Summer Mini-Courses for Science Educators

Summer 2015 Schedule of Courses:

July 6 and 7, 2015 -10am-3pm
The Chemistry that Holds Us Together:
Exploration of Bonding and Intermolecular Forces Using Biomolecules (a course for chemistry teachers!)

Cost: $60

Course Instructor:
Disan Davis, PhD, Science Teacher at Hunter College High School

About this course:
A human body is made of an estimated 100,000 unique molecules, consisting of mostly hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen in different configurations. Chemical bonds and interactions are central to forming such diversity and providing these molecules with their useful biological functions. These molecules demonstrate the full range of bonds and intermolecular forces taught in high school chemistry courses while being engaging and relatable for students.

This 2-day professional development opportunity will introduce teachers to a range of laboratory techniques and biochemical applications relevant for teaching and explaining bonding and intermolecular forces. Teachers will perform chromatography at the bench and see similar applications being used by scientists in the laboratory. Teachers will also look at reversible and irreversible ways to form and break bonds and intermolecular interactions in similar molecules. Through these experiences, we will look at several food molecules, such as fat and protein, and their applications in nutrition, health, and disease. This course will be aligned with the New York State Regents Chemistry curriculum and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). While the course will primarily address chemistry standards, biology teachers are also welcome to attend, and we think that there is much to be gained by increasing interaction between chemistry and biology teachers.

This class runs 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on July 6 and 7, 2015.  The cost for this 2 day course is $60.00. Payment should be made to The Rockefeller University and must be received two weeks prior to the class.  

Payments can be mailed to:

The Rockefeller University, Science Outreach Program, Box 53, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065.

To register for this course, please click here.


July 13 and 14, 2015-10am-3pm
Using a bioblitz to teach urban ecology:
A workshop for elementary and secondary school educators

Cost: $60

Course Instructors:
Sarah Kornbluth, PhD Candidate, Rutgers University Newark
Caroline DeVan, PhD Candidate, The New Jersey Institute of Technology
Megan Litwhiler, PhD Candidate, The New Jersey Institute of Technology
Lisa Nett, The Brainery

About this course:
Modern cities often appear largely void of nature. However, when we take a closer look, wondrous biodiversity can be found in even a small patch of green space. The ability of certain organisms to adapt and thrive in the urban environment is a fascinating topic to introduce children to the exciting world of scientific research through their own discovery and inquiry. In this two-day workshop, elementary and secondary school educators will be led through a series of outdoor activities focused around how to conduct an “urban bioblitz”, a survey with the intent to record all the living organisms in a given area. Day one of the workshop will include a lesson on urban tree identification and bioblitz sampling methods. On day two, teachers will work in teams to collect and analyze primary bioblitz data based on their own original hypotheses. Upon completion of this workshop, teachers will (1) have an understanding of the urban ecosystem and urban biodiversity (2) be proficient in urban tree identification and ecological sampling methods appropriate for elementary and secondary school-age children (3) be prepared to lead their students through their own research projects from hypothesis discovery to presentation of results (4) have in-hand several prepared and modifiable lesson plans and (5) possess a variety of resources to continue their investigation into the ecology of cities. We look forward to meeting you for a couple of fun and highly interactive days exploring urban nature on the beautiful Rockefeller University campus grounds.

This class runs 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on July 13 and 14, 2015.  The cost for this 2 day course is $60.00. Payment should be made to The Rockefeller University and must be received two weeks prior to the class.  

Payments can be mailed to:

The Rockefeller University, Science Outreach Program, Box 53, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065.

 To register for this course, please click here.


July 21 and 22, 2015 -10am-3pm
Neuro-education:
How neuroscience can inform classroom practices.

Cost: $60

Course Instructor:
Ido Davidesco
, PhD, NYU Department of Psychology

About this course:
Do we really use only 10% of our brain power? Are there right and left-brain learners? In this mini-course we’ll debunk these myths and discuss recent findings in the neuroscience of memory, language acquisition, math, creativity and emotion and the ways they can be applied in schools.

This course will build a bridge between the worlds of neuroscience and education. The course will begin with a review of the nervous system and move on to methods for measuring nervous system output including electroencephalograms.  Teachers will be trained to use electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets to record brain electrical activity and will have time to acquire and analyze information from their own brain.  Discussions will focus on how current neuroscience research enhances our understanding of students and informs educational practices. Open laboratory time is planned to allow teachers to form questions and investigations using available resources. The course also incorporates hands-on demonstrations including comparative brain anatomy, sensory neuroscience, and learning and memory tests.

This course will be aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Teachers of Living Environments, Biology and Psychology high school classes as well as any teacher with an interest in brain and neuroscience are invited to attend. No prior knowledge in neuroscience in needed!

This class runs 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on July 21 and 22, 2015

The cost for this 2 day course is $60.00. Payment should be made to The Rockefeller University and must be received two weeks prior to the class.  

Payments can be mailed to:

The Rockefeller University, Science Outreach Program, Box 53, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065.

 To register for this course, please click here. 

science teacher, professional development, education, educators, summer courses, The Rockefeller University, Science outreach program, neuroscience, chemistry, ecology