Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

 A peptide found in the flower and seed of the cockscomb plant (Celosia argentea) could lead Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng to a novel pain reliever.

With learning taking the form of in-person, hybrid or remote models this year, kids (and parents) continue to look for virtual ways to engage in and learn about science. 

BioNook to the rescue: Find free materials on biology and research—from deep explorations of how science is done, to stories following the lives of scientists, to suggestions for fun outside activities and hands-on citizen science projects.

After school

Science Club

Join BioNook's Afterschool Science Club for exclusive access to online scientific workshops for middle school students and interactive career discussions.Journal page

Coming up: Fall Into Nature Journaling

On Thursday, October 29, join natural science illustrator Sandy McDermott as she introduces students to the art of creating nature journals, with an emphasis on using drawing as a tool for observation. More information and registration here!

Study Abroad

Kestrel in the grass

Study Abroad with wildlife webcams

There are hundreds of live-streaming webcams located all over the world that allow us to peek in on what animals are doing in their daily lives. Click here for a selection of feeds -- and a fun activity! 

Life as a Biologist

A woman with dark hair smiles in a lab.


Learn what it’s like to be a postdoctoral researcher (AKA postdoc) at Whitehead Institute, how our postdocs found their way to science, their biggest disasters in the lab, and what they enjoy doing outside of work.


From MIT Biology and Whitehead Institute: the podcast where we get to know a biologist, where they came from, and where they’re going next. In each episode, we talk to a biology graduate student about what experiences drew them into science and how those experiences have shaped their research.

Head and shoulders shot of Jing-Ke Weng

AudioHelicasE PODCAST: covid-19 solutions taking root in plant science

Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng on the role of plant biology in stopping the pandemic.

Science slam

From MIT Biology: A science slam features a series of short presentations where researchers explain their work in a compelling manner to make an impact.

Themes to explore

Toxoplasma image.

Infectious Disease

Read about Whitehead Institute research on viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.


Explore how novel research and development efforts are changing the way we as a society think about cancer now and how we might address it in the future.


Neurodegenerative Diseases

 Explore how Whitehead Institute researchers are fostering ingenious approaches to studying brain development and disease, and its impact on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of neurological disorders.  

sex differences 

Discover how biological sex differences affect the underlying causes of disease, leading to wide-ranging implications for both medical research and treatment. 

Plant biology 

Take a journey into the world of plant research and discover how this illuminating group of organisms is becoming a major gateway to the future of biomedicine and biotechnology.

Genetics and genomics

Explore the latest research into the cutting-edge fields of genetics and genomics and how it’s changing the way scientists think about the causes and treatments of some of our most intractable diseases.

Models for research

Meet some of the common and not-so-common species used for research at Whitehead Institute.

Lunch Break

Get outside and learn about wildlife firsthand with help from these online resources!

A man takes a photo of grass in sunset light.


A citizen science project and online community of naturalists.


These hands-on activities are designed to explore nature and science with a combination of indoor and outdoor activities that will ease cabin fever. 


Spotted a mystery bird? This birding app can help you identify it with just a few simple questions. 


Resources and activities from John Muir Laws.

Study hall

Take a study break with activities that involve real data collection you can do from home as a citizen scientist

Fish tagging

You’ll have to go fishing—an outdoor activity you can do by yourself!—for this assignment. Volunteer to tag fish for the American Littoral Society, whose citizen scientists have tagged more than 640,000 fish since the program began in 1965. You can tag the fish you catch and release, or report tagged fish to the organization. The data is sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., where it helps scientists track the populations and movements of coastal species like striped bass, flounder, and bluefish. To get started, become a member of the American Littoral Society, which comes with a packet of tagging gear and instructions.

Appalachian Mountain Club Citizen Science

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Mountain Watch program asks hikers to document alpine and forest plants for ecological research. By taking photos of flowers and fruiting plants along woodland trails and uploading them to the iNaturalist app, participants provide data about the times and places that plants bloom. Scientists then compile the information in an online database and analyze it for trends that could indicate changing climates.


FoldIt: Solve Puzzles for Science

USGS National Map Corps

Etch-a-cell: powerhouse hunt
Snapshot Safari

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