New round of GREAT workshops helps equip Alabama science teachers

Alabama teachers are getting excited about updated science education resources during GREAT workshops this fall.

“The best part of the workshop for me was the introduction to and explanation of the new standards, especially with the backing of activities and examples of how to conduct activities under the new paradigm,” one teacher commented in a survey. “It clearly showed me how to frame lessons in the new standards.”

The teachers aren’t alone in their enthusiasm. Dr. Neil Lamb, vice president for Educational Outreach at HudsonAlpha, has been energized by his interactions with the educators this year.

“I’m just so excited about the potential these teachers have for passing on their incredible knowledge to their students,” Lamb said. “They are the people who will ignite a love for science in the next generation of scientists, and our future is in good hands.”

Through Genetic Resources to Empower Alabama Teachers – GREAT – Workshops, the Educational Outreach team at HudsonAlpha continues to equip Alabama science teachers with tools they need in their classrooms. The team held workshops in Mobile in September and Auburn in November with plans to bring the sessions to Huntsville and Birmingham in February and Tuscaloosa in March. More than 250 teachers have registered for 2016-2017 workshops so far.

“Our Alabama teachers are responding enthusiastically to the resources we provide them through GREAT Workshops,” said Madelene Loftin, an Educational Outreach team member. “We are honored to work with such passionate science teachers who really have an opportunity to change lives through what they present in their classrooms.”

GREAT workshops update high school teachers’ genetics knowledge by highlighting recent scientific findings. This year’s program, GREAT: Standards, focuses on the genetics and genomics content and the instructional shifts in the new, 2016 Alabama Course of Study: Biology standards.

The two-day workshops use small group sessions and talks from HudsonAlpha educators to introduce teachers to applications based on new findings in the fields of genetics, genomics and biotechnology.

“I enjoyed many aspects of the workshop,” one teacher wrote in an anonymous survey, “but the best part was the phospholipid models. It really got my ideas flowing on how to engage my students with models outside the scope I am familiar with.”

Visit our website to find out more about GREAT Workshops and learn how to register for upcoming GREAT workshops in Huntsville on February 1-2, Birmingham on February 14-15 and Tuscaloosa on March 28-29.