Public Programs

Seminar Series for High School Teachers

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Attendees at the High School Teachers Program.
About

Whitehead Institute’s Seminar Series for High School Teachers offers educators the opportunity to explore topics at the forefront of biomedical research and incorporate new ideas into their classrooms.

The series, which attracts 60-80 high school teachers each year, begins in October of each academic year. Seminars are conducted on the first Monday of each month through June. Sessions begin with a scientific lecture and conclude with a working dinner, allowing participants and Whitehead scientists to share ideas and discuss a range of issues affecting science education.

Integral to the success of the program is the teacher-scientist partnership in which interested teachers are paired with Whitehead partners—scientists who attend each session and serve as a resource for the teacher throughout the academic year. Partners answer questions, share their expertise, and even visit schools to meet with students. Over the years, participating teachers have found these partnerships to be invaluable relationships.

Due to evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19, including the prevalence of the highly contagious Delta variant, Whitehead Institute’s 2021-2022 Seminar Series for High School Teachers will be held virtually through January 2022, at which time a reassessment will be made. This year’s series, Advances in Agricultural Biotechnology: Emerging tools and methods for climate remediation, will explore how researchers in a range of fields are applying new approaches and techniques to the problems of climate change and sustainability.

The first seminar of the 2021-2022 season will be held virtually on Monday, November 1 via Zoom. Subsequent virtual sessions will be held the first Monday of every month through June 2022. Each session begins promptly at 4:15 p.m. and includes a lecture and online working dinner in the form of Zoom breakout rooms, ending by 6:15 pm.

Registration is now open online HERE.

Space is limited; we will accept applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Act fast as registration will close on Friday, October 22 or when capacity is reached.  

Participating teachers may be eligible to earn up to 24 Professional Development Points toward recertification. For questions please contact Amy Tremblay at tremblay@wi.mit.edu.

Schedule

This year's speakers will be added here as they are announced. Below are the dates for the entire program:

  • Monday, November 1
  • Monday, December 6
  • Monday, January 3
  • Monday, February 7
  • Monday, March 7
  • Monday, April 4
  • Monday, May 2
  • Monday, June 6
Jing-Ke Weng

Harnessing the healing power of medicinal plants using cutting-edge biotechnologies

FAQ
What is involved in participating in the seminar series for high school teachers?

The series is usually held the first Monday of every month from October through June in McGovern Auditorium at the Whitehead Institute. The first seminar of the 2021-2022 season will be held virtually on Monday, November 1 via Zoom. Subsequent virtual sessions will be held the first Monday of every month through June 2021. Each session begins promptly at 4:15 p.m. and includes a lecture and online working dinner in the form of breakout rooms, ending by 6:15 pm. The schedule for the academic year is given to you in the beginning of September, so you can plan ahead and make necessary arrangements.

What Is a Whitehead partner?

Each teacher is assigned a Whitehead Partner—a young, enthusiastic scientist who will attend each session with you and serve as a resource to you throughout the school year. In the past, Whitehead Partners have visited their teachers' classrooms to lead labs, give talks on career opportunities in science, or do a presentation on their research. Whitehead Partners have also hosted class visits to the Institute, providing students a glimpse into a working laboratory.

Who can register for the seminar series?

Any high school teacher can register for the Seminar Series. However, space is limited so registrants must apply early. To participate, teachers must commit to attending as many sessions as possible. Teachers who miss more than three sessions will be dropped from the program.

How many teachers participate in the program?

About 60-80 teachers participate in the program each year.

What If I can’t make a session?

When registering for the program, teachers make the commitment to miss no more than three sessions of the series. Naturally we understand that there will occasionally be conflicts. When you will be unable to attend a session, it is very important to let us know in advance so we can plan for an accurate attendance. We rely on your input when planning dinner, and your Whitehead Partner counts on you being at the session unless he or she hears otherwise.

Registration

Registration is now open online HERE.

Space is limited; we will accept applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Act fast as registration will close on Friday, October 22 or when capacity is reached.  

Participating teachers may be eligible to earn up to 24 Professional Development Points toward recertification. For questions please contact Amy Tremblay at tremblay@wi.mit.edu

Past programs

For close to 30 years, Whitehead Institute’s Seminar Series for High School Teachers has been sharing cutting-edge discoveries with high school and community college educators.

2018-2019: Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease
2017-2018: How Technology Drives Biology
2016-2017: Gut Feelings: Your microbiome, in Sickness and in Health
2015-2016: Precision Medicine
2014-2015: The Science behind Biotech Breakthroughs

Contact & Directions

For more information on the teacher program, please contact Amy Tremblay at tremblay@wi.mit.edu or 617-258-7270.

All lectures are held in the McGovern Auditorium in the Whitehead Building at 455 Main Street, which is accessible by public transportation. Metered street parking is available but limited. Hourly garage parking is also nearby.