What is the BIOME?
The BIOME (Biology and Mathematics Educators) Institute offers a unique opportunity to engage with a community of peers to address an educational challenge with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes. The challenge, in this case, is implementation practices and resources that support students making sense of the pieces and patterns of science to make predictions, solve problems, and use science to inform policy. The community will be supported in this endeavor with access to experts in areas relevant to the challenge, information about useful resources, and community facilitators to guide the development process. The BIOME Institute is offered by BioQUEST, with over 30 years of experience in science education reform, in collaboration with QUBES, which supports the quantitative biology community, and a broad range of educational projects.
Research on professional development has demonstrated that it is difficult for even the most committed faculty to change pedagogical approaches working independently for a variety of reasons including time constraints, institutional resistance, and lack of resources. Challenges to meaningful pedagogical change are most often identified during planning or implementation. The BIOME Institute reduces barriers to change by providing faculty with information, resources, community, and guidance as they plan and implement new ideas. The Summer Session provides a focused, information-rich opportunity to develop ideas, identify collaborators, and begin collecting resources. The Fall Working Groups provide ongoing support, additional resources, and information, and peer feedback to increase faculty success in achieving their goals.
Disciplinary and interdisciplinary institutional teams are encouraged to apply. Individuals from all biological disciplines, as well as quantitative, physical, and social sciences, are welcome to apply. Future faculty are welcome to apply and are encouraged to partner with a faculty member at their institution. Upon completion of the BIOME Institute, participants will become BIOME Fellows, and receive a certificate of completion appropriate for tenure and promotion portfolios, teaching portfolios, and CVs.
The BIOME Institute offers a community based professional development experience where participants will learn about resources and practices relevant to their teaching. The BIOME Institute is entirely virtual, beginning with a summer experience that sets participants up for fall working groups.
The summer session extends over three weeks, with limited time commitments in the first and third weeks. Participants will be placed in small, facilitated community circles, which will meet each week during the workshop to discuss the keynotes and other ideas and events at the workshop. These meetings will accommodate participant’s schedules. Each week will offer a keynote speaker and opportunities to engage with the broader community as well. However, the majority of the workshops, poster sessions, and discussions will happen during the middle week.
Share your work
There will be several opportunities to share what you have been working on and learn more about your colleagues' projects in virtual sharing sessions. In "Posters & Beyond," we invite you to share about educational resources, projects, and programs that demonstrate ways to support students in building scientific worldviews. Materials can expand upon the BIOME subthemes of inclusive teaching practices, interdisciplinarity, and communicating science or any other topics that address supporting students in constructing their own scientific view of the world. The proposal application will open in April.
Fall Working Groups
The fall working groups provide an opportunity to engage with like-minded colleagues and work through the challenges of implementing new ideas in the classroom based on participants’ interests. Working groups will form at the conclusion of the Summer Session and be facilitated by members of the BioQUEST and QUBES communities. Working groups should plan to attend synchronous bi-weekly meetings, while working asynchronously on projects between meetings.
It is important that all participants are able to commit to the full professional development experience which includes:
- Summer Session: July 19 - August 6, 2021
- Fall Working Groups: September 6 - November 19, 2021
This is a supportive community of people sharing similar goals and challenges. Colleagues share resources, ideas, and advice based on their own experiences, and provide each other with feedback on materials or plans. Your contributions are critical to the success of this experience. We recognize that unexpected circumstances may change schedules and that participants may not be able to attend synchronous events. The summer session is designed to provide maximum flexibility by providing recordings of synchronous events and access to resources. However, there is no substitute for time spent with your working group and we ask all participants to commit to full participation for the entire program.
- Faculty interested in inclusive teaching, interdisciplinarity, science communication, and how these themes intersect to promote a scientific worldview will benefit from the program.
- Two-year and four-year faculty teaching all levels of undergraduate biology, quantitative biology, and life science-oriented mathematics will find the program relevant.
- Future faculty are welcome to apply and are encouraged to partner with a faculty member.
- We encourage teams from a single institution or partner institutions to apply, especially interdisciplinary teams and teams combining part-time and full-time faculty. Each team member must complete an application.
- The meeting sponsors strive to increase the inclusivity and accessibility of this event, and to that end, we encourage persons requiring accommodations to apply and let us know how we can support their participation.
Subscribe to the BioQUEST mailing list to receive summer workshop updates: Subscribe
If you have any questions, please contact Hayley Orndorf (hco1 "at" pitt "dot" edu)