The Battle for Young Minds – Bertha Vazquez on Teaching Evolution in Schools

January 24, 2019

Bertha Vazquez
Bertha Vazquez

As science standards across the country improve to include middle school standards on evolution, more and more teachers are teaching evolution for the first time and the battle to teach sound science moves into the individual classrooms themselves. The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) is a program of the Center for Inquiry. TIES seeks to helps teachers teach evolution by providing them with the content and resources to do so effectively. In just three and a half years, TIES has grown from a powerful idea shared by Richard Dawkins and Bertha Vazquez to a network of over fifty teachers who have presented over 100 professional development workshops in over 40 states.

Bertha Vazquez and Jim Underdown
Bertha Vazquez and host Jim Underdown

TIES Director Bertha Vazquez has been teaching middle school science in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 27 years. 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 $5,000 Charles C. Bartlett National Excellence in Environmental Award in 2009.

Bertha sits down with one of Point of Inquiry’s new hosts, Jim Underdown, to talk about her experiences with teaching science and evolution in the classroom, meeting Richard Dawkins, and her favorite TIES moment.


For those in the Western New York area Bertha will be giving a TIES workshop at CFI Headquarters on February 9th where participants will receive free classroom resources, including a classroom presentation, labs, bell-ringers, and an exam. Visit the link to learn more.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES)

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