Educator Training-CSHL DNA Learning Center
15 educators collaborating and using laptops in the DNALC computer laboratory during training

Educator Training

We offer up-to-date teacher training through biology workshops and development for teachers in genetics and biotechnology. With federal and private foundation funding, we offer these free workshops to high school and college educators, especially those in the areas of genetics, biology, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Past Event

Urban Barcode Project Teacher Training

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC

Saturday, November 5, 2022
10:00 a.m.–4 p.m. EDT
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
Brooklyn, NY

Just as a unique pattern of bars in a universal product code (UPC) identifies each item for sale in a store, a DNA barcode is a DNA sequence that uniquely identifies each species of living thing. The UBP is the first large-scale effort to engage high school students using DNA technology to explore biodiversity in New York City.

In this one-day workshop, participants will be introduced to the DNA barcoding laboratory investigation and bioinformatics infrastructure. Teachers who complete this workshop are invited to organize student teams, propose UBP projects, and present their work at our annual symposium. In collaboration with Billion Oyster Project, participants can register for a future Oyster Research Station training session.

In-person Workshops:

  • Saturday, November 5, 2022
  • 10 a.m.–4 p.m. EDT
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Urban Barcode Project Logo: DNA double helix and red apple over stylized New York City skyline

Past Event

Professional Development for High School Biology Teachers

Detect Genetically Modified Foods with In-lab Purified Taq DNA Polymerase

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center

Election Day–November 8, 2022
8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. EST
Dolan DNA Learning Center,
Cold Spring Harbor. NY

Genes that encode herbicide resistance, insect resistance, drought tolerance, frost tolerance, and other traits have been added to many commercial plants–including most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States. In this workshop, practice the wet-lab techniques used to detect genetic modification of common crops, and accompanying bioinformatic exercises that can be implemented in class.

Part I: Execute a surprisingly easy and affordable method to purify Taq polymerase from bacteria for in-school Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) experiments, a valuable biotech workforce skill for students.

Part II: Extract DNA from processed food products* and use PCR along with gel electrophoresis to identify a promoter that drives the expression of most plant transgenes. Explore how bioinformatics tools can be used to identify genetically modified plants with specific primer sets.

*Participants have the option of bringing in a processed snack food to test for the presence of the transgene promoter.

This experiment aligns with lab suggestions and course content for AP Biology Unit 6 and the New York State Science Learning Standards, with an emphasis on analyzing and interpreting data, planning and carrying out investigations and the structure and function relationship. Guided by an experienced DNALC Educator, training will focus on lab skills, conceptual connections, and classroom implementation.

Teachers should bring laptops for this workshop. One will be provided, if needed.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion and CTLE hours.

In-person Workshops:

  • Election Day–November 8, 2022
  • 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. EST
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
DNALC educator and program participant at a laboratory bench.

Past Event

Professional Development for High School Biology Teachers

DNA Barcoding

circular icon with drawing of the Regeneron DNA Learning Center

Election Day–November 8, 2022
8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. EST
Regeneron DNA Learning Center,
Sleepy Hollow. NY

Just as a unique pattern of bars in a universal product code (UPC) identifies each item for sale in a store, a DNA barcode is a DNA sequence that uniquely identifies each species of living thing. Each year, hundreds of high school students participate in DNALC research programs where they use DNA barcoding to explore biodiversity. The Urban Barcode Project (UBP) was our first large scale effort to train teacher research mentors, and engage students in authentic research using DNA barcoding.

In this one-day workshop, participants will be introduced to the DNA barcoding laboratory investigation and bioinformatics infrastructure, including: sample collection* and documentation, DNA Isolation, agarose gel electrophoresis, PCR, DNA sequence alignments, BLAST searches, and creating phylogenetic trees. Teachers will also learn more about the UBP, and how they can be trained to mentor student teams, propose UBP projects, and present posters at an annual symposium.

This experiment aligns with lab suggestions and course content for AP Biology Units 6, 7 and 8, and the New York State Science Learning Standards, with an emphasis on analyzing and interpreting data, planning and carrying out investigations and the structure and function relationship.

*Participants have the option of bringing in a plant or insect sample of their own to identify through this process.

In-person Workshops:

  • Election Day–November 8, 2022
  • 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. EST
  • Regeneron DNA Learning Center
    1 Rockwood Road Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Several educators participate in a workshop in a DNALC laboratory classroom

Past Event

DNA Barcoding Workshop

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center

Election Day–November 8, 2022
9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. EST
Dolan DNA Learning Center
Cold Spring Harbor, NY

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center is offering a one-day, in-person DNA barcoding wet-lab training. Applicants to this free workshop should be confirmed collaborators of CDBN. High school science teachers on Long Island with an interest in implementing authentic research experiences with students through Barcode Long Island are also welcome to apply. Trained mentors interested in a program refresher are also encouraged to attend.

*The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center is an approved Sponsor of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE).

Participants in this workshop will learn:

  • Introduction to DNA barcoding and biodiversity
  • Sample collection and documentation
  • Chelex DNA extraction
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Program implementation

A virtual bioinformatics training will be organized for a later date, following receipt of DNA barcode sequence data..

Participants in Barcode Long Island (BLI) use DNA barcoding to explore, document, and track biodiversity on and around Long Island through distributed experiments by student research teams, led by trained Long Island educators. Just as the unique pattern of bars in a universal product code (UPC) identifies each consumer product, a "DNA barcode" is a unique pattern of DNA sequence that identifies each living thing. BLI provides students with real and relevant research experience while they contribute to our knowledge of their environment. In addition, the project measures the effect on teachers and students and tests the feasibility of a large student-based barcoding initiative.

Register by November 2, 2022.

In-person Workshop:

  • November 8, 2022 (register by Nov. 2nd)
  • 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Seating for this workshop is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

CDBN Logo
Barcode Long Island Logo

Sites of Major DNALC Faculty Workshops, 1985-2014

This map shows the locations of the DNALC's faculty workshops taught over more than thirty years.

Open the map key map key to show/hide the years in groups of three. Click the check boxes to show or hide the years. Click the dots for information on host institution, year, and instructional level of participating faculty. Map can be opened full screen in a separate browser window by clicking the full screen icon at the upper-right.