TIES Offers Free Guided Online Lessons in Evolution for Learning at Home


March 19, 2020

Educators across the country, determined to keep student learning from grinding to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic causes schools to close, have a new resource. The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science is offering free, ready-made science lessons in the wonders of evolution, available online for both middle school and high school levels. 

“All About Evolution” is a free guided lesson that walks students through the basics of evolutionary biology, filled with helpful graphics, charts, and videos, directly engaging students interactively. Estimated to take about five to six hours to complete, “All About Evolution” challenges students to do more than sit for a lesson, but to ask and answer questions, solve puzzles, think critically, and investigate. There are two separate versions of the lesson, one aimed at middle school students (grades 6 to 8) and another for high school students (grades 9 to 12). 

“Teachers across the country are really stepping up right now, doing all they can to keep their students engaged in learning, even when they can’t be in the classroom,” said Bertha Vazquez, director of the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) and a middle school science teacher in the Miami area. “These guided lessons are a way for us to support them in this unprecedented effort.”

“These lessons are an out-of-the-box solution for teachers who are working hard to ensure that their students continue learning science despite being stuck at home,” said Robyn Blumner, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “The TIES program has been refining its tutorials for years based on feedback from educators on how best to teach evolution to students at various grade levels.”

“Teachers are scrambling to provide their students with engaging lessons during this surreal time. And this is the time when fact-based science education is needed more than ever,” said Vazquez. “While teaching foundational scientific concepts, these guided lessons also relate to the crisis that every single one of us is facing. The best way to counter fear and misinformation is to sharpen critical thinking skills and to learn how biology actually works. We hope this resource can be a part of that larger solution.”

TIES gives science teachers the tools they need to effectively teach evolution and answer its critics through in-person workshops, online seminars, and a growing online library of educational resources. All provided entirely free of charge.

Since its founding in 2015, Vazquez has led TIES to become a celebrated and invaluable program for educators, parents, and students in all 50 states and online. TIES has provided training through almost 200 workshops and webinars for over a thousand teachers, recruited a talented group of more than 70 official presenters, hosted special events with authors and experts in science and education, and helped open the minds of countless students to the marvels of science and evolution. TIES is a program of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, part of the Center for Inquiry

The “All About Evolution” guided lessons are available free on the TIES website at tieseducation.org/guided-lesson

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.