Professional Development Workshops

We provide FREE training for teachers to implement authentic and innovative life science programs in their schools with a focus on hands-on, inquiry-based activities aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


All of our workshops are designed and led by expert teachers and scientists from Northwestern University. Participating in a workshop allows teachers to gain access to the Baxter Box Loaner Program and Classroom Support. We can't wait to work with you!

The Baxter Symposium is an event full of real-world science and hands-on lab activities that delve into 21st-century life science ideas and technology.

Simply put, the term “biotechnology” means applied life sciences. You take what you know from biology, chemistry, and everything in between and apply that knowledge to create a product or solve a problem. Put that way, it sounds simple, but it can be intimidating to implement in the classroom. This workshop series is intended to help teachers integrate biotech concepts and practices into their curriculum in a meaningful way. Through practice and support, we will help teachers feel comfortable trying new activities that use 21st century lab skills with their students.

Beginning with the Class of 2022, all Chicago Public Schools students will be required take one year each of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics with the goal of ensuring all students meet the performance expectations outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. 

To help accomplish that goal, we’ve been working with CPS to provide professional learning for teachers in the new core sciences curricula being developed by high school teachers from across the district along with experts in the Department of STEM! In this series of workshops created specifically for CPS teachers, we explore lessons and teaching practices designed to help ensure that all core science courses are intellectually rigorous, engaging, and accessible for all students. 


What are teachers saying about the new curricula?

“The curriculum really did a good job of addressing 3D learning. All units required students to engage in a variety of different practices (reading, writing, analyzing and interpreting data, making and using models, using evidence to construct explanations, predicting, etc.) to be able to master the performance expectations.”

“The lessons were rooted in students actively using science practices to explain phenomena and figure out science ideas- ie: in doing science.”

 “I used to spend so much time trying to find activities, modify these activities, and write my lessons. Using this curriculum allowed me to spend much more time honing other areas of my teaching craft instead of preparing activities”

We work with a lot of great partners and love to have them share their amazing resources with local teachers! In order to facilitate that, we have created a series of Guest Workshops where we host organizations such as BioBuilder, miniPCR, Bio-Rad, Flynn Scientific, and 3D Molecular Designs to come to the Chicago-land area and work with our teachers.

Gain real-life lab experience working alongside scientists in a Northwestern University research laboratory and develop your own curriculum materials based on their research.