Participating Teachers

Each year teachers participate in local workshops where they learn about BioEYES, zebrafish, and where they meet with scientists in a laboratory setting. All teachers that are new to BioEYES are required to attend a training workshop, while multi-year teachers have the option to attend for a refresher and to learn new techniques.

Our ultimate goal is to train teachers to deliver our programs independently, with materials loaned to them by the BioEYES host organization. How this works is that in year two, teachers may co-teach alongside a BioEYES outreach educator. By year three teachers may be ready to teach the unit autonomously as “model” or “master” teachers. All program materials are loaned to them, and support is offered to a teacher, regardless of level, on an ongoing basis.

Teachers participating in a workshop will receive:

  • Training in our zebrafish classroom experiments
  • A guarantee that we will visit your classroom during the school year
  • Free equipment and resources
  • A grade appropriate teacher manual with additional reading, writing, and math activities
  • Professional development credits from the school district (may not be available at all locations)

For more information about our teacher workshops, please contact your regional outreach educator.

Teacher at microscope
“What a great experience for my students! They can really enjoy science with hands-on activities and observations which can bring this part of science to life for them. I love the fact that Susan and Rob [BioEYES Outreach Educators] are there with the teachers in mind and they understand what we need to feel comfortable teaching about zebrafish and my limited expertise in this area.”
—Baltimore teacher

“I think it's great that these types of workshops, which are followed by real classroom lessons, is fantastic. I would love to attend future classes, help teach these types of classes, and even try to start a partnership with our school! Thanks.”
—Philadelphia teacher

Curriculum Overview

A basic understanding of normal human development is a critical prerequisite to the understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and STEM careers. With this in mind, the objective of the elementary experiment is to familiarize students with the life cycles of humans and fish (2nd grade), vertebrate habitats (4th/5th grade*), organs common to humans and fish (2nd and 4th/5th grades*), and different cell types (4th/5th grade*). Students raise zebrafish embryos and larvae to observe and discuss these topics.

The middle school experiment deepens students’ understanding of the need for medical research as well as providing a model for inheritance. The students are asked a question such as: “If an albino female is mated with a wildtype (striped) male zebrafish, will the offspring be pigmented?” The students mate fish on day one, observe subsequent embryo development, and practice Punnett square activities to help find the answer to the research question. By the last day, students observe pigmented melanocytes and discuss their understanding of dominant and recessive genes.

The high school biology and AP experiment addresses career opportunities in the biosciences and covers aspects of Mendelian genetics, with questions such as “Based on our F1 cross we expect that the phenotypic and genotypic ratio between wildtype to albino zebrafish will be ____?” Students raise offspring and observe development and skin pigmentation. The use of the Punnett square and more sophisticated aspects of genetics are also covered.

“The most important thing I learned while completing this experiment is that life is bigger than the world around us.”
—6th grade student
St. Joseph Grade School, Mishawaka

“The most important thing I learned while completing this experiment would have to be Punnett squares because now I learned how to do it and I think it’s cool how it helps us figure out the possible genotypes of our cross.”
—7th grade student
First Philadelphia Charter School, Philadelphia

*Project BioEYES is targeted for 4th grade in Philadelphia and 5th grade in all other locations. [Return]

Proudly partnered for the advancement of science education
University of Pennsylvania
Carnegie Institution for Science
University of Utah
Monash University
Thomas Jefferson University