“E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth” has launched and it is free!


The book is divided into seven different units. Each can be downloaded to your iPad or Mac for free.

After four years in the making, with a team including E.O. Wilson, leading science writers, biologists, educators, and digital  animators, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth has launched! As the Education Director of this project I am very proud of this revolutionary biology textbook, which can now be downloaded from iTunes anywhere in the world for free! 

Many of the Project-Based Learning activities in the 41 chapters of the book feature the innovative students of High Tech High. 

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Biomimicry book is here … in print and as an iBook!


Now available in print ($24.95) from SDBayGuide.com or High Tech High. “Biomimicry: Respecting Nature Through Design” can also be purchased as an iBook from iTunes ($12.99). It includes a foreword by Jane Goodall.

The book:

Biomimicry: Respecting Nature Through Design is a story about sustainability which was researched, sketched, photographed, designed and written by students of High Tech High. The book addresses case studies in biomimetic design and also focuses on numerous environmental problems in and around San Diego Bay. The student authors have developed their own elegant solutions to these problems using the principles of biomimicry.

Recent praise:

There is no public school work in the country that is more impressive to me than the scientific books created by the High Tech High students working with these gifted teachers. Biomimicry would be a beautiful and important book for our time even if it were written by adults – the implications for engineering design and ecological stewardship are profound. The fact that it is a product of high school students makes it a remarkable model for elevating our notion of the student capacity.

Ron Berger, Chief Academic Officer, Expeditionary Learning

High Tech High students continue to set the standard for applying science and technical education. Biomimicry is a fascinating field and one that is relatively underutilized in the biotech world – but it’s certainly the future.

Joe Panetta, President and CEO, Biocom


Special thanks to San Diego Zoo Global and the Port of San Diego, who share our mission of wildlife and habitat conservation, along with sustaining biodiversity. We thank them for supporting the printing of this book.

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HTH grad student in the Field: Celeste Byers


Chimp by Celeste Byers for the NY Times.

Celeste Byers has become an amazing artist. Back in her HTH days, Celeste contributed some beautiful sketches for the book San Diego Bay: A Story of Restoration and Exploitation. Since then she has traveled the world and along the way expressed herself using a variety of media with incredible beauty and raw natural energy.  Her work has been part of a range of projects from urban garden books to the New York Times. The chimp above was done for a Times article on the NIH decision to greatly reduce the use of chimps for vaccine development and other biomedical research.  For more of Celeste’s work visit her site: celestebyers.com. If you want to lift your spirit, then listen to some of her songs as well. Way to go Celeste.

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HTH grad student in the field: Brittney Nguyen

Brittney Nguyen, a Stanford University junior presented her honors thesis research project at the Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Response meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in September.  The title of Brittney’s poster was “The Effect of Diet Restriction on Antimicrobial Peptide Gene Regulation in Drosophila.”


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Gone Native

The day started with good news.  The Liberty Station Community Association approved of our new garden plans around HTH.  This green light came just in time, as we were just heading out to visit Tijuana Estuary and then Recon Native Plant Nursery.

Debbie Good, USFWS Ranger and native plant expert greeted us at the entrance to Tijuana Estuary.  Her stories and native plant natural history information gave students new perspective on these plants.  The mature coastal sage scrub lining the estuary also inspired us to get going and plant more!


Debbie Good (USFWS) toured the students through the coastal sage scrub surrounding the estuary.

We had a great overview of Recon Native Plant Nursery from Patrick Montgomery who I had been in touch with regarding the purchase of plants needed for our habitat restoration project.


Recon cultivates a wide variety of plants for the diverse habitats of San Diego and beyond.

The ride home was a dream.  A busload full of native plants!  The smell turned the bus into a wonderful coastal sage scrub forest. If only we could routinely spend more time with these plants… maybe our commutes wouldn’t be so stressful!?


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High Tech High Science Fair Team – 2013

Congratulations to the students accepted to the 2013 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair!



Brianne Nguyen & Gautam Daryanani

Behavioral Science

Nicole Hernandez-Hart & Irving Hernandez

Behavioral Science

 Sara Bawale & Tatiana Barhoumi

Behavioral Science

Maritza Salas & Jocelyne Rodriguez

Behavioral Science

 Carly Anderson & Julian Ensworth

Behavioral Science

 Jacob Esteban & Brandon Toh

Behavioral Science

 Nicolas Dante-Dilliot & Weston Bruffey

Behavioral Science

Tyrell Williams & Jesus Ruvalcaba

Behavioral Science

Jack Davis & Grace Shefcik

Behavioral Science

 Emmanuel Zarate & Fernando Alvara

Animal Science

 Sarah Davalos & Ruth Tinoco

Animal Science

 Nicolas Latta & Ryan Stewart

Animal Science

 Julian Rodriguez & Niko Strom

Animal Science

 Justin Lee & Paige Landis

Engineering – Energy & Transport

Katie Gavares & Shannon Fischer-Kendro

Environmental Science

 Dylan Keezel & Manuel Esquivel

Environmental Science

Riana Hunter and Danilo Goldfarb

Medicine and Health

Akon Thon & Caryl Velas


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Thanks judges, well done students!

a-fair-panFsmThe 11th Annual HTH Science Fair was a great success – thanks to our wonderful judges and the great work of our students.  Our judges came from:  SDSU, Sharp Hospital, UCSD, NOAA – Southwest Fisheries, SD Regional Water Quality Control Board, Lab Archives, Zoological Society of San Diego, and High Tech High.  Next stop county screening.


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Gorongosa and EO Wilson in BBC program on the Discovery Channel


See “Africa: The Future” with BBC/Discovery Channel this Saturday, February 9th.

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Sea Urchin Fertilization


After discussing work on the cyclins (proteins) and cell cycle regulation by Tim Hunt with sea urchins, we had a successful sea urchin fertilization today.

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High Tech High Science Fair – Coming February 6th



Come see the science fair projects from the Fehrenbacher – Vavra Team.  This will be held in the HTH Commons Februrary 6, 2013 from 1:30-3:30.  The tradition will continue with HTH being a science fair leader in the county.  This year the projects are focused on a theme of invasive species.

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