K-12 Outreach

The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh extends its teaching mission beyond the walls of the Clapp / Langley / Crawford complex to bring understanding of science to the greater Pittsburgh area. It is the goal of the Outreach program is to bridge the gap between the science community and K-12 teachers and students. In past years this has been accomplished through several successful programs, and now more than ever we are finding new ways to effectively translate current science into the classroom. Our programs support teachers, students and classrooms by providing cutting-edge technology and developing new techniques for incorporating that technology into the classroom.

There are several programs targeted to different facets of the Outreach program goals. Explore our links for more information about these programs, which include workshops for High School teachers, field trips to University facilities, and on-site visits to Elementary, Middle, and High Schools - all made possible by funding from the The Pittsburgh Foundation, and The Grable Foundation.

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Workshops for High School Teachers

Check back in 2018 for Summer 2018 workshop offerings!

Biology is a rapidly changing field and scientists make discoveries daily that alter our understanding of biological principles and shape the direction of our future investigations. The High School Teachers' Workshops are intended to update topic knowledge and to facilitate the introduction of contemporary topics and techniques in the classroom.

The teachers selected for this program will receive:

  • A stipend
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Act 48 Continuing Education hours
  • Access to the Pitt Kits program, which provides all of the reagents, supplies and equipment necessary to incorporate the new topics and concepts into their curriculum at no cost to the teacher or to the school district

Workshops for Middle School Teachers

The Ecology of Climate Change: How Temperature Affects the Health of Amphibian Communities

  • July 19-21, 2017
  • Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology
  • Instructor: Dr. Becky Gonda

This summer, we will be offering a 3-day workshop for 6th-9th grade science teachers.  We are working in collaboration with Dr. Cori Richards-Zawacki, who studies amphibian ecology.  By taking part in this workshop, “The Ecology of Climate Change”, you will learn and incorporate new curriculum called "Ectotherm ER: Frogs under the weather" developed with the Richards-Zawacki lab.

This hands-on work will determine how climate change impacts the health of amphibian communities, with a specific focus on the role of temperature in shaping susceptibility to disease.  Students will use critical analysis and inquiry-based thinking to analyze data, formulate relevant questions, and test/revise hypotheses. In short, this exercise forces students to think, ask questions and design experiments to proceed, all the while working on a project that is mirroring the current research of Dr. Richards-Zawacki's lab.

The 3-day workshop will expose you to current information and techniques through lectures, discussion groups with University faculty, and laboratory practice. First, we will update your topic knowledge and provide real field experience to learn how the researchers study this question. Participants will then engage in the lab activities as students. By the end of the workshop, the goal is appropriate/seamless placement of the module within your curricula.

Apply Here!

All participating teachers will receive:

  • A stipend of $250
  • Room and Board at PLE
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Act 48 Continuing Education hours
  • Access to the Pitt Kits program, which provides all of the reagents, supplies and equipment necessary to incorporate the new topics and concepts into their curriculum at no cost to the teacher or to the school district

For more information, contact the Outreach Coordinator, Becky Gonda, Ph.D.