Information for teachers
You are holding in your hands the first issue of the fourth series of Selected Topics in Evolutionary Biology. In this series, we will present five topics selected and written for high school students to promote awareness of the basic concepts of evolution, and thus facilitate a better understanding of a wide range of biology topics.
Evolutionary thinking, as argued by Theodosius Dobzhansky, is crucial for understanding a great variety of complex biological processes. Because of its fundamental importance, because of the exciting topics and questions that exist, and because it is our particular research speciality and passion, we want to provide students with the opportunity to further explore evolutionary biology.
We understand that you are busy teaching topics included in the curriculum, and thus we offer this series as a supplement, not requiring any time from you. The only thing we would like to ask you is to share the attached material with your students and encourage them to participate in the series. For instance, you could reward them with extra credit if they successfully complete the series.
The series can serve as useful supplementary material, since it will explain how evolutionary concepts apply in contexts of everyday interest, and thus hopefully convey the excitement of contemporary research. The interactive format of the series, which encourages students to carry out activities and enables them to receive feedback on their answers and methods, proved to be very effective in inculcating interest in the previous years. Furthermore, by participating in the competition, students will develop problem-solving skills as well as the ability to write their thoughts clearly and explain their ideas and opinions in a coherent way, which will be extremely useful at university. For more information about the series and the competition, please read the information on the other side.
We would like to thank you for your help in promoting our series and in supporting your students in their personal growth and development.
What is STEB?
STEB is a seminar and competition in solving interesting problems in biology for high school students. It consists of five rounds, or issues. Each issue will contain a short article written in a way that is clear and attractive to high school students, followed by a few questions to check understanding and stimulate thinking about more complicated points mentioned in the article. Each issue also contains a task---a short problem, experiment or an activity that students can carry out at home, and a list of related reading, videos and websites.
By answering questions and carrying out small projects, students participate in a competition and can win interesting prizes, as well as be invited to a short summer school. There they can meet other students interested in evolution and learn more about hot research questions that scientists are working on right now.
This seminar is happening simultaneously in two versions: Slovak and International, and in two categories: Beginners and Advanced. Students can write up their answers in any of the following languages: Slovak, Czech, or English.
You can find detailed rules of the competition here.
How can your students participate?
It is easy. They can register here, and we will send them all five series by email. After reading the article, students answer the questions and carry out the project at home when they have time, and send us their responses and results before the deadline for each series. We will check the answers, write each student feedback on their project and send our feedback together with the new series. All the articles, questions and projects will be also published on our website.
Of course, you as a teacher can join the seminar as well. You can use the articles as additional material or carry out the projects in your biology classes. If you are interested in more material related to evolution suitable for high school students, please contact us directly via email at email@example.com.