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In this video, discover how the program helps kids from kindergarten to 12th grade learn about the wonders of the natural world, while also learning the scientific methods and math skills needed to understand that world.

NIMBioS Teams Up with Biology in a Box

NIMBioS is helping bring mathematics education to life – to life sciences, that is. In partnering with UT-Knoxville's Biology in a Box K-12 education outreach program, NIMBioS is working collaboratively to integrate quantitative exercises into ten hands-on, inquiry-based life science units, with more under development. Many activities are now useful for teaching both applied mathematics and life science, and the connections between the two.

  • Activity booklets and materials lists are freely available for download.
  • Themes include: Fossils, Backyard Naturalist, It's in Your Genes, and many more.
  • Boxes are available in 80 school systems in Tennessee.
  • Schools and teacher preparation programs also use the boxes in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Washington D.C., with national interest growing.
  • Biology in a Box activities are demonstrated and shared with teachers at state, regional and national professional conferences.
  • Shortened versions of activities have appeared in the Biology By Numbers blog on the Talking Science website (an initiative of NPR's Science Friday).
  • Some activities have been published in The American Biology Teacher, with more to come.

Biology in a Box Units

Biology in a Box Unit #1: Fossils (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #2: Of Skulls and Teeth (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #3: Fur, Feathers & Scales: Insulation (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #4: Simple Measures (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #5: It's in Your Genes (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #6: Animal Kingdom (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #7: Backyard Naturalist (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #8: Everything Varies (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #9: Forestry (PDF) 2012
Biology in a Box Unit #10: Behavior (PDF) 2013

Related Links

University of Tennessee Biology in Box web page

University of Tennessee video interview with Biology in Box founder Susan Riechert

Emphasizing the 'E' in a STEM Outreach Project: Adding Engineering Components to the Biology in a Box Program



Post, BK, Riechert SE. 2009. Bridging the Gap: Connecting Biology and Engineering in the High School Curriculum. Proceedings of the ASEE Southeast Section Conference. [Online]

Riechert SE, Post BK. 2010. From skeletons to bridges & other STEM enrichment exercises for high school biology. The American Biology Teacher, 72(1): 20-22. [Online]

Riechert SE, Leander RN, Lenhart SM. 2011. A role-playing exercise that demonstrates the process of evolution by natural selection: Caching squirrels in a world of pilferers. The American Biology Teacher, 73(4): 208-212. [Online]


Post BK, Riechert SE. 2009. Bridging the gap: Connecting biology and engineering in the high school curriculum. The ASEE Southeast Section Conference, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA. [Online]

Riechert S. January 2012. Hamilton County K-12 teacher training.

Riechert S. December 2011. Moore Country K-12 teacher training.

Riechert S. December 2011. Polk County K-12 teacher training.

Riechert S. December 2011. Teacher & administration training, East Tennessee Title One Conference, Gatlinburg, TN.

Riechert S. November-December 2011. K-12 teacher training, TSTA Conference, Murfreesboro, TN.

Riechert S. September 2011. K-12 teacher and non-formal educator training, TN Outdoor Classroom Symposium and TEEA Conference, Johnson City, TN.

Riechert S. September 2011. LEADS Conference administrator and superintendent training, Nashville, TN.

Riechert S. August 2011. Cocke County and Jefferson County K-12 teacher training.

Riechert S. August 2011. Crockett County K-12 teacher training, Alamo City Schools.

Riechert S. August 2011. Haywood County K-12 teacher training.

For general inquiries and more information on NIMBioS's role in Biology in a Box, please contact: Suzanne Lenhart

For more information on how to bring Biology in a Box to your school district, please contact: J.R. Jones, UTK Biology in a Box Production Manager, at

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9461
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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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