Modern Tools in Biology: Cutting-Edge Techniques in Context (2021)

Fall 2021 Faculty Speaker Series for High School Biology Teachers


The application for the Fall 2021 Faculty Speaker Series is closed. Thank you for your interest.
Know any Chemistry or Physics teachers? Click here.

This year’s program will explore the symbiotic relationship between biology and technology. Advances in biological research rely on the development and constant improvement of technologies permitting the visualization, manipulation, and analysis of biological data. Harvard scientists will share how their research in fields such as genetics, cell biology, and microbiology both employ and inspire the development of exciting new tools like high-resolution microscopy, CRISPR, and game theory.

Program Format and Application Process

All participating teachers commit to attending 5 Thursday afternoon online sessions, beginning at 4PM. Each session will involve a short talk followed by a 15 minute Q&A period. After a quick (10 minute) break, we will reconvene to engage with an activity under the leadership of our presenters and LSO Fellows, ending around 6:15PM.

Because we will be utilizing breakout sessions within the Zoom platform, we may need to limit enrollment. We ask that teachers apply only if they can commit to full participation for each of the 5 afternoons.

Five Thursday afternoon sessions will take place from 4-6:15PM on:

  • Week 1 October 7th
  • Week 2 October 21st
  • Week 3 November 4th
  • Week 4 November 18th
  • Week 5 December 2nd

This program is FREE of charge and funded by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.  All participants will receive a PDP certificate upon completion of the program.

Applications are due on Friday, September 17th.  Applicants must be full-time high school life science teachers or curriculum directors at public, private, parochial or charter schools in New England. We will notify applicants of their status by September 24th and accepted applicants must respond to our acceptance email by October 1st. All program communication takes place via email.


Opportunity for Chemistry and Physics Educators

Do you have colleagues in Chemistry or Physics who would be interested in attending a talk as well?

Professor Suyang Xu from the Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is offering a talk specifically for high school Chemistry and Physics teachers, “Material Sciences Research and the Development of Quantum Technologies,” on Thursday, October 28 at 4pm ET over Zoom. Please see below for the workshop description.

Please share the application link with colleagues who may be interested.

Quantum technologies have the power to change the world. By deepening our understanding of the motion of electrons, atoms and molecules, quantum mechanics will likely transform medicine, revolutionize communications, and reform artificial intelligence.  

We will explore how quantum physics directly enables novel technologies such as quantum computers and quantum cryptography, and we will discuss current research on new materials which provide a platform for new quantum technologies. In particular, we will focus on a class of new materials called the topological quantum materials, which provide the necessary platform for new technologies.


Socially Engaged Learning at The Derek Bok Center: Life Sciences Outreach Partnership

The mission of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning is to elevate the quality of teaching at all levels. The Center offers avenues through which faculty and graduate students develop teaching and communication skills in their disciplines.  The Socially Engaged Learning initiative at the Bok Center provides interested faculty and graduate students the unique opportunity to practice these skills in front of important external audiences.  The Lifes Sciences Outreach Fall Faculty Speaker Series consists of faculty talks and activities led by faculty, graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows. We encourage you to help us think about ways in which to leverage high school classroom experience and pedagogical expertise to help further graduate student development in the areas of teaching and communication.

If you have questions, please contact:

Susan Johnson
Assistant Director of Socially Engaged Learning
Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning