-27, 2024; post-residence online work: July 28 to August 8, 2024. All completed applications should be submitted by March 22, 2024. 

Audience: K-12 educators

Cost: The American Meteorological Society covers all program fees, travel, and accommodations for participating educators. A non-refundable application fee of $150 is required.

16. Explore Berlin’s most historic sites and learn more about the city’s turbulent history

Berlin skyline with Spree river at sunset, Germany

Join 60 teachers from around the world in Berlin, Germany, for the Centropa Summer Academy to explore 20th-century Jewish history. History comes alive as you visit the sites you teach about in your classroom and meet with historians and diplomats.

Dates: July 15-22, 2024

Audience: 6-12 educators

Cost: The estimated total cost of the trip—including airfare—is $5,000.

Learn more: Centropa Summer Academy

Online Summer Professional Development for Teachers

Fund for Teachers

The Fund for Teachers invests in teacher growth by providing financial support for educators’ self-guided study. Design your own professional development program in the United States or around the world. Fellows can request grants of up to $5,000; teams of two or more teachers can request grants of up to $10,000.

Facing History & Ourselves

Facing History & Ourselves offers on-demand webinars that cover a wide range of topics, including social studies, history, civics, ELA, equity and inclusion, and classroom culture. Most webinars qualify for professional development credit. Registration for these self-paced programs is free and a certificate of attendance is issued upon completion.

PBS LearningMedia Teacher Professional Development

PBS LearningMedia offers 15-, 30-, or 45-hour online, self-paced courses for continuing education credits. Check out the Digital Adventures: Tech Fun for Summer Webinar for summer professional development that shows teachers how to engage students throughout the summer to prevent the dreaded summer brain drain. 

Learning for Justice

Learning for Justice offers free, self-paced, on-demand webinars on increasing school equity. Topics include Supporting and Affirming Immigrant Students and Families and Trauma-Responsive Education: Supporting Students and Yourself.


Learn more about the scientific side of teaching with free, self-paced, on-demand SciLearn webinars focused on the neuroscience of learning. Topics include K-12 Education Solutions Provider and The Positive Student Impact of Social-Emotional Learning.

Also check out the Top Education Conferences in 2024.

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Thankfully, many of the 2024 summer professional development opportunities for teachers are equal parts fun and educational.