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  • Created 03 Dec 2014

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What is this workshop about?

This workshop is an opportunity to meet like-minded faculty, share ideas and resources, learn more about good pedagogical approaches, and catch some cutting edge science. The main theme of the workshop is explore how to engage students with models and the modeling process to improve their understanding of biological concepts, the process of science and their quantitative skills. Secondary themes include increasing inclusivity and supporting the development of critical thinking skills.

Workshop Goals

  • Develop materials and approaches to engage students in quantitative reasoning and skill development through modeling

  • Introduce both new teaching resources and new uses for familiar teaching resources

  • Develop communities of engaged faculty that persist beyond the workshop

  • Learn about novel scientific research to incorporate in the classroom

  • Raise awareness of Discipline-Based Education Research and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning resources and practices

Read more…

Check the collections in the left hand menu for more papers and resources on modeling.

Who should apply?

  • The summer workshop is appropriate for faculty teaching all levels of undergraduate biology, quantitative biology, and life science-oriented mathematics.

  • We encourage teams from a single institution or partner institutions to apply, especially interdisciplinary teams and teams combining part time and full time faculty.

  • Future faculty are welcome at this event and special programming on career development is offered for this audience.

  • 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.

  • We are exploring childcare options to support parents. Final arrangements will depend on the number and ages of children needing care.

  • Applicants should be able to commit to attending the full workshop Sunday July 23 through Friday July 28, and are encouraged to continue to work with their group virtually on the QUBESHub in the Fall.

Participant Commitment

It is important that all participants are able to commit to the full experience. The greatest benefits are generated in the interactions with colleagues. Participants will share resources, ideas and advice based on their own experiences, and provide each other with feedback on materials or plans. This is a supportive community of people sharing similar goals and challenges. Your contributions are critical to the success of this experience. The ultimate goal of this workshop is to enhance your students' educational experience. You might think of this as structured course prep with a personal advisory group. If you cannot make this kind of commitment at this time, let us know and we can talk about other opportunities that might fit your schedule better.
Commitment overview:

  • Participants will attend the full Summer Workshop (July 23-28, 2017).

  • Participants will join a group at the Summer Workshop for development or adaptation of classroom materials.

  • Participants are encouraged to continue to work with their group virtually on the QUBESHub in the Fall.

  • Participants are encouraged to share resources and ideas both within their group and publicly on QUBESHub.

Workshop Partners

BioQUEST is a consortium of biology educators dedicated to providing students with authentic scientific experiences. For over 30 years, our 3Ps Philosophy of engaging students in “Problem posing, Problem solving, and Peer persuasion” has guided the community in exploring the educational challenges of the day. From computer simulations to improving pedagogies, the BioQUEST community has taken an interdisciplinary approach to supporting teaching and learning. Learn more about BioQUEST here:
BioQUEST is a 501(c)3 organization.

QUBES is a virtual center that supports a community of faculty dedicated to improving quantitative biology education. QUBES provides a virtual meetingplace for sharing ideas, resources, and curriculum pieces. The community offers professional development around teaching quantitative skills, using tools, and specific quantitative biology methods. Learn more about current events on QUBES here:
NSF DBI 1346584, DUE 1446269, DUE 1446258, and DUE 1446284

Science Case Net
The Science Case Network, a Research Coordination Network for Undergraduate Biology Education, centers on expanding the use of and knowledge about two effective teaching approaches: case studies and problem based learning (PBL). The Science Case Network seeks to connect case study and PBL innovators, researchers, and user groups to further the understanding of the effectiveness of these methods. Learn more about SCN here:
NSF DBI RCN-UBE #1344208

Additional Opportunities

Future Faculty Volunteers
The workshop organizers are recruiting 4-6 highly motivated future faculty volunteers who will help with the day to day logistics of the workshop such as signage, registration, driving shuttles at the beginning and end of the week, posting events to social media sites, recording talks, daily clean up and set up, etc. in exchange for a registration fee waiver. This is a great opportunity for future faculty to work with two and four year faculty from across the country and pick up ideas and resources for teaching. Special career focused programming for future faculty is also offered. Our volunteers get plenty of participation time as well as helping us out. To apply, fill out the regular application and the scholarship application. Learn more at:

Avida Ed Workshop
July 27-29, Michigan State University
Application Deadline: March 17
See for more information
Interested in working on evolution education models during the summer workshop? Get more out of your week by signing up for both the Summer Workshop and the Avida Ed workshop!

Avida is a digital evolution software platform used to study evolutionary processes and harness evolution to solve engineering problems. Avida-ED is a free, user-friendly version of Avida developed specifically for educational purposes, with a graphical user interface and visualizations that allow the user to observe evolution in action. Avida-ED has been developed for undergraduates and advanced placement high school students to learn about the nature of science and evolution in particular.

Faculty Mentoring Networks
Several Faculty Mentoring Networks are meeting at the Summer Workshop. Check these opportunities to join a group of fellow faculty with shared interests in developing and implementing quantitative biology materials.

  • HHMI’s BioInteractive Faculty Mentoring Network:

The Data Nugget- City Parks module was used in a sophomore-junior level undergraduate wildlife management techniques course (with lab) in Fall 2017. Modifications were made to the original Data Nugget and a local camera trapping survey was added.
species richness, species diversity, camera trap, introductory, Lab, Teaching material, Lecture, Reference material, Report, Undergraduate, Dataset, Publication, Homework, Cleaned, Majors, Non-majors, More than 1 hour, Extended Project
Minor modifications were made to this Data Nugget in order to use it in a fully online version of the introductory, non-majors botany course, Plants and People.
introductory, Online course, Teaching material, Undergraduate, Non-majors, 1 Hour
This publication contains the adaptations I made to the Data Nuggets module in order to use it with an online, introductory, non-majors botany class. I used this with a unit on natural and artificial selection in plants.
introductory, Online course, Teaching material, Undergraduate, Non-majors

What Do Trees Know About Rain?

Paulette S Reneau

Version: 1.0

The data nugget was introduced to a freshman General Biology lecture class as a culminating activity for the chapter entitled "Photosynthesis". Students worked independently and collaboratively to interpret the graph and answer questions.
General Biology, Teaching material, Lecture, Undergraduate

Gene Expression in Stem Cells

Paulette S Reneau

Version: 1.0

The module served as in introduction to the Gene Expression unit. It was implemented in two phases, a pre-class activity and an in-class activity to introduce chapter concepts and reinforce quantitative skills.
small group activity, pre-class activity, General Biology, Teaching material, Undergraduate, Homework
Teaching notes for implementing Data Nugget: Gene Expression in Stem Cells in a introductory biology lab.
Resources @ Data Nuggets, teaching notes, introductory, Lab, Teaching material, High School, Undergraduate, More than 1 hour
I use Team Based Learning in this course, students are in permanent groups and work together on Challenge Questions each class after I give a short lecture. This Nugget was used in place of regular Challenge Questions.
graphing, introductory, Teaching material, Lecture, Undergraduate, More than 1 hour
Adaptation of Data Nuggets Module Winter is Coming! for an Elementary Education Science Methods Course
teacher education, science teacher preparation, Data Nugget, middle grades (4-9), Lab, Teaching material, Lecture, Undergraduate, Less than 1 hour
Adaptation of Data Nuggets Module Deadly Windows for an Elementary Education Science Methods Course
teacher education, DataNuggets, science teacher preparation, middle grades (4-9), Lab, Teaching material, Lecture, High School, Less than 1 hour
Teaching notes related to the use the of Data Nugget "Are You My Species?" to teach mechanisms of selection and quantitative skills in a 9th grade Biology classroom.
Evolution, biology, online, quantitative skills, sexual selection, Selection, Differentiated Instruction, Lab, Teaching material, Lecture, High School, More than 1 hour

Winter Is Coming Data Nugget for AP Biology Big Ideas

Andrew Ising, Elizabeth H Schultheis

Version: 2.0

This Data Nugget is a differentiated classroom resource focusing on how a plant species fitness is affected by different climates.
Evolution, biology, online, quantitative skills, AP Biology, Dual Enrollment Science with High Schools, Lab, Teaching material, Lecture, High School, More than 1 hour

Data Nugget Grading Rubrics

Brenda Witt

Version: 1.0

As a supplement to the rubric provided for Data Nugget modules, I created a rubric containing specific point values for individual portions of the module as well as specific guidelines for answering written questions.
Resources @ Data Nuggets, rubric, grading, introductory, Lab, Teaching material, Lecture, Undergraduate, Advanced

Modification to City Parks

Kristen Kaczynski

Version: 1.0

Using a jigsaw approach, students calculated species richness, Shannon's diversity index and species evenness using the City Parks wildlife data.
Biodiversity, species diversity, introductory, Teaching material, Lecture, Undergraduate, Advanced, More than 1 hour

Modification to What do Trees Know about the Rain

Kristen Kaczynski

Version: 1.0

Use of the tree ring data vs. precipitation to discuss how trees respond to drought
discussions, lecture slides, graphs, group-ldcfmn, introductory, Teaching material, Lecture, Undergraduate, Advanced, Less than 1 hour