Northern California Biotech CEOs Endorse Bio-Community.org and NLN Efforts
This video describes the important role life science industry professionals can play in increasing student enthusiasm for science and was first shown in November 2010 at the BayBio Pantheon Awards Ceremony in San Francisco. BayBio is Northern California’s Life Science Industry Association, supporting the regional bioscience community through advocacy, enterprise support, and enhancement of research collaboration. BayBio maintains Northern California's leadership in life science innovation by supporting entrepreneurship, science education and life science career development through the BayBio Institute.
Launched by the BayBio Institute in the Fall of 2010, Bio-Community.org: Building the Next Generation of Life Science Professionals is a network of life science industry volunteers and educators working together to enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in middle schools, high schools and community colleges in Northern California. Bio-Community provides critical support to educators and under-resourced classrooms, and its coalition of life science industry professionals assist teachers and serve as role models for students with limited exposure to real world STEM-related careers.
A cornerstone of the program is a web portal developed by the BayBio Institute in partnership with National Lab Network. The web portal is an active and exciting place with over 100 postings including the Bio-Community Bulletin Board with announcements to industry volunteers and educators, educator professional development opportunities, an Acknowledgment Archive for recognition of active volunteers, companies and schools, a calendar of life science related community events, teacher project postings, testimonials, funding sources and opportunities, and resources of interest to Northern California educators and volunteers. Over time, Bio-Community.org will serve as a repository for successful projects and modules generated by teachers and volunteers, expanding access to new and innovative ways of teaching STEM concepts.
While the web portal is the cornerstone of Bio-Community.org, the larger program includes additional activities to (1) recruit BayBio member companies to provide student internships, company tours for teachers and students, mock interviews and more; (2) help life science professionals tap into volunteer activities that support STEM education; and (3) develop lesson modules and career awareness videos. Bio-Community is thus unique in that it integrates both web-based and in-person approaches to positively impact STEM education.
BayBio Institute’s hands-on program provides a mechanism to develop the critical partnerships between industry, community based organizations and schools necessary for improving STEM education and student motivation. Educators that actively participate in Bio-Community are provided opportunities to participate in select BayBio events and to network with BayBio’s vast life science membership. Engagement with industry provides important professional development opportunities for teachers as well as a mechanism to reinvigorate their excitement for and love of teaching and potentially kindle new ideas for curriculum supplementation. All of these activities are necessary to generate a classroom experience that has both rigor and relevance. The long-term goals of the Bio-Community program are 1) improved student performance in STEM subjects, 2) increased interest among students to pursue science-related majors at the college level, and 3) increased awareness of the variety of careers available within the industry. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!