Summer Workshop for Teachers

workshop participants

The Teachers' Workshop is an annual program specifically designed to provide both new and experienced teachers a dynamic setting in which they can gain new insight into modern biology, and the opportunity to develop and integrate new curriculum material into their science classes.  The one-week workshop combines lectures and related hands-on laboratory courses and culminates in a session on science curriculum development for grades 8-12.  The workshop is offered in the summer (one week in July) to high school science teachers from the greater Boston area. It is sponsored by the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM) and the Department of Biology at MIT. It is funded by NSF and previously received funding from HHMI. See eligibility requirements below. Space is limited to 16 participants.

The dates of the 2015 CBMM Teachers’ workshop are July 20 - 24. The topic is Neuroanatomy, Brain Imaging and Cognitive Science.

The 2015 workshop will focus on current brain research. Distinguished speakers from leading academic laboratories will discuss novel approaches and findings ranging from optogenetics to sleep, updates from autism research, and brain modifications in response to stress and disease. The laboratory component of this workshop will cover (among other things) mammalian brain anatomy and dissection, eye gaze tracking tools in autism, electrophysiology experiments with live cockroaches, and hands-on demonstration of neuroimaging methods and data analysis including fMRI and MEG. The teachers are encouraged to view the following TED talks (some of which are by our speakers) prior to attending the workshop: 


The Teachers' Workshop is offered in the summer (one week in July) to high school science teachers from the greater Boston area, and is sponsored by the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM) and the Department of Biology at MIT. It is currently funded by NSF. This annual workshop is specifically designed to provide both new and experienced teachers a dynamic setting in which they can gain new insight into modern biology, and the opportunity to develop and integrate new curriculum material into their science classes.  The one-week workshop combines lectures and related hands-on laboratory courses and culminates in a session on science curriculum development for grades 8-12.  See eligibility requirements below. Space is limited to 16 participants.

See right body for lecture topics and photos from previous summer workshops.

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • Full-time science teachers
  • Currently employed in a school in the greater Boston area (within daily commuting range)
  • Teaching honors and/or advanced placement science classes.

The workshop is limited to 16 participants and provides an excellent opportunity for science teachers to:

  • Learn about new topics and new developments in the biomedical and biological sciences in an accessible format.
  • Learn new laboratory exercises covering topics relevant to the honor and AP biology curriculum.
  • Design new curriculum material for their class.
  • Network with their colleagues.

Participants receive:

  • A stipend
  • Up to 40 professional development points (PDPs) per week
  • Materials and reagents to take back to their school
  • Free parking
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • An opportunity to enroll their class in other science outreach programs sponsored by the Biology Department during the school year

Teachers from schools with low MCAS scores in science are especially encouraged to apply. There is a limit of two teachers per school. The 2015 workshop will take place July 20 - 24.