Set Sail on a Professional Development Opportunity this Summer!

Contributed by: Jessica Kurtz, STEAM Biology and AP Research Teacher, Toms River High School East

Are you an educator looking to attend a professional workshop that offers hands-on experiences and comprehensive resources? Look no further than this incredible Biofuels workshop I recently had the opportunity to participate in.

During the workshop, attendees were given “gasometers” made of 2 bottles that were connected with plastic and glass tubing, and rubber stoppers, which emptied into a graduated cylinder. We were given different sugars as feedstocks to combine with yeast and warm water in the first bottle. This process pushed gas toward the water in the middle reservoir bottle, ultimately emptying the water into a graduated cylinder as carbon dioxide was created from fermentation. Not only was it a phenomenal lab, but the organizers provided their attendees with slides, a student worksheet, and a full class set of supplies so that we could easily replicate it in our classrooms. My biology class is currently studying respiration and fermentation, and my students were able to build the gasometers, which allowed them to see the products of the chemical reaction in action with measurable, quantitative data! Job well done to these organizers!

If you’re a science teacher who loves attending professional development workshops, you should check out this free workshop! This summer, they’re covering the expenses of travel, housing, and food for middle and high school Science teachers who attend this workshop in Annapolis. Annapolis is a beautiful city known as the “Athens of America” for its wealth of cultural activities. You’ll get to enjoy the warm weather and cobblestone streets while being housed and dined in prestigious waterfront facilities.

The summer STEM Educator Training, called Set Sail, offers hands-on, project-based investigation topics including engineering design, applied math, aerodynamics and flight, ocean engineering, biotechnology, chemistry, applied physics, and cybersecurity. All topics are linked to national educational standards.

Teachers’ general session is July 15-18, starting Monday at 5 PM and ending Thursday at 5 PM. The application and registration are open now, so what are you waiting for? The Set Sail application will close as the spaces fill, so apply soon so you can Set Sail this July.  Maybe I will see you there!

For general information, visit here.

To register, click here.


Jessica Cicalese-Kurtz, MA, K-12 Teaching and Technology; BA, K-8 Education; BS, Biology, Science and Engineering, is a high school STEAM Bio and AP Research teacher at Toms River High School East. Jess is also the Science Fair Coordinator at Toms River Middle School South. Jess has written curriculum for K-8 Science and High School Biology, as well as designed and implemented workshops for teachers. She is a freelance writer, wife, and budgeting mom of four who loves to travel, enjoy nature, connect with animals, and read.

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