NABT/BSCS Biology Teacher Academy

2017 workshop July 9-14.

If you are a Virginia teacher and you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this summer's academy, please send an email to Dr. Hilve Firek at

A limited number of seats are still available for out-of-state teachers. Please email Dr. Hilve Firek at for information.


The NABT/BSCS Biology Teacher Academy presented in partnership with HHMI Biointeractive focuses on promoting rigor in high-school biology and AP classes through meaningful classroom experiences and pedagogical strategies that engage students in scientific inquiry. The workshop is a collaborative endeavor of NABT Academy Biology Teacher-Leaders and Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) faculty. Experienced AP Teacher-Leaders share teaching and learning processes developed through active participation in training provided by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS).

Workshop attendees build common experiences through:

  • Lab work (e.g., protein electrophoresis);
  • Metacognition activities ("through the teacher lens")
  • Curriculum development focusing on content coherence
  • Experience with science practices
  • Work on the University's Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Program participants experience ways to promote authentic biology experiences in schools with high-needs populations. Licensed Virginia teachers earn 50 re-certification points.

Virginia Department of EducationHHMI BioInteractive has provided critical funds for this project, and its partnership is gratefully acknowledged.

The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration, fees, and lodging for all Virginia school participants accepted into this program. To register, participants must pay a nonrefundable $60 registration fee. Teachers from schools not meeting the state benchmark for accreditation in science will be given priority; however, this will also be available to a limited number of private high school biology teachers. Schools and school divisions are strongly encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants as this cost is not assumed by the Department; however, this is not a requirement of the program.

Registration, fees, and lodging for non-Virginia teachers is $775.

This professional development program is funded by the Virginia Department of Education's Title II, Part A: Improving Teacher Quality program.

According to the Virginia state standards, several components are critical for student success in achieving science literacy:

  • identification of goals
  • demonstration of safety methods
  • effective use of instructional technology
  • investigation and understanding;
  • application of knowledge.

Workshop participants:

  • Develop and use an experimental design in scientific inquiry
  • Use the language of science to communicate understanding
  • Investigate phenomena using technology
  • Apply scientific concepts, skills, and processes to everyday experiences
  • Experience the richness and excitement of scientific discovery of the natural world through the collaborative quest for knowledge and understanding
  • Develop scientific dispositions and habits of mind including:
    • curiosity
    • demand for verification
    • respect for logic and rational thinking
    • consideration of premises and consequences
    • respect for historical contributions
    • attention to accuracy and precision
    • patience and persistence

Participants also work on developing a cohesive course that will enhance students' ability to 1) investigate and understand the material and to 2) apply the content.

If you have questions, please email Dr. Hilve Firek at

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