Max Planck Florida Receives Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund Grant to Expand Teacher Training

May 13, 2021

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience has been awarded $23K from the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund which will enable the institute to offer specialized training in laboratory methods to Palm Beach and Martin County educators.

Building on the success of MPFI’s many education and community engagement programs, the Pew award enables Max Planck researchers to provide educators with cutting-edge scientific skills through hands-on workshops. The TEACHS Program (Teaching Educators about Classroom and Hands-On Science) will offer a workshop focusing on microscopy and cell biology, and another one on genetics. All middle and high-school science teachers in both the Palm Beach and Martin County School Districts are eligible to apply for the TEACHS program, and a special emphasis will be made to recruit participants from traditionally underserved Title 1 schools.

Educators selected to participate in TEACHs workshops will work with Max Planck researchers to develop their hands-on lab skills and will also receive “Classroom Kits” that include microscopes as well as everything the teachers need to reproduce the experiments in their classrooms with their students.

“The impact of these workshops will not only benefit the teachers who participate but the hundreds of students in their classes who will be able to recreate these experiments and carry that knowledge forward. We hope to inspire both teachers and students to pursue scientific questions that make an impact on the world around us,” said Dr. Ilaria Drago, Head of Education Outreach.

In addition to TEACHS, Max Planck Florida hosts numerous events for students and teachers, including summer internships, Career Day, and the Brain Bee, an annual competition that draws competitive teams from schools all over Palm Beach County. Max Planck Florida researchers also volunteer their time giving free public lectures and participating in special events with community partners.

About the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), a not-for-profit research organization, is part of the world-renowned Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organization with over 86 institutes worldwide. Since its establishment in 1948, 20 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists. As its first U.S. institution, MPFI provides exceptional neuroscientists from around the world with the resources and technology to answer fundamental questions about brain development and function. MPFI researchers employ a curiosity-driven approach to science to develop new technologies that make groundbreaking scientific discoveries possible. For more information, visit

About the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund

The primary philanthropic objective of the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund is to positively impact children’s lives by providing access to high-quality instruction and educational enhancements. The Pew Fund was created in 1998 as a supporting organization to the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Since then, the fund has awarded nearly $30,000 in grants to improve public education for economically disadvantaged children, impacting tens of thousands of students, hundreds of teachers, and nearly 100 administrators.  To learn more, visit