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TIES Weekly Update - June 20, 2017

TIES

Bertha Vazquez

June 27, 2017

The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) stresses the importance of promoting teacher leadership in the United States. Here at TIES we feel that our fellow teachers are our own best resources. We are looking for high school and college biology educators who are interested in presenting our TIES workshops to middle school science teachers in their state. Our reasoning is that a middle school science teacher will typically cover many areas of science within his/her annual curriculum, including earth science, physical science, and life science. It is virtually impossible to become an expert in all of these areas, at least not initially. The purpose of TIES is to inform interested middle school science teachers about the most up-to-date concepts of natural selection, common ancestry, and diversity in order for them to confidently cover the topics in their classrooms and fulfill their curriculum requirements. In addition to providing science teachers with innovative professional development opportunities, TIES also has ready-to-use online resources for the classroom, including presentation slides, labs, guided reading assignments, and an exam.


  1. We added three more workshops in the last two weeks.
    • October 12, 2017: Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham, AL, presented by Kathy Fournier
    • October 28, 2017: Illinois Science Teachers Association’s Annual Conference, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb IL, presented by Kathy von Hoeck
    • October 30, 2017: Mississippi Science Teachers Association Annual Conference, Biloxi, MS, presented by Blake Touchet
  2. With the exception of one workshop in Alabama, the next few workshops are full-day events at zoos. I’ve been corresponding and speaking with the zoo educators to develop the agendas.
  3. We have the quantitative data on the effectiveness of TIES curriculum requested by the CFI Board of Directors several weeks ago. I’ve sent it to you on a second attachment.
  4. The study I completed comparing the middle school evolution standards of the 50 US States was sent back to me from the reviewers with some very helpful revisions. I incorporated their suggestions into the article and re-submitted the paper for final approval in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach. Let’s hope it works out.
  5. My focus has been on New Mexico. I have three teachers willing to present for us and the support of the New Mexico Science Teachers Association. We need a venue so I’m reaching out to science museums in the state.

Bertha Vazquez

Bertha Vazquez's photo

Bertha Vazquez has been teaching middle school science in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 24 years. She has BA in Biology from the University of Miami and a Master’s in Science Education from Florida International University. A seasoned traveler who has visited all seven continents, she enjoys introducing the world of nature and science to young, eager minds. An educator with National Board Certification, she is the recipient of several national and local honors, including the 2014 Samsung’s $150,000 Solve For Tomorrow Contest and The Charles C. Bartlett National Excellence in Environmental Award in 2009. She was Miami-Dade Science Teacher of the Year in 1997 and 2008 and was one of Florida’s 2015 finalists for the most prestigious science award in the country, The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.