Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES)


Learn About TIES


Our Mission


To provide middle school teachers the tools they need to effectively teach evolution and answer its critics based on new Next Generation Science Standards.

Support TIES


Support our work by donating or shopping in our store and look smart with our t-shirts and other gear!

Follow TIES


TIES Workshop Walk-Through


The following links take you through an actual TIES Workshop. The focus is on Florida’s middle school science standards on evolution. In their latest report, the National Center for Science Education gave Florida a grade of A for its science standards on evolution.

EVOLUTION FOR EDUCATORS: A TIES WORKSHOP

By clicking the buttons below, you can watch students working through two hands-on activities on the topic of natural selection. Both activities can be downloaded below under the “Ready-to-Go Evolution Unit” tab.

Click here to view the Next Generation Science Standards on Natural Selection and Evolution for Middle School

Teacher Materials


Join Our Ties Teacher Corps


Do you recognize the importance of evolutionary science in our modern society and want to educate future generations on its relevance? We are looking for science teachers who can volunteer to present workshops in their school districts and local colleges on their state science standards on evolution and natural selection.

Share Your Best Practices


Do you have a lab idea or lessons that work that you’d like to share?

Send your lessons and labs to Bertha Vazquez by clicking the button below and we will post them up on our site in the section at the bottom of the page.

Our fellow teachers are often our best resources.

Where We've Been


Webinar Schedule


Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Registration is free.

Register now!

Meet the Director: Bertha Vazquez


Bertha Vazquez has been teaching middle school science in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 24 years. She has BA in Biology from the University of Miami and a Master’s in Science Education from Florida International University. A seasoned traveler who has visited all seven continents, she enjoys introducing the world of nature and science to young, eager minds. An educator with National Board Certification, she is the recipient of several national and local honors, including the 2014 Samsung’s $150,000 Solve For Tomorrow Contest and The Charles C. Bartlett National Excellence in Environmental Award in 2009. She has been the Miami-Dade Science Teacher of the Year three times, in 1997, 2008, and 2017. She is the 2017 recipient of the National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Education Award and is also one of Florida’s 2017 finalists for the most prestigious science award in the country, The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

In-Person Workshop Schedule


 Join us for a live, in-person workshop!

To register for a workshop, email Bertha Vazquez.


  • October 5, 2018: The 2018 Idaho Science and Math Teachers Conference, 2 sessions, Nampa, ID, presented by Jaime Kupfner
  • October 8, 2018: Cultivating Science Literacy in 3D, Iowa Academy of Science, DMACC Ankeny Campus, Ankeny, Iowa, presented by Patti Howell
  • October 11, 2018: 2018 NSTA Area Conference on Science Education, Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, NV, presented by Heather Witt
  • October 12, 2018: 2018 NSTA Area Conference on Science Education, Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, NV, presented by Jennifer Panczyszyn
  • October 15, 2018: New Hampshire Science Teachers Fall Conference, Church Landing, Meredith, NH, presented by Stephanie Keep
  • October 19, 2018: Illinois Science Teachers Conference, Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, IL, presented by Kathy Von Hoeck
  • October 19, 2018: 3D: Shifting the Paradigm in the PNW, Sheraton Bellingham Hotel and Conference Center, Bellingham, WA, presented by Cheryl Hollinger
  • October 22, 2018: Full STEAM Ahead! Louisiana Science Teacher’s Association Annual Conference, Shreveport Convention Center, Shreveport, LA, presented by Blake Touchet
  • October 23, 2018: New Jersey Science Conference, Princeton Marriot at Forrestal, Princeton, NJ, presented by Robert Cooper
  • October 26, 2018: TIES at the Zoo! Full-day professional development, 8 am-3 pm. Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham, AL, presented by zoo educator Kathy Fournier and TIES Director Bertha Vazquez, with guest speaker Dr. Jason Heaton, paleontologist and professor at Birmingham Southern College
  • October 26, 2018: The Heat is on! Full Steam Ahead! Florida Association of Science Teachers, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport and Convention Center, Miami, Fl, presented by Dora Pilz
  • October 26, 2018: WVSTA Conference, Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV, presented by Jaime Kupfer
  • November 2, 2018: Building Toward Phenomenal Science Instruction for All! The Falls Event Center, Gilbert, Arizona, presented by Sephali Ray
  • November 3, 2018: Sponsored by Oasis of Houston, Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center, Houston, TX, presented by Bertha Vazquez
  • November 5, 2018: Science Teachers of New York State Annual Conference, Riverside Conference Center, Rochester, NY, presented by Victoria Klahn
  • November 5, 2018: The Alabama Science Teachers conference, Tuscaloosa, AL, presented by Patti Howell
  • November 10. 2018: Connecticut Science Teachers Association Annual Conference, Heritage Hotel & Conference Center, Southbury, CT, presented by Victoria Klahn
  • November 9, 2018: Tell Us About TIES, National Association of Biology Teachers Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, presented by Cheryl Hollinger.
  • November 9, 2018: KSTA-Where Learning Drives Instruction, Lexington Convention Center, Lexington, KY, presented by Jaime Kupfner
  • November 9, 2018: Minnesota Conference on Science Education, Rivers Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud, MN, presented by Allison Peterson and James Finch
  • November 16, 2018: VAST Professional Development Institute, Williamsburg, VA, presented by Therese Whitehurst
  • November 16, 2018: NSTA Regional Conference, The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD, presented by Robert Cooper
  • November 16, 2018: NSTA Regional Conference, The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD, presented by Christopher Moran
  • November 29. 2018: NSTA Regional Conference, Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC, presented by Amanda Clapp
  • December 1, 2018: California Science Education Conference, Pasadena, CA, presented by Jennifer Panczyszyn.

  • February 8, 2019: The 27th Annual SDSTA/SDCTM Joint Conference SD STEM Ed Conference, Crossroads Hotel & Events Center, Huron, SD, presented by Alison Bowers”

For a list of 2015-2018 workshops, click here.

View Previous Webinars


TIES Webinar: Jonathan Tweet, author of Grandmother Fish
Aug 13, 2018

Grandmother Fish is the first book to teach evolution to preschoolers, and School Library Journal calls it “groundbreaking.” The book engages young people by getting them to mimic the actions and sounds of our ancestors. They wiggle like Grandmother Fish and hoot like Grandmother Ape. The book is for ages 3–6, but teachers have also …

A Conversation with Richard Dawkins
Aug 1, 2018

The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) hosted a special webinar with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Director of TIES Bertha Vazquez. Webinar date: 4/1/2018

America’s Ongoing Problem with Evolution
Aug 1, 2018

Everyone knows that the United States is not among the top tier… or even middle tier when it comes to understanding and accepting evolution. But why? This talk will briefly explore the “how did we get here?” of evolution acceptance in the United States, before zooming in on one of the most maddening causes (and …

A Taste for the Beautiful
Aug 1, 2018

Learn about sexual selection, mate choice, and animal communication – just in time for Valentine’s Day! Dr. Ryan will discuss the astonishing story of how the female brain drives the evolution of beauty in animals and humans. Michael Ryan will also discuss his new book! Vividly written and filled with fascinating stories, “A Taste for …

This is Your Brain On Parasites
Aug 1, 2018

A riveting investigation of the myriad ways that parasites control how other creatures—including humans—think, feel, and act. These tiny organisms can only live inside another animal, and as Kathleen McAuliffe reveals, they have many evolutionary motives for manipulating their host’s behavior. Far more often than appreciated, these puppeteers orchestrate the interplay between predator and prey. …


Our face-to-face professional development workshops & webinars for middle school science teachers are being offered across the United States by members of our TIES Teacher Corps. For more information about organizing a TIES workshop or webinar near you, please contact TIES director Bertha Vazquez


Please check back regularly for our updated webinar offerings and soon-to-be-added interactive learning modules.