top of page

About the Toolkit

Educators can use the toolkit as a whole or borrow pieces to meet their unique learning objectives and circumstances. You may watch the film in the classroom or assign it to your students to watch on their own time. Many of these activities can be assigned virtually, as many schools will not resume in-person classrooms during the fall of 2020. The film can also be useful for student groups and associations. 

The film has been divided up into 3 sections to accommodate for classroom viewing. Each section includes discussion questions, a lesson plan, and a lab. All of the student-facing materials are available on the website while the lesson plans and video links are accessible by signing up for a free screening license.


We also have 2 activities geared toward career exploration. We need young people to enter the fields of science now more than ever! 

Finally, we have some bonus materials that include materials created by other educators that can be useful as well. If you would like to submit an activity for us to include and share with other educators, please email

Sign up below to access your free educational screening license and the full toolkit.

This toolkit is licensed under  the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.



Jim Allison: Breakthrough is appropriate for High School (grades 9–12), Community College, University, and Post-graduate students.


  • Basic Science

  • Biology

  • Character study

  • Human perseverance

  • Invention and discovery

  • Scientific Method


  • AP Biology

  • Biology

  • Health Sciences

  • Immunology

  • Microbiology

  • Pre-med

  • Research 

  • STEM 

About the Authors


Amy Kelly

Amy Kelly is a biology and forensics teacher and cosponsor of the Science National Honors Society at Minooka Community High School in Minooka, Illinois.  She earned a bachelor's of science in biology from Eastern Illinois University and a master's in curriculum and instruction from Olivet Nazarene.  Amy loves educational experiences that include authentic science and links to social justice.  In her free time, Amy enjoys reading science non-fiction, photography, and hiking with her family.

Jeff Grant


Jeff Grant has been teaching for 18 years at Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove, Illinois. He has taught chemistry, freshman biology, and is currently teaching AP biology, Anatomy, and Biomedical Science. He is a pathological optimist who believes that teaching is all about making class learning a team effort and that science is all about exploring our natural world. If he isn't taking long runs through the forest preserves, or sciencing with his family, he is drawing science cartoons to help students visualize curriculum in a different way. His illustrated guides to biology and chemistry are free for teachers to use in their classrooms and his cartoons can be found in the Breakthrough Educator Toolkit.     


Richard Benz

Richard Benz, is currently the Science Education Curriculum Advisor with Lake Metroparks in Lake County, Ohio.  He retired from Wickliffe High School after teaching all levels of biology for 34 years. He continues to teach science and technology classes to teachers throughout the country. Rich was picked as Ohio’s Outstanding Biology Teacher, named as the top science teacher in Ohio by the Ohio Academy of Science, a Presidential Awardee in Science for Ohio, an Ohio Milken Educator, and a Disney American Teacher Awardee. He published Ecology and Evolution, Islands of Change (NSTA Press,) along with a series of on-line lessons, a teacher’s guide to the Galapagos IMAX film and the on-line activities for WGBH/PBS Evolution series. Mr. Benz has taught workshops throughout the country and to teachers in Australia, South Africa and London and has led groups of teachers to the Galapagos Islands. Mr. Benz resides in Concord, Ohio with his wife Betsy.

Thanks to the generosity of Dragonfly Therapeutics and Skyhawk Therapeutics, classroom and public viewing rights at educational institutions for Jim Allison: Breakthrough is available for educators and educational institutions at no cost.

bottom of page