Tiny Earth Partner Instructors (TEPIs)

Tiny Earth Partner Instructors (TEPIs) are at the core of the global network. The 800+ instructors who teach the course worldwide are connected by three shared experiences:

  • Attending an intensive, week-long Tiny Earth Training

  • Teaching the Tiny Earth course at their institution

  • Engaging regularly in Tiny Earth network offerings such as teaching workshops, instructor committees, and student research symposia.

Become a TEPI!

Apply Now

Interested in Tiny Earth Partner Instructor (TEPI) Training?

Upcoming Training Dates

  • July 15-19, 2024 (@ UW-Madison)
    • Deadline to apply: April 1, 2024
  • August 5-9, 2024 (@ UW-Madison)
    • Deadline to apply: May 1, 2024
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and applicants will be notified of acceptance as early as ~6-12 weeks prior to the training date. Please contact us for questions.

Training often reaches capacity nearing to the application deadline. We recommend submitting your application at your earliest convenience.

Start-up Equipment Requirements

Already a TEPI?

Go to the TEPI website for everything you need to teach the course!

Use your NetID and password to log in. Need a NetID or forgot it? Email tinyearth@wid.wisc.edu

  • Curriculum and Instruction Resources

    • Lab tips, forms, worksheets, and digital materials for teaching remotely
    • Request an instructor copy of Tiny Earth student guidebook & access to FlexEd
    • AJEDI content for inclusive learning
  • Science & Lab Materials

    • Tiny Earth Database resources & tutorials
    • TE Lab instructional videos from TECH
    • Forms for submitting isolates to TECH
  • Events & Community Engagement

    • Announcements about TEPI workshops, symposia, and more
    • Watch all recorded workshops & webinars
  • Network Expansion

    • Information about how to become a Certified TEPI Trainer
  • Learn about instructor opportunities

    • Leadership opportunities in the Tiny Earth network
    • Information about the Tiny Earth Enrichment Study
Go to the TEPI website

Becoming a TEPI FAQs

Tiny Earth instructors love the in-depth TEPI Training, which is free. It provides instructors the chance to be in the lab (refresh those skills!), learn about teaching and inclusive pedagogies, and work with colleagues teaching similar courses. Training sessions include access to the Tiny Earth curriculum (print and digital), the team of expert Tiny Earth educators and scientists, and the Tiny Earth network of science research and events. All TEPIs will have access to a mentor and a peer group of instructors who teach in a similar format.

Being a TEPI provides several benefits and opportunities related to professional development and leadership:

  • You will receive support, resources, training, and mentoring to teach Tiny Earth.
  • You will be assigned a veteran TEPI as a mentor while you implement your course.
  • You will engage with the most up-to-date Tiny Earth teaching materials, including digital content, AJEDI adaptations, and new courses in chemistry and genomics.
  • You will have password-protected access to the Tiny Earth course and TEPI Training content in a learning management system that models how the course can be set up for your class.
  • You have the opportunity to network with a diverse cohort of 27 new TEPIs plus the session leaders, facilitators, and Tiny Earth headquarters staff.
  • All expenses (except travel to the site) are covered, including lab materials, printed materials, lodging, and meals.
  • You will receive the title of Tiny Earth Partner Instructor (TEPI) and a certificate of completion.
  • You have access to the entire TEPI network of 700+ instructors in 30 countries (and maybe some in your local area too!).
  • You can attend all Tiny Earth symposia (held winter and summer) and biweekly TEPI virtual meetings about emerging topics and teaching professional development.

We have two formats: virtual and face-to-face. Both are 5 days long.

  • Option 1: in-person. Held annually in mid-June at University of Wisconsin-Madison and the last week in July at Johns Hopkins University or California State University at Sacramento.
    Format: On site for 5 days, typically starting on Monday afternoon and ending Friday around lunchtime. Tuesday through Thursday are full days in workshops, small working groups, or the lab.
  • Option 2: virtual. Held annually the second week in January.
    Format: Via zoom for 5 days. Each day, the group participates in synchronous, interactive sessions for 3 hours (11am – 2pm ET), in addition to synchronous small-group work meetings and one day dedicated to working on-site in your own lab to run some of the hands-on experiments. Additional asynchronous activities are hosted on the training course site. This option is best for those who have extensive environmental microbiology experience and/or need a flexible option that does not require

The application includes a list of all available dates and sites where you can indicate your preferences for upcoming dates and locations. You will not be assigned to a training location or date that does not work with your schedule.

Complete the most up to date application form, found at the top of this page under “Become a TEPI!” (https://tinyearth.wisc.edu/tiny-earth-partner-instructors).

Be sure to check the application year, and email us at tinyearth@wid.wisc.edu if you need help.

Tiny Earth is very flexible! Any introductory microbiology or biology course can be configured to accommodate Tiny Earth research. Some instructors have even combined it with other course-based research experiences (CUREs) so students have multiple research opportunities in one semester. The course is ideal in a wet-lab in-person environment. We have also adapted it for virtual, remote, and hybrid contexts. Because the course is low-cost and accessible to all students and institution types, we especially encourage applications from colleges that primarily serve historically underrepresented students and community and technical colleges.

Annually the second week in January (virtual)
Annually in summer—June and July (face-to-face)

2023-2024 Trainings:

  • Jan 8-12, 2024 (virtual)
  • July 15-19, 2024 (UW)
  • August 5-9, 2024 (UW)
  • Stay tuned for additional dates!
Tiny Earth has trained a diverse range of instructors from university level to high school and even middle school! Eligibility may vary training to training.
For summer 2022: Instructors who intend to teach Tiny Earth at a U.S. college or university are eligible. We anticipate being able to expand the eligibility to other school types and non-U.S. schools starting in 2023. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.
We especially encourage applications from instructors who identify as members of a group that has historically been excluded from science or who are at minority-serving institutions or two-year colleges.

Our Network Expansion & Training Committee reviews applications on a rolling basis, and we aim to notify participants 6-8 weeks prior to a specific training date (typically earlier for face-to-face training). If you have questions or concerns about your application, please email us at tinyearth@wid.wisc.edu.

Research Flow