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). In summer 2024, LLNL will offer FREE virtual and onsite TRA programs.

This year the TRA program is trying something new with the introduction of the Teacher Research Academy Conference!!! 

Teacher Research Academy Conference

The conference week will be held June 24-28, 2024 onsite at LLNL and includes a plenary session in Artificial Intelligence for the Classroom and subsequent “Hot Topics” sessions in Bioengineering & Bioethics; Climate & Fusion, and Applications in Computing.

Plenary Session: June 24-25 
Tours & Presentations: June 26
Hot Topic Sessions: June 27-28

Teachers must attend either the plenary or topical sessions to participate in the mid-week presentation/tour day. Continuation credits will be available; each two-day session with the presentation day will complete 1 course unit.

The TRA conference is free to attend. 
Time: 8:30am-4pm.

Plenary Session: Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Classroom
This session is designed to help STEM educators become more knowledgeable about artificial intelligence (AI). The session will provide opportunities to learn about the underlying principles of AI, how LLNL researchers are applying AI to complex problems in drug discovery and nuclear fusion, as well as how AI is poised to impact many different fields in the future. A significant portion of the workshop will be dedicated to becoming familiar with existing generative AI tools and building confidence in applying different tools to a range of tasks such as improving subject matter knowledge, creating content for lessons, designing assessments, and assistance with communications. The workshop will target educators who have limited or no experience using AI tools but is open to all that want to engage in learning more on this rapidly evolving technology.

Tours & Presentations
A half-day of onsite tours and presentations, come learn about LLNL!

Hot Topics Session

  1. Bioengineering & Bioethics: This session will explore the novel use of CRISPR, how it connects to fundamental biology, and its potential impact on society. Attendees will participate in hands-on laboratory experimentation connected to NGSS standards. No experience beyond foundational biology necessary. Instructional lessons will be explored relating to gene editing content. The ethics of CRISPR and ethical analysis for students will be presented.
  2. Climate & Fusion: Attendees will learn about the physics of the Greenhouse Effect, the basics of nuclear physics, and details about fusion at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Additional focus will be on other fusion experiments around the world, as well as how stars like the Sun serve as natural fusion reactors, forging the very atoms that make up all of us! This session will also include information presented by subject matter experts from LLNL scientists working on fusion and space science.
  3. Applications in Computing: This session explores the application of computing to solve real-world problems. Attendees will use computational modeling to mimic real-world systems through the lens of the software program, NetLogo.  In this session, attendees will experiment with Machine Learning (AI) tools using robots for the classroom. Instruction is for both the beginner as well as for those interested in advancing their skills.


Physics with Phones


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 sensors found in smartphones. 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: July 22-26, 2024  | Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm