HudsonAlpha realizes that COVID-19 has changed the way teachers interact with their students. The impacts are also influencing the way educators invest the time dedicated to professional learning this summer. HudsonAlpha Beacon is a tool to help educators find life science content from a distance. These virtual opportunities will provide ways to explore and interact with genetics, biotechnology, and the wider world of science. Experiences will include multi-day online workshops that combine synchronous and asynchronous learning, opportunities to tune in to researcher talks, and webinar-style trainings on newly-developed resources.

Virtual Programs

Beacon: Beyond the Blog with Dr. Neil Lamb


  • June 24, 2020
  • 10:00 am CT

When the COVID-19 global pandemic emerged in the United States, Dr. Lamb immediately began the process of separating facts from fear.  He is a trusted source for factual science-based information about COVID-19. His Beyond the Blog video series has thousands of views and has been used by teachers around the country for distance learning. Please join us for this very unique opportunity to hear about the most up to date research news and ask the questions that may weigh on you as you plan for the new school year.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 1.5 hours of professional learning.

Cross-Cutting Concepts


  • July 7 – 9, 2020
  • 9:00 am – 4:00 pm CT daily

Cross-cutting concepts link the entire scope of your biology course, yet students often miss that “forest” for studying the “trees.” How can we use simple, accessible activities to make these CCCs evident and unify our biology instruction? This three-day session combines synchronous and asynchronous learning to answer that question. Materials to complete independent hands-on activities will be shipped to you prior to the workshop.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 16 hours of professional learning, if requested on the registration. Alabama educators, this session is eligible for PowerSchool credit. 

How to Build a Winning OBTA Application


  • July 14, 2020
  • 11:00 am CT

You are amazing, and you deserve recognition! Let us help you build a winning application for the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) from the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT). Get tips, tools and advice from the Alabama OBTA Director and former OBTA recipients.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 1.5 hours of professional learning.

Learning Together Apart: HudsonAlpha Resources for Distance Learning


Given the uncertainty in Fall school schedules, HudsonAlpha has a set of curated resources that can be used for teaching biology content at a distance. Join us for an overview of the resources, tips and tricks for integrating into your instruction and an opportunity to provide input for future additions to this resource.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 1.5 hours of professional learning.

There are two different offerings for this 90-minute training. Register for the one that best fits your schedule below.

Middle-School Microscopy


  • June 29 – July 1, 2020
  • 10:00 am – 3:00 pm CT daily

Microscopes are the quintessential tool of biology, but often outside the reach of middle school students. This three-day session combines synchronous and asynchronous learning to support the integration of microscopy into your 7th-grade life science class using FoldScopes. Materials to complete independent hands-on activities will be shipped to you prior to the workshop.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 12 hours of professional learning, if requested on the registration. Alabama educators, this session is eligible for PowerSchool credit. 

Research Revealed


  • June 8 – 12, 2020
  • 10:00 – 11:30 am CT daily

A series of Scientific and Researcher talks that dig into the current projects at HudsonAlpha. Get updates on innovations in human genetic research, genomic research into agriculturally important plants, and a deep dive into genomic health initiatives.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 6 hours of professional learning, if requested on the registration. Alabama educators, this session is eligible for PowerSchool credit. 

Timeline Challenge


  • July 27, 2020
  • 10:00 am CT

Using the Progress of Science® digital timeline as a backdrop, students investigate key agriculture and biotechnology tools to address a real-world challenge. Have your students solve modern agricultural challenges such as developing hornless cattle or perennial wheat, with self-driven investigations of technologies commonly addressed in your biology curriculum. Get trained on this free digital resource available from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 1.5 hours of professional learning.

Viral Sequence Analysis Using COVID-19


The analysis of COVID-19 sequence data is critical to learning about the virus and developing effective treatments and vaccines. Bioinformatics lessons can be especially challenging for the introductory-level student due to the “unseen” processes that happen when utilizing computational tools online. This series of four lessons introduces computational tools.  Providing students with an introduction to the concepts and tools of computational biology in a format that is relevant and understandable is important for capturing their interest and sense of achievement. This set of exercises is designed to allow students to tackle a current issue, the COVID-19 pandemic, by learning the skills needed to analyze virus sequence data.

Upon conclusion of the session, certificates will be provided documenting 1.5 hours of professional learning.

There are four different offerings for this 90-minute training. Register for the one that best fits your schedule below.