The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has developed a new resource to improve the quality of science instruction in the nation’s schools: an online hub that provides affordable, on-demand professional development to help educators boost their knowledge about various science topics, as needed.

NSTA introduced its online Learning Center earlier this year with more than 3,000 electronic professional development resources and opportunities, including books, journal articles, web seminars, and online courses.

“As we [continue] into the 21st century, science will play an increasingly central role in our personal lives. To prepare students to be active and thoughtful participants in society, science education must be dramatically improved,” the organization said in a press release about its Learning Center. “Highly qualified teachers who have a solid grasp of science content are central to high-quality science education.”

As of July, more than 60,000 educators were signed up to use the Learning Center to diagnose their individual learning needs and track, document, and validate their professional growth over time, the asociation said. Many of the site’s resources are available free of charge to NSTA members and for a small fee to non-members.

More than 50 free, on-demand Science Object lessons allow teachers to increase their content knowledge at their own pace, said Al Byers, assistant executive director of e-learning and government partnerships for NSTA.