Class Information

HiveBio has a rotating selection of classes! These courses represent a wide range of subject material aimed at diverse age groups and backgrounds, typically led by leading members of the local scientific community.

HiveBio Talaris Map 02.14.16

Looking for our upcoming classes? Visit our Class Registration webpage.

All of our courses take place at the HiveBio Lab Space in Laurelhurst unless otherwise noted (see the map to the right), and usually handle between 2-10 participants. Classes are $15  + material fees to non members.


Below is a list of classes we have offered in the past:

Biology of Bees

Dr. Evan Sugden will lead a workshop on the science and practical applications of Bees, including:
  • The importance of Bees in ecology
  • The importance of Bees to humans/ Bee and human interactions
  • Bee Morphology, including a Bee dissection!
  • Diversity in Bee morphology, observing specimens from instructors Bee collection
During the Biology of Bees workshop you will learn about bee morphology through a poster exhibit and a dissection of major bee parts. We will answer, ‘What are bees?’ through examining bee specimens and discussing their function and diversity. Bee behavior in the hive, and as pollinators, will be discussed along with information on beekeeping from its history to modern beekeeping and agriculture.
Having earned his PhD from UC Davis in 1984 Dr. Sugden studied bees in far flung places such as Dubai and Sydney. He has been an instructor at the University of Washington since 1998. With more than 30 years experience working with bees we at HiveBio are very excited to have Dr. Sugden instruct the Biology of Bees workshop for us.

Beginning Neurobiology, Sheep Brain Dissection

HiveBio co-founder Bergen McMurray and Lawrence Own, PhD, will lead a discussion of introductory neurobiology which includes a dissection of preserved sheep brains. The class seeks to explore the brain through understanding the structure of neurons, basic neurophysiology, functional divisions of the brain, and neurochemistry.

Students under 18 are welcome, but they must have a parent present. Parents, we won’t order a brain for you unless you register as well. Brains are preserved in Carosafe, an odorless fluid designed to minimize the unpleasant odor of formaldehyde. Students will used surgical blades to open up the brain, so please consider these safety issues before registering a child.

See pictures from past offerings of this class

C. elegans and Model Organisms

Presented by Hannah Chapin, PhD

In this class we’ll explore how scientists use model organisms to study complex diseases. You’ll get hands-on experience with the nematode model organism C. elegans, learn about the connection between an animal’s genes and physical appearance, and hear about how these tools are used in the laboratory to shed light on health, disease, and aging.

See pictures from past offerings of this class.

Candy Electrophoresis

Presented by Mariola Kulawiec, PhD and Lawrence Own, PhD

Electrophoresis is a molecular tool that can be used to separate molecules by size. In this class, you will extract colors from candy and run them out on a gel. We’ll talk about how this simple technique can be used in other applications, and what we learn about the colors from this technique.

This lab is great for beginners and scientists of all ages. Children under 18 welcome with a parent.

See pictures of past offerings of this class.

Introduction to Microscopy

Cort Bouldin, Ph.D. will lead a workshop on the basics of microscopy and imaging. Get view of the microscopic world of developmental biology, and learn how to capture and manage microscopy images using the NIH’s free image processing software, ImageJ.

See pictures from past offerings of this class.

Protein Folding with Foldit

Jeremy Mills, Ph.D. will give a lecture on the basics of proteins — the fundamental units of action in biological systems. The computational protein modeling tool Foldit ( will be used to both assist in the discussion as well as provide hands on experiences with 3D representations of these amazing molecules. Please bring your own laptop with Foldit installed if you would like.

Smartphone to Digital Microscope Workshop

In this workshop, we will be assembling the $10 microscope based on this instructable and a camera phone. These scopes should give us 175X magnification.

You will need your own smartphone camera to put on the scope. It is possible to use any phone with a camera feature, but will require you to get creative when securing it onto the stand!

Feel free to bring interesting stuff to examine under your new microscope.

See pictures from past offerings of the class.

Phylogenetics: The Science of Organizing the Biological World

Historically, evolutionary relationships were determined by what an organism looks like, or its phenotype. With modern DNA analysis technology we are able to classify relationships based on genes, or genotype. How can we use Phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary classification systems, to learn about plants, animals and microbes in the world around us? In this workshop, we will learn about evolutionary history by looking at characteristics of organisms from today and how the environment shapes everything around us.

Join us and Dr. Joshua Schraiber, a computational biologist working to unravel the basis of functional genomic evolution in yeast and humans through a combination of mathematical modeling, big data analysis and data generation!

The Science behind Lotions: Hands-on lab and exploration of labels and regulations

Presented by Reitha Weeks, PhD. Volunteer for Bellevue College, Science and Math Institute (SAMI)

What makes a lotion one’s “favorite?” Do you believe all of the manufacturer’s claims? Examine labels and learn the chemistry behind successful lotions. Learn about the FDA’s requirements for safety and labeling of cosmetics. Make lotion and take home samples with the fragrances of your choice.

See pictures of past offerings of this course here

Eyeball Dissection

Hivebio will be hosting an eyeball dissection class taught by Anna McCann MSc. Learn about the structure and function of different parts of the eye before seeing these parts firsthand in a cow’s eye, which will be provided to you by HiveBio. No dissection of biology experience required, just enthusiasm and curiosity.

Anna McCann obtained a MSc in Biology from the University of Washington and a MSc in Stem Cell Biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Her scientific interests are diverse and she is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge of science. She has been teaching this dissection class for 4 years to undergraduate students at both Cal Poly and UW.

See pictures from past offerings of the class.

Molecular Biology 101: Strawberry DNA Extraction

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the chemical complex that encodes and stores genetic information. It is an integral component of life which play a fundamental role for the development and function of all cellular organisms including humans. Join us for the first of a series of workshops explaining the importance of DNA in today’s sciences such as genetics and molecular biology. We will learn about and applying everyday tools used by molecular biologists to study DNA. In this workshop, we will focus on how to extract DNA from different organisms, including vegetables, fruits, and from your very own cheek cells using everyday common household items!

Squid Dissection: Into the deep!

Dive into the deep sea of discovery. What lies in those dark murky waters? You spot 8 arms reaching out, swirling waves unveiling the majestic creature. An octopus? No..A squid! Learn more about the deep sea creature on April 11th by exploring the body of squid. And what other way to do that but by participating in a squid dissection!

Conducted by Angie Boysen, Graduate Student of the UW in the department of Chemical Oceanography

DIY Neuroscience – Build Your Own Spikerbox

Interested in neuroscience and/or electronics? This is the class for you! Together we’ll each be building our own SpikerBoxes from Backyard Brains. SpikerBoxes monitor the action potential (electric activity) of neurons. With just your SpikerBox and a smartphone or computer, you’ll be able to see and hear the electrical activity of neurons in real time!

All materials are provided. This class requires some soldering, but don’t worry if you have no experience. The HiveBio team will be there to help you out. We will need to download the Backyard Brains app to view our data.

Neuromuscular system

This class explores the interesting field of neuromuscular science with animal demonstrations and interactive activities with UW’s Kaelan Yu.

Kaelan’s workshop delves into the exciting interactions between the muscular system and neurosystem that drives all of our movements, from running a marathon, to fine motor skills, and our never-ending heartbeats. This course is geared toward young scientists with an interest in biology, and includes exciting animal demonstrations!

Elephant Toothpaste

Presented by Scott Canaga, HiveBio Education Director

In this workshop we seek out to create “elephant toothpaste”. It is a dramatic chemistry demonstration which produces copious amounts of steaming foam that one might say looks like the toothpaste an elephant might use. We seek to make our own “elephant toothpaste” and explore the science behind decomposition, catalysis and exothermic reactions.

This lab is great for beginners and scientists of all ages. Children under 18 welcome with a parent.

Build your own dinosaur

This class introduces genomics with exploration of the lineage of dino DNA using the tools of bioinformatics. Each student creatse a dinosaur of their own using 3d modeling software and leave the class with a HiveBio t-shirt displaying the dinosaur they have created! No experience with programming or 3d modeling is required.

Students learn why Jurassic Park is not scientifically accurate, and how one could create a dinosaur using bioinformatics, genetics, and various existing biological techniques. This class will teach basic programming knowledge in python, basic data science visualization, and explore the genomic science behind how a dinosaur could be genetically engineered.

 Brains, muscle, and nerves: The neuromuscular system , 2-5PM

Every day we move our muscles millions of times, from the broad powerful strokes of walking to the delicate balances of our fingers – oftentimes without consciously doing so. But what really controls our movements? How does our brain communicate with our bodies to allow us to walk, stand up-right, jump, or hug?

Join us at HiveBio for an exciting class exploring the world of the neuromuscular system and action potentials taught by UW’s Kaelan Yu. Kaelan’s workshop delves into the interactions between the muscular system and neurosystem that drives all of our movements, from running a marathon, to fine motor skills or our never-ending heartbeats. We’ll take a look at the patellar reflex, see cockroach legs twitch with a Spiker box, and see how nerve concentrations drive differences in sensation. This course is geared toward young scientists with an interest in animal biology.

Memories, molecules and medicines: An exploration of fragrances and essential oils 

A freshly mown lawn, a crackling bonfire’s smoke, or piping hot chicken soup on a cold day. All these and other smells conjure warm memories, emotions, primal fears and human relationships, far beyond the basic sense of smell. With a nose that can distinguish one trillion different scents, we carry one of the world’s best molecular detectors. But how much do we really know about smell and its effect on our lives? How does fragrance drive our moods? How do we perceive it and describe it to others? Come explore the sense of smell from the biology that makes it possible to the chemistry behind fragrances and essential oils. Led by Reitha Weeks, PhD, we’ll investigate product labels and aromatherapy claims, test your ability to identify smells, and extract essential oils for you to take home. So let’s dive into the world of smells you’ll be surprised how much there is to learn.



One thought on “Class Information

  1. Pingback: HiveBio…. What Is It? – NovaKnows

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.