Evolution and Heredity for Middle School — Institutes and Pilot Test
Asynchronous Online Institute: July 1-31, 2021 (roughly 20 hours)
In-person Institute: August 2-6, 2021 in Salt Lake City, UT
Classroom Testing: 2021-2022 academic year
Research shows that students have an easier time learning evolution concepts when they understand related concepts from genetics and heredity. We are developing a 5–6 week, NGSS-friendly unit that integrates core ideas in genetics, heredity, and natural selection. The unit focuses on the mechanisms that drive genetic variation and how natural selection makes certain trait variations more common in a group. Its easy-to-implement multimedia and paper-based activities are paired with scaffolded practice in working with models, crafting explanations, and identifying cause and effect relationships. We need your expertise to perfect the materials and make them easy for teachers to use!
Participation in this program includes three parts:
- An Asynchronous Online “Background” Institute: Experience our high-school level evolution unit that integrates concepts from genetics and heredity, 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 unit and offer feedback on the materials. In addition, you will collaborate with colleagues to develop teacher supports and refine assessment items for the unit.
- Test in Classrooms During the 2021-2022 Academic Year: We will work with your district and principal to gain approval. You will use the unit in your classes, learn how the materials work with students, and offer feedback and ideas for refinement. You will admisister a series of pre and posttests, complete short daily logs and submit samples of student work.
Appropriate For: Middle School Teachers who teach both Heredity and Evolution/Natural Selection core ideas.
Compensation: $950 stipend paid in increments; 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
* We will follow CDC and University of Utah COVID-19 guidance in place at the time of the Institute for travel and in-person gatherings. This includes allowing for recommended distancing, safe practices at meal times and other safety protocols such as mask-wearing, hand washing and sanitation. Should recommendations advise against travel or in-person gatherings, the Institute will move to a virtual format.
For more details and an application visit: MS Evolution Pilot Application
Application Deadline: May 7, 2021