Teacher Research Academy

TRA logo and title

The Teacher Research Academy (TRA) offers middle school, high school, and community college faculty a unique professional development experience through Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the need for social distancing, this year LLNL will be offering free VIRTUAL TRA workshops. Participants will engage in Next Generation Science Standards- (NGSS-) aligned instruction in LLNL mission-related scientific disciplines through remote learning opportunities. Workshop time will consist of online classroom instruction and independent assignments. Participants will have presentations by LLNL scientists and engineers, virtual tours of LLNL Centers and engagement with other participants in real-time.

Teacher Research Academy flyer

3D Print and Design

teacher observing 3d printed projectThis engaging, virtual workshop is designed to equip today’s elementary through post-high school educators with skills to implement 3D printing and basic computer-aided design (CAD) into their classrooms. It emphasizes real-world skills through hands-on exercises, group projects, and online talks and tours of current LLNL 3D printing research. No prior experience required!

Session: July 13 – 17, 2020  |   Time: 8:30am – 2:30pm


two teachers in a wet labThis virtual workshop for middle and high teachers focuses on enriching NGSS standards using the lens of biotechnology to inspire student lab experiences. This workshop will provide the opportunity to expand or refresh lab skills, while exploring how lab investigations can be scaled up or scaled down according to SEP/ CCC focus, resources, and/or grade level.

Teachers will discuss how authentic rigorous lab experiences can be integrated into NGSS, AP, and IB curricula. Learn how to source free science materials and local mini grants as well. Participants will learn through virtual laboratory activities and complementary “kitchen science” in microbiology, biology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics. The afternoons will be dedicated to developing mini-units to share with other participants at the end of the workshop that on that can be implemented in future classroom instruction.

Session: July 6 – 10, 2020   |   Time: 8:30am – 2:30pm

Fusion and Astrophysics

group photo of TRA teacher group in fusion labThis 5-day virtual workshop focuses on how spectroscopy and the properties of light are used in nuclear fusion and stellar astrophysics. Participants will learn about the National Ignition Facility and the latest developments in fusion energy. This workshop provides a crash course in stellar evolution, special relativity, and gravitation, with classroom-tested labs and activities. Each day includes a virtual tour or a web-based talk by a Livermore scientist.

June 8 – 12, 2020   |   Time: 8:30am – 2:30pm

Modeling for Science and Math

This 5-day workshop introduces the concepts behind computer modeling and simulation, and real-world applications. Participants will learn to use a variety of programs including Netlogo, a free open-source simulation software, to create computer models that will enhance their curricula in science and math instruction. Participants will interact online with LLNL scientists and learn how simulation is used in their work.

Session: June 15 – 19, 2020   |   Time: 8:30am – 2:30pm

Physics with Phone Sensors

This online 5-day workshop will focus on hands-on activities designed to use science and engineering practices to explore core disciplinary ideas in physics. The activities will exploit the amazing set of sensors in the smartphones which all your students own and are expert users. During this workshop you will become experienced in using the sensors in open ended exploration that will enable completely new opportunities for students to explore and learn physics. 

Session: June 22 – 26, 2020  |   Time: 8:30am–2:30pm

Technical Writing for Science Class

Participants in this online workshop learn how to explain usability and text-design techniques to their students, then apply these techniques to improve the effectiveness of lab instructions, technical descriptions, note taking, project abstracts, and science posters. Workshop participants will learn how to implement the close integration of CCSS with NGSS in the classroom though authentic activities, cases, and examples that directly embody the three NGSS science/engineering communication practices.

Session: June 15 – 17, 2020   |   Time: 8:30am – 1:30pm