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Biology Institute - 2019 Weeklong Courses (Select 2)

When registering for the conference, you will select one pedagogy course and one content course. All courses are taught in the Harkness, student-centered discussion pedagogy with hands-on lab activities. Courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If a course title does not appear on the registration form, it is filled to capacity.

Period 1: Pedagogy

(Select One)

Teaching Biology Around the Harkness Table: Hands-On, Discussion-Based Learning
LeadersRich BenzChris Matlack
This course will introduce teachers to the Harkness philosophy of teaching. Hands-on, discussion-based biology instruction around an oval table is the teaching method, named after its benefactor at Phillips Exeter Academy, that will be explored by participants. We will introduce some main themes of biology by utilizing the Harkness teaching philosophy (question, think, discuss and do). The role of homework in exposing the students to the material before every class much like “flipping the classroom” will be modeled. Participants will also see how hands-on laboratory work can be used to introduce new material, strengthen developing ideas in current material, or bring closure to material at the end of a unit.


STEM Strategies Focusing on Biology

Leader: Jeff Lukens

The belief that STEM education is a good idea is tough to dispute. The "all-in" adoption of STEM education in U.S. schools is, however, quite rare. The reasons are many and varied, but the grim fact is that the implementation of school-wide (or even department-wide) STEM strategies requires open mindedness, cooperation, collaboration and compromise on the part of teachers and other school leaders. However, if we are serious about living out our own leadership responsibilities, WE can be the ones to drive the STEM bus into town. The first letter in the acronym, "S", is there for a reason. Science has to be the driving force behind any successful STEM effort. In this BIE course offering, we will do several lab activities that address central themes in every Biology class, including Enzyme Catalysis, Transpiration, Cell Respiration, Diffusion, and more. Data will be collected using "T" (technology) and evaluated using "M" (mathematics) and "E" (principles of engineering). Even if your school does not have access to state-of-the-art technology, the techniques and strategies that we use will be adaptable to any lab situation in which you find yourself. 


Period 2: Content

(Select One)

Molecular Biology Techniques- From Sand Box to Gel Box
Leaders: Erik Janicki 
Come have a genuine, hands-on experience doing molecular biology. Participants will learn to extract DNA, perform PCR, run agarose gels, prepare DNA to be sequenced and interpret sequence data. Each of these techniques will be discussed around the table in detail. Participants will work with soil samples from various locations to determine the microbial content of each. All instructions for this lab will be made available and we can discuss similar kit labs available through Carolina Biological Supply. This workshop will be taught in a discussion and lab based format and will model Harkness teaching and learning (around a table) in a biology class.


Marine Biology: A Hands-On, Place-Based Field Course

Leader: Rich Aaronian
Even though the NH coastline is short, it is comprised of a variety of habitats. In this course, we will discuss these habitats, but will concentrate on the rocky intertidal zone: its physical features, identification of organisms and their adaptations to this challenging environment. A field trip to the coast is scheduled so that you can observe it firsthand and then bring invertebrate organisms back to the lab’s wet table for more detailed observation and identification.