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.


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

More to come in 2019!

Watch previous webinars below!


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.

  • February 8, 2019: The 27th Annual SDSTA/SDCTM Joint Conference SD STEM Ed Conference, Crossroads Hotel & Events Center, Huron, SD, presented by Alison Bowers”
  • February 15, 2019: GSTA Annual Conference, Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center, Columbus, GA, presented by Patti Howell
  • February 18, 2019: The 48th Annual HASTI Conference, STEM: Science Teachers Engaging Students, Wyndham Indianapolis-West, Indianapolis, presented by Jenna Sutton
  • March 2, 2019: MSTA 66th Annual Conference, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, MI, presented by Rebecca Brewer
  • March 23, 2018: Full-Day Event-Evolution for Educators. Come learn how to implement your new state science standards with engaging lessons and resources. Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, UT, presented by Kenny Coogan and Bertha Vazquez
  • April 6, 2019: Full-Day Event- Evolution for Educators at Zoo Montana, with guest speaker Dr. James Barron, Billings, MT, presented by Kenny Coogan
  • October 25, 2019: Full-Day Evolution Extravaganza, Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington, DE, presented by Hannah Pretz and Bertha Vazquez

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

View Previous Webinars

Dr Jones Evolution of Human Skin Color
Dec 10, 2018

Genomic technologies have recently led to a dramatic increase in our understanding of relationships among early members of our species. With access to genetic markers that distinguish different populations, we have been able to reconstruct a much more accurate picture of migration out of Africa and the various paths our ancestors took on the way …

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.