The Biology Teachers Association of New Jersey

Our Mission is to Inspire and Empower Science Educators

January 2016- New Year New Ideas

Big image

PD Academy

Upcoming workshops:

Title: Google Apps for Education

Date: Thursday January 7, 2016

Time: 4:30pm-5:30pm

Location: New Brunswick, NJ

Description: Google Apps for Education is a suite of productivity tools for communication and collaboration. This workshop is designed to provide a basic overview of the applications offered by Google, the benefits of using it, the challenges involved, and a detailed overview of the main component of the suite, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Forms, and Sites.

Looking for a great PBL?

Design and Launch your DNA Experiment to Space!

We invite students in grades 7 through 12 to design DNA experiments for space. Become a space DNA pioneer and help solve real-life space exploration opportunities and challenges. Five finalist teams will receive mentoring from Harvard and MIT PhD scientists, present at the 2016 International Space Station R&D Conference, and receive miniPCR DNA Discovery Systems for their education institutions. Winners will attend Space Biology Camp at New England Biolabs and --- send their DNA experiment to space! Submission deadline April 20th 2016.

Teachers - turn contest submissions into a class assignment that's aligned with standards. #GenesInSpace

Genes in Space is a partnership between miniPCR, Boeing, Math for America, CASIS, and New England Biolabs. The contest is free, and does not require equipment. Proposals will be judged solely on their creative and scientific merit.

Polar ICE

Interested in getting involved in Polar ICE through one of the up coming opportunities for teacher professional development? Consider participating in the polar themed EARTH workshop that we will be hosting in New Brunswick from July 24-29.

The purpose of the workshop is to:

  • Educate, excite, and engage teachers with the concept of observatory (surface, benthic, and pelagic) data in the classroom
  • Develop curricula enabling teachers and students to utilize near-real-time data (developed by the participating teachers during the workshop based on the research of the scientists)
  • Increase scientific literacy in microbial oceanography
  • Produce leaders in the next generation of microbial oceanographers by providing state-of-the art training
If that sounds like something you would be interested in, the application consists of:
1) cover letter that includes the following information: your school/district, grade level/s, subject/s taught, and email/phone contact (both school and personal as the school email system sometimes rejects our group emails). Please also address the following questions: Why do you want to be selected for this workshop? What makes you the ideal candidate?;
2) completed feedback on an activity that you've trialed in the classroom (activities:, feedback form:

The complete application should be sent to George Matsumoto at and the deadline is January 29th, 2016.


World Food Prize NJ Youth Institute at Rutgers University

Are you interested in global issues related to food security or issues such as sustainable agriculture, human rights, plant science and foreign aid? Would you like to take an active role in identifying solutions to food security issues? If so, become a student leader in the global fight against hunger!

Rutgers University will host the first New Jersey Youth Institute of the World Food Prize on March 4, 2016 in New Brunswick. The NJ Youth Institute is hosted by the State University of New Jersey with the generous support of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Jersey FFA, New Jersey 4-H, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

This program is open to any NJ teen (in grades 8-12 as of September 2015) interested in food security issues. This is a great opportunity for NJ teens to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained with their academic skills.

At this day-long event, participating students will have the opportunity to:

• Present research and recommendations on how to solve key global challenges in a speech and small group discussions with statewide experts;

• Connect with student leaders from across NJ to share ideas, identify solutions, and build lasting friendships;

• Interact with global leaders in science, industry and policy;

• Take part in educational sessions and interactive tours at Rutgers University to explore current research and issues in international development and life sciences; and

• Meet innovative researchers, professors and college students in New Jersey working to end hunger

To participate in the New Jersey Youth Institute, students research a global issue and write a three page paper under the supervision of a teacher or mentor. Each teacher or mentor must register their participating students online and submit each student's research paper online by February 1, 2016.

The World Food Prize Board of Reviewers will evaluate papers. There is no cost to participate in the Youth Institute and lunch will be provided the day of the event. Both student and teacher/mentor participants must organize their own transportation to and from the event on the G.H.Cook Campus in New Brunswick, NJ.

Visit the NJ Youth Institute of the World Food Prize webpage for more information (instructions, sample papers, evaluation rubric and registration):

Additional Resources

National Library of Medicine Introduces iOS Apps for Students

The National Library of Medicine‘s (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services is pleased to announce the launch of three interactive, educational iOS apps for high school students studying biology, chemistry and environmental health. These FREE, readily accessible resources assist students with grasping concepts such as DNA base pairing, the Bohr model of the atom and environmental conservation. Two of the iOS apps, Bohr Thru and Base Chase, were developed in collaboration with a high school educator and are easily usable within the biology/chemistry classroom setting. The third game, Run4Green, is a fun and informative learning tool that reinforces concepts relating to environmental conservation and can be used as an engagement extension activity.

Each of the three iOS games is iPhone, iPad and iPod touch compatible, and can be freely downloaded (with no in-game purchases) today by visiting the iTunes App Store at:
Bohr Thru: This Candy Crush style game requires users to collect and organize protons, neutrons and electrons in order to form the Bohr Model first 18 elements on the periodic table, such as Carbon, Nitrogen and Lithium. With the help of the main character, Atom, players become familiar with a variety of chemical elements and their structures. Teachers can easily implement short, in-class game sessions to enhance their students’ understanding of the periodic table as well. Visit the National Library of Medicine’s ChemIDplus for more information on over 400,000 chemicals at

Base Chase: Learning the bases of DNA has never been as easy with this fast paced, educational app. Players grab bases of DNA in order to complete unique DNA strands for a variety of animals. DeeNA, the game’s cartoon mascot, assists players in completing each of the required tasks. A helpful video tutorial is accessible once the game is successfully downloaded. This resource goes hand-in-hand with the National Library of Medicine’s GeneEd website at

Run4Green: The importance of environmental conservation is reinforced through this interactive, Mario-style game. Topics, such as greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energies and green product purchases are emphasized throughout game play. Playing as a jolly, green and earth-shaped character, users collect coins and perform environmentally friendly tasks. The game is appropriate for students in grades 5-8. More information linking middle school classroom science to environmental health can be found on the National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Student Portal at

Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) Conference

Friday, Jan. 22nd, 8am to Saturday, Jan. 23rd, 4pm

900 Scudders Mill Road