VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will present “Everything You Need to Teach Georgia’s Evolution Standards,” 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 28, in the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center.

The professional workshop is free of charge and open to all area middle school and high school science teachers, as well as college and university students pursuing degrees in biology or related fields, according to a VSU press release. 

Participating educators will leave with a host of ready-to-go resources to use when covering this topic in their classrooms, according to the press release.

Bertha Vasquez, director of the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, and Dr. Leslie Jones, an associate professor in VSU’s Department of Biology, will demonstrate evolution lessons and lab activities, lead an inquiry-oriented exploration of skulls and animals, conduct a hands-on lab on how natural selection produces human skin colors and discuss ways to address students’ religious reservations.

Vasquez has taught middle school science in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 24 years and was named Science Teacher of the Year in 1997, 2008 and 2017. The release stated she recently earned the 2017 National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Education Award and became a finalist for the 2017 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Miami and a master’s degree in science education from Florida International University.

Jones is known for her commitment to improving science instruction for South Georgia students in elementary school, middle school and high school. According to the release, she is passionate about inspiring the next generation of innovators, educators, researchers and leaders to think deeply, to think well and to learn more. 

The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science is a project of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, a division of the Center for Inquiry. Its mission is to unlock the wonders of life for teachers and their students.

“Everything You Need to Teach Georgia’s Evolution Standards” is sponsored by the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science; Coastal Plains Regional Educational Service Agency; VSU’s Department of Biology; College Assistance Migrant Program; Mentoring, Engaging, Supporting and Achievement; Latin American Student Association. 

It is part of VSU’s commitment to promote academic outreach and collaborate with regional entities to expand opportunities and respect for the diverse population that calls South Georgia home, the release stated.

Visit to register for the workshop.

More information: Contact Dr. Leslie Jones at (229) 219-1337 or


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