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!

Join us for a virtual workshop and receive materials and equipment to test out labs in your own home. By applying to this program, you will have an chance to plan with a community of educators to creatively design ways of bringing back engaging science experiences to your virtual, hybrid, or in-person classroom!

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.

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.

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

Let’s get together virtually and plan! We know teachers work best when they work together. Since teachers don’t always have a course team to work with we’re providing the space and resources for teachers across the Chicago area to get together and talk about teaching this fall. Topics include Biotech, Forensics & Criminology, and Middle School Science.

The Baxter Center is requesting proposals from teachers interested in sharing a science or manufacturing lesson with our community of educators!

Chicago area K-12 educators! Do you have an idea for a professional learning workshop? Would you like to build your education leadership skills and experience? The Baxter Center is putting out an open call for proposals for new workshops for Chicago area K-12 teachers with an interest in science and manufacturing teaching and learning.

Participants will join the Baxter Center’s community of teacher leaders to develop their ideas and create professional learning around them. Support will be provided throughout summer with the goal of hosting workshops in Fall 2021. Participants will be compensated for their time. We encourage those who with no experience to apply as well! Participants will engage in this opportunity remotely during the summer. Fall workshops may be offered remotely or in-person in accordance with state, university, and district guidelines.

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Please apply if you are a K-12 teacher in Chicago and the greater Chicago area with an interest in science teaching and learning, and supporting colleagues in these areas.

This program could be an especially good fit if:

  • You are looking to build your education leadership skills and experience.
  • You have always wanted to lead professional learning but would like some support.
  • You have an idea that you’ve always wanted to develop and share.
  • You have a favorite resource that you wish everyone knew about.
  • You are looking to connect with other educators who are enthusiastic about science teaching and learning.

We are particularly interested in supporting:

  • Educators who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC)
  • Educators who serve predominantly BIPOC communities
  • Educators who serve predominantly low-income communities
  • Educators teaching in Chicago Public Schools or public schools in Lake County or Cook County.

In accordance with the mission of our program to promote equity in science education, we will prioritize Chicagoland educators who represent and serve communities that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) as well as communities with a significant proportion of low-income families.

Workshop Focus Areas

We are looking for professional learning workshops in the following areas as they apply in a science classroom: science courses (biology, chemistry, physics, science electives), engineering, or manufacturing courses.


  • Elementary School (K-5)
  • Middle School (6-8)
  • High School (9-12)


  • General science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Science electives
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing

Type of content

  • Social justice/anti-racism in the science classroom
  • Pedagogy / teacher practice / classroom facilitation in the science classroom
  • Social-emotional learning (SEL) in the science classroom
  • Science lessons/curricula that you have adapted or designed yourself


May 22nd Application Deadline
May 23rd - June 11th  Application Decisions
June 25th  Workshop Topic Confirmation
July - August  Training Opportuntiies & 
Fall 2021 Host your workshop!

Proposal Submission

Submit your proposal by May 22nd at 11:59pm CST:

Frequently Asked Questions

What does this program look like and what is the time commitment?

We will work with you to develop and facilitate a workshop to be delivered in the Fall of 2021. We estimate that you will spend approximately 20-30 hours working with us over this period of time.

Will I get paid?

Yes! You will be compensated for your time in preparing, planning, and delivering your workshop at a rate of $50/hr. We estimate that you will spend approximately 20-30 hours working with us over this period of time. We will also cover the costs of any associated materials for you and workshop participants.

What kind of support will I be provided?

You will have the opportunity to work with the Baxter Center team and Northwestern University faculty to learn and explore designing and facilitating interactive workshops for adult learners, including technology tips and tools. When it’s time to develop and implement your workshop, the Baxter Center team will provide the following support:

  • Help with creating and organizing workshop materials
  • Obtaining and preparing any lab materials
  • Advertising via email, web and social media
  • Technology support - Zoom, Google Drive, Slack etc.
  • Location support - room reservations and set-up (if in-person)
  • Other logistics around workshop delivery

Why is this program being offered?

The Baxter Center has offered workshops in biotechnology and life science for over 10 years. We often hear from educators that they wish we offered more professional learning for chemistry and physics as well as for middle and elementary school teachers. We also wish to create more opportunities for teachers, particularly teachers who identify as BIPOC, to become leaders in their schools, districts, and communities.

I am not teaching in Illinois. Should I apply?

At this time, this opportunity is only open to teachers in the Chicago area, with a particular focus on Cook County and Lake County, Illinois.

I am an educator but I teach in an informal/out-of-school setting. Should I apply?

Right now we are only offering this opportunity to teachers who want to share materials and/or methods designed for an in-school setting.

Can I present a workshop on a tool/lesson/activity that you have to purchase or that has a copyright?

This needs to be worked out on a case-by-case basis with the entity who owns the particular materials. Send us an email at and we can talk about it.

I am an elementary school teacher. Can I apply?

Yes! While we haven’t offered much for elementary teachers in the past, we would love to support your ideas and innovations for science teaching and learning in K-5 classrooms.

If the workshop goes well, will I have a chance to run it again or develop more workshops with you?

Yes! We are hoping this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Does the content we develop belong to me or Northwestern University?

It belongs to you! We only ask that the materials be available free and open-source on our website. Once you have delivered your workshop with us, you are welcome to run it on your own and/or share the materials in any way you like.

Can you tell me more about The Baxter Center? Sure!

The Baxter Center for Science Education is a partnership between Northwestern University, Lindblom Math & Science Education, Round Lake High School, and Baxter International Foundation. For more information, visit our website (