Birmingham educators take advantage of professional development program

Generous support from The Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation provides materials, field trip and mentoring

Birmingham educators have access to a special toolkit of HudsonAlpha experiences, thanks to generous support from The Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation. Through a three-year, $75,000 commitment from the foundation, up to five Birmingham biology teachers participate each year in the program.

“We hope that the program will help science educators develop deeper content knowledge of and increased confidence around key genetic concepts,” said Neil Lamb, PhD, HudsonAlpha’s vice president for Educational Outreach. “A well-equipped educator is one of the strongest indicators of student achievement, and we’re excited to partner with The Goodrich Foundation to offer this intentional and multipronged mentoring effort in the Birmingham schools.”

Through the program, educators like Shenik Andrews, PhD, of Birmingham’s Huffman High School, receive classroom materials, accompany one of their classes on a HudsonAlpha field trip and participate in an extensive professional development program.

Classroom materials include five hands-on laboratory kits reinforcing concepts taught in 9th grade biology. The field trip allows students to interact with technologically advanced equipment and introduces them to a range of career possibilities. Professional development opportunities include attending GTAC, a weeklong summer genetic immersion course at HudsonAlpha. In addition, during the following year, a HudsonAlpha educator spends three days with the teacher in their classroom providing additional support and training. Finally, the teacher attends HudsonAlpha’s two-day professional development workshop, called GREAT, that further helps them incorporate new content into the classroom.