Professional Development


Workshops & Institutes

Be the first to find out about professional development opportunities by subscribing to our email list below.

We regularly conduct workshops for practitioners and present at research conferences. Look for us at annual conferences for NSTA (National Science Teachers Association; national as well as some regional conferences), NABT (National Association of Biology Teachers), USTA (Utah Science Teachers Association), NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching), ASTE (Association for Science Teacher Education), and AERA (American Educational Research Association).

The application or registration deadline for all opportunities is Sunday, March 15, 2020

Health and Science For All

Pre-institute assignments online, June 15-30, 2020

In-person Institute, July 6–10, 2020 Salt Lake City, UT

The National Institutes of Health has launched a historic program to improve health in the United States. The All of Us Research Program aims to engage one million or more people across the US as research participants and partners. These individuals will provide data to accelerate research and move us further down the path to individualized health care. A large community of partners involved in the program is working to develop engaging ways to communicate with the public about important science and health topics related to the project and to support program goals. Who better to turn to for ideas than teachers?

We’re looking for science and health teachers of all levels to come together and learn about the All of Us Research Program, precision medicine, and genetics in healthcare. Then, you’ll brainstorm ideas for engaging ways to educate people of all ages on related health and science topics. The Genetic Science Learning Center and teams from the All of Us Research Program will further develop the work you begin. Lend us your expertise in making learning effective and fun!

While we encourage applicants to review information about the All of Us Research Program, enrollment in the program is not required for this opportunity and has no bearing on the selection process.

Appropriate for: Elementary teachers, Middle and High School life science and health teachers
Compensation: $650 participation compensation, travel, lodging and daily per diem
Credit: 4 graduate-level credits for a $50 recording fee

For more detailed information and an application visit:

Funding for this Institute is provided by the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number OT2OD28414. The Institute content is solely the responsibility of the GSLC and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Evolution and Heredity for Middle School—Institutes and Pilot Test

Online Background Institute, June 22–July 24, 2020

In-person Institute, July 27–31, 2020, Salt Lake City, UT

Pilot Testing During the 2020–2021 School Year

Research shows that students have an easier time learning evolution concepts when they understand related concepts from heredity and genetics. Yet heredity and evolution units can’t always be taught sequentially, or even in the same grade. To address this issue, we are developing NGSS-aligned units on Heredity and Evolution that can be used flexibly, PLUS a Heredity review module to bridge the gap when these topics are covered in different grades. We need your expertise to perfect the materials and make them easy for teachers to find and use!

Participation in this program includes three phases:

  • An Online “Background” Institute: Experience a high-school level evolution unit that integrates concepts from heredity and genetics, learning what middle school students should be prepared to do in high school.
  • In-person Institute: Meet in Salt Lake City to preview the new middle-school level units and offer feedback on the materials. In addition, you’ll collaborate with colleagues to develop teacher supports and identify important concepts and activities to be included in the Heredity Review Module.
  • Pilot Test in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021: Use one or both units in your classroom as appropriate to your teaching assignment. You’ll administer pre and post tests, complete short daily logs, and suggest improvements to the materials. We’ll work with your district to gain approval.

Whether you teach just Heredity, just Evolution, or both, we want your input to perfect these materials!

Appropriate For: Middle School Teachers who teach a Heredity unit, an Evolution unit, or both.

Compensation: $850–1050 stipend; travel, lodging, and meals during the In-person Institute

Credit: 4 graduate credits from the University of Utah Department of Human Genetics available for a $50 recording fee

For more details and an application visit:

This Institute is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. DRL-1814194, DRL-1222869 and DRL-1418136. The Institute content and curriculum materials are those of the GSLC. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Cells in Context for Middle School

Online Institute

August 1–31, 2020

Cells are never truly “resting.” This institute features a new NGSS-aligned unit for middle school that explores cells and cell systems, and how pathogens disrupt cell and tissue function. Yes, there are a lot of curriculum materials on cells out there. Butthis unit’s dynamic multimedia pieces and paper-based resources integrate seamlessly with one another through consistent artwork that depicts real cells in real contexts. Plus, the unit incorporates all three dimensions of NGSS, preparing students to tackle all the relevant performance expectations. During this institute, you will experience the unit as a student would, learn implementation tips and tricks from the developers, and work with colleagues from across the nation to share ideas and inspiration for using the materials. All institute materials will be freely available for classroom use.

Appropriate For: Middle School Science Teachers, or any High School Science teachers who want to check it out; the unit also includes “advanced” topics you might find useful

Cost: FREE

Credit: One graduate credit from the University of Utah available for a $50 recording fee

For details and registration visit:

The Institute and curriculum materials were supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 5R25GM129202. The content is solely the responsibility of the GSLC and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.`

Genetics and Health in the Genomic Age

Online Institute

May 1–31, 2020

Throw out that Punnett square! To be informed producers and consumers of genetic and health data, today’s students need to understand genetics with a molecular focus. In this course, you’ll explore basic concepts in molecular genetics that go beyond simple inheritance patterns to illuminate exactlyhow variations in DNA lead to variations in traits, health, and disease. From there, you’ll explore how family health history and genetics inform healthcare and biomedical research, and consider issues surrounding Direct-to-Consumer genetic testing. The course is built around an NGSS-aligned unit on Genetics for high school, and supplemented with readings, videos, and discussions about related and contemporary topics. All course materials will be freely available for classroom use.

Appropriate For: Middle and High School Science Teachers, or Elementary Teachers who want to brush up on genetics.

Cost: FREE

Credit: 3 graduate credits from the University of Utah Department of Human Genetics available for a $50 recording fee

For details and registration visit: