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TIES Weekly Update – September 1, 2017


Bertha Vazquez

September 1, 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’ve added two more workshops since the update on August 1, including our first workshop in Virginia. That’s sixty-one total!
    • September 8, 2017: Nebraska Academy of Sciences/Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science Fall Conference, Younes Conference Center, Kearney, Nebraska, presented by Alan Wasmoen
    • November 18, 2017: Virginia Association of Science Teachers Conference, Roanoke, Virginia, presented by Christopher Moran
  2. I presented multiple TIES sessions at the Opening of Schools Science Teacher Professional Development Day in West Palm Beach, Florida, last Wednesday, August 9.
  3. We are working on grants for TIES funding. A grant for the Mikelson Foundation should be ready to go this week. Next grant attempt: Toshiba Foundation.
  4. There have been a lot of emails exchanged this week with the zoo educators. These are full-day workshops that require a tremendous amount of planning. Each zoo plans to include lessons on their own zoo exhibits and events for teachers mixed in with our TIES presentations and resources. I really love the collaboration.

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.