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Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Monday, May 9, 2016

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Are you interested in teaching, but your students doze off during your lectures? Do they have a hard time answering the questions you ask? Do you find yourself wondering if there’s a different way of teaching science than just talking to them and showing them slides and illustrations? How can you tell if your students really understand the information or have memorized vocabulary terms? Take the fully online course "Scientists Teaching Science" and learn about active learning, creating course objectives and test items, and ways to improve your teaching and assessment techniques that can be applied at schools and institutions everywhere. Learn the latest research-based techniques (specific for science instruction) used by model instructors around the world for students of all ages.

Come practice with your global peers under the instruction of a national award-winning science educator and author, from anywhere in the world.

The asynchronous course (self-based with flexibility based on your own schedule) is available 24/7 on any web-enabled device—no visits to a physical classroom needed. Participants from all over the globe can access the material anytime and anywhere via an Internet connection, all completely online. Unlike other online courses, one-on-one engagement, personal review of written assignments, and personalized advice on teaching is guaranteed! There are also scheduled discussions where you can meet with the instructor in a webinar for real-time interaction and feedback.

The time needed to complete all readings and activities is estimated to be about 3 hours a week. All participants who complete the course requirements will be eligible for a personal letter of recommendation from the instructor about teaching preparation for future employment. Participants who complete the course requirements will also receive a certificate of completion from the New York Academy of Sciences.

Select Testimonials from participants in Scientists Teaching Science

"After taking the STS course during the summer of 2014, I felt a greater sense of confidence in my teaching ability and immediately began to reorganize my instruction strategy to incorporate newly acquired skills learned by the lessons offered. Barbara Houtz is an excellent educational instructor and the course she has compiled for the STS participants is absolutely unmatched anywhere else. I highly recommend this course if you intend on pursuing a career in education and teaching, whether you’re a graduate student like me thinking ahead or a post-doc."
— Jason L. Quinones, Stony Brook University Medical Center

"Scientists Teaching Science was my first online course and I loved it. Barbara provided thoughtful guidance and feedback as we developed active learning activities for our students. I will apply these techniques confidently to future courses."

"STS armed us with new pedagogical tools and taught us how to develop and implement active learning techniques. I have become a stronger teacher and mentor."

"STS empowered me to apply new pedagogical approaches to my courses. I feel confident building a dynamic, engaging learning environment for my future students."

"I gained a tremendous amount of practical information about creating effective, dynamic learning experiences for my students."
— Katharine Seip-Cammack, PhD, Mount Sinai

"Taking the STS course helped me to establish realistic professional goals and guided me in the right direction to actually land a teaching job opportunity. Course content was always relevant. The instructor provided us with a wide variety of teaching styles and she made the course very fun and interactive with a variety of assignments and optional live discussions. This is an outstanding course that anybody interested in teaching at college level should take."
— Patricia Irizarry, PhD, Rutgers Science Explorer Bus - Program Coordinator, Rutgers Geology Museum - Associate Director

"This class has really helped me to feel more confident and better prepared to move my career forward. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone in STEM fields who are considering becoming teachers or are already teaching science."
— Itzamarie Chevere, PhD, post-doc at Rutgers University

"The Scientists Teaching Science course was so enlightening in how lectures should actually be taught! The traditional method of teaching solely through lecturing to a class does not establish a strong foundation of knowledge that will last long after the course is over. The STS course teaches methods that involve active learning, which is far more sustainable than the traditional teaching methods. With this eras information overload, adjustments in teaching strategies are crucial to keep the attention of students and to deeply engrain the knowledge for future courses. Since taking the STS course, I've been implementing active learning into my teaching with great success. Any teacher desiring to reach their students more profoundly will find this course extremely valuable!"
— NIH Fellow, NIAID

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify at least three active learning strategies.
  2. Know the four major learning styles and three types of learning environments.
  3. Evaluate personal biases and cultural differences and how these affect student outcomes.
  4. Interpret interpersonal relationships in light of cultural and gender differences.
  5. Compare inquiry-based activities to directed instructional activities.
  6. Create course objectives based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  7. Assess the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of course objectives.
  8. Develop valid multiple choice and essay questions based on objectives.
  9. Recognize several steps in effective curriculum design.
  10. Compose a Teaching Philosophy Statement.
  11. Recommend one or more ways to notify potential students about consequences of cheating or plagiarism.
  12. Construct a detailed course syllabus.
  13. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning in an online environment.

Certificate of Completion and Reference Letter Requirements

Each Scientists Teaching Science assignment builds from the previous one, culminating in two documents you can use as templates for job applications and in teaching. Participants must satisfactorily complete six written assignments and all the required elements of nine lessons in order to be eligible for a certificate of completion and a personalized letter of recommendation from the instructor.

Registration Pricing

Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$300
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$350


Course opens unofficially 29 February 2016

Week One: 7 March 2016

Active Learning and Expert Learners: discussion of learning styles; assigned readings on current research findings about teaching and learning. Assignments: personal essay on teaching experience; discussion board posts.

Week Two: 14 March 2016

Learning Environments and Assessments: discussion on rigor and improving academic outcomes in higher education; assigned readings on improving student outcomes. Assignments: first draft of Teaching Philosophy Statement; discussion board posts.

Week Three: 21 March 2016

Cultural Awareness and Diversity: discrimination and bias in teaching; assigned readings about experiencing bias in science careers; inclusive classrooms; discussion about experiencing and handling bias/discrimination. Assignment: discussion board post.

Week Four: 28 April 2016

Inquiry-Based Science Education: differences between traditional laboratory activities and inquiry-based investigations; assigned readings on inquiry-based teaching in a college biology class. Assignments: NONE.

Week Five: 4 April 2016

Writing Course Objectives: Bloom’s Taxonomy and student learning objectives; assigned readings about writing learning objectives. Assignments: discussion board posts; 10 learning objectives for a proposed class.

Week Six: 11 April 2016

Teaching Online: teaching and learning online; challenges, advantages, and common mistakes; course management systems; engaging students. Assignment: online quiz.

Week Seven: 18 April 2016

Creating Valid Assessments & Alternative Assessments: using rubrics and test blueprints; effective multiple choice and essay questions; designing and evaluating students without using tests for small and large classes; assigned readings on how to write valid assessment items. Assignment: 5 sample test questions based on previous objectives.

Week Eight: 25 April 2016

Elements of Curriculum Design: instruction on the steps involved in designing an entire course, a training session, or a single lesson. Assignment: final copy of Teaching Philosophy Statement to include educational theories/strategies from course.

Week Nine: 2 May 2016

Writing a Syllabus & Reflections on Teaching: purpose of a syllabus; legal requirements of teaching; student/academic honor codes; student study habits; assigned reading on plagiarism and the purpose of a syllabus. Assignment: model syllabus.

Additional requirements include assigned readings and participation in ONE 45 minute live, online discussion. The instructor will schedule several sessions of live, online discussions and ask you to attend one of these over the course of the class.


Barbara Houtz

STEM Education Solutions, LLC

Barbara Houtz is a former Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, a science educator, an author of three books on effective teaching strategies in science, a science curriculum developer, and a trainer for K-20 teachers in science, engineering, and literacy. After 13 years of classroom teaching, she moved to the federal government, where she spent several years working at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Science Education, advising on curriculum and teacher professional development for multiple federal research agencies. She spent four years as the Director of Outreach for the Pennsylvania State University’s Eberly College of Science, where she developed multiple educational programs to promote interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and ensure college and career readiness for K-12 students. Barbara has over 20 years of experience in training educators in both a face-to-face and online environment. Her class on best practices in science education, Scientists Teaching Science, has helped thousands of practicing scientists, physicians, engineers, computer scientists, and others learn how to utilize active teaching strategies recommended for effective STEM instruction in every country and field of study. |

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

Directions to the Academy

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel

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140 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006
Phone: 212.577.1133

The New York Academy of Sciences is a member of the Club Quarters network, which offers significant savings on hotel reservations to member organizations. Located opposite Memorial Plaza on the south side of the World Trade Center, Club Quarters, World Trade Center is just a short walk to the Academy.

Use Club Quarters Reservation Password NYAS to reserve your discounted accommodations online.

Other nearby hotels

Conrad New York


Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Club Quarters, Wall Street


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Gild Hall, Financial District


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park