Daily Archives: September 23, 2016

Celebrating 20 years of the Bay Area Biotechnology Coalition

The Bay Area Biotechnology Coalition (BABEC) recently celebrated their 20th year in existence with some cake and an exceptional set of speakers.

Since 1996, BABEC has been developing strong collaborations with teachers, providing a relevant curriculum and technical support, producing cost effective access to educational biotechnology supplies and equipment, and cultivating a strong regional network of educators and community partners.

BABEC’s mission is to partner with teachers, scientists, industry, and academia to develop, disseminate, implement, and sustain a contemporary, laboratory-based biotechnology curriculum that advances the professional skills of teachers while increasing student access and equity in science education.

BABEC’s goal is to prepare a local workforce for the burgeoning biotechnology industry, and to increase scientific literacy in the high schools, by teaching science in a more direct and hands-on way. Currently, BABEC incorporates the vision of their founding science teachers (a group of San Mateo teachers and retired biotech community members) into everything they do.

The daylong event is meant to foster collaboration between partners and to get everyone excited about the coming school year.  The main theme of the talks was, science education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Bruce Alberts and Nick KappThe first speaker Dr. Bruce Alberts is the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry & Biophysics for Science & Education at UCSF.  He has served as the President of the National Academy of Sciences, and was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014. He was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards, and is nationally recognized for his strong commitment to the improvement of STEM education. Just this past weekend he was also just awarded the Lasker-Koshland award for a lifetime of research and science advocacy.   Dr. Alberts gave the audience his unique insight into the National Science Education standards and their problems and successes.  He was also looking for science teachers that could help him with a classroom research project.  Dr. Alberts also signed many copies of the classic textbook “The Molecular Biology of the Cell” he authored that attendees brought with them to the talk.

Dr. Jason Peters is a scientist at UCSF, where he uses CRISPR-based technologies in his search for new antibiotic therapies. He earned BS degrees in Biology and Secondary Education and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was awarded the Nat Sternberg Award for the most outstanding PhD thesis in bacterial molecular biology. He recently developed a new CRISPR educational curriculum for SFSU that he wants to share with high school scientists.

Jim Clark is Science Coordinator at San Lorenzo Unified School District, where he is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. He was a science teacher at Arroyo High School for 32 years, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2008 for Alameda County.  Jim serves on the reading committee for the NGSS Framework in California, and is advising BABEC as they update their curricula to the NGSS framework.  Many of our high school partners are implementing the Next Generation Science Standards in their classrooms as well as with the BABEC labs.  Jim is one of the many resources throughout the state that are designed to support and help in implementing NGSS.

SE3D is a local education company that has developed a portable 3D BioPrinter, as well as robots to serve in the classroom laboratory.  They provide ready-to-use bioreagent kits designed for both science classroom and laboratory needs.  They are one of many industry partners that also help high school and community college faculty bring cutting edge science into the classroom.

The Conference was held in building 6.  The group of over 70 Bay Area high school and community college teachers celebrated the 20th anniversary of BABEC by eating some cake and telling stories of how BABEC came to be.   Lane Conn from Affymetrix talked about how BABEC began with $3000 in seed monies that was donated by a local biotechnology company.  He inspired others in the room to find more funding for their programs by asking local companies.

BABEC and Skyline College Biotechnology continue to influence our high school partners by offering several seminars throughout the year, including the  “Introduction to Teaching Biotech” seminar, which will occur Oct 7th, Oct 8th and Oct 22nd .   These hands-on training sessions will include topics on how to introduce DNA transformation, basic laboratory skills, electrophoresis, DNA forensics, genetic engineering, troubleshooting and planning as well as student-driven investigations using biotechnology, into the classroom.

Happy 20th anniversary BABEC and may you have many more reasons to celebrate in the next 20 years.

Article and photos by Nick Kapp, PhD

Attend the Action Summit at the BAEC!

The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center (BAEC) Action Summit will be held on Thursday October 27, from Action Summit at the BAEC5:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the BAEC.  The BAEC will be hosting this exciting event featuring many successful entrepreneurs in the Bay Area. Skyline College students, faculty, staff and the campus community are welcome to experience all that the BAEC has to offer the business community as well as network with people from an array of different industries.

The event features a panel of guest speakers who will share their resources and motivational stories.  Sponsored giveaways are available and refreshments will be served. The BAEC is excited to highlight the array of services designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs across the region.

The BAEC is located at 458 San Mateo Avenue, San Bruno, CA.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Article by Terri Wade & Pcyeta Stroud | Image by Isaac Reed

BAEC Kicks Off STEM Entrepreneur Accelerator Program with Base11

STEM accelerator programThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center (BAEC) held its first Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Entrepreneur Accelerator class on Monday, September 19, 2016.  The class participants included Skyline College students and faculty and community members —eight participants in all.  All class lecture sessions are held at the BAEC and taught by Adjunct Faculty member Terri Wade.  All hands-on activities are conducted in the Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) at the Skyline College campus and are led by Nick Langhoff and Marco Wehrfritz.

This program delves into the mechanics of entrepreneurship and teaches participants to develop soft skills and learn to create prototypes in the new, state-of-the-art Fab Lab. The course will culminate with a business pitch competition. This will allow students a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of investors.

This program is an industry collaboration between Skyline College and Base11. This program is open to all potential entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who want to stand out as leaders in the STEM industry.


Article written by Pcyeta Stroud

MCSC Student Battles for Justice in Washington D.C.

A. Rodriguez visits Washington DCThis summer, Middle College at Skyline College (MCSC) student Alejandra Rodriguez was invited with students from around the world to attend the National Student Leadership Conference Law & Advocacy’s high school summer law program in Washington D.C.  The program goals are to introduce students to the qualities and skills needed for effective leadership, and to help students interested in law and advocacy to examine future career paths. Students use the courtroom as a classroom to assume the role of trial attorney and battle for justice. In addition, sightseeing and educational trips to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Federal Courthouse, Smithsonian Institution, and Holocaust Memorial Museum gave the students the chance to explore the nation’s capital.

Alejandra and her fellow high school students in the program met with leading trial, jury, forensic, and legal experts from top law firms, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Court system. Students gained an understanding of homicide law and practiced courtroom techniques such as researching evidence, following evidentiary procedure, preparing and cross-examining witnesses, and crafting and delivering opening and closing statements.  The students tried a mock case in a real U.S. Federal courtroom with their performance determining the fate of the accused.  Alejandra commented, “This experience confirmed why I want to be a civil justice lawyer.”

Article by K. Saccio-Kent & R. Jones     I       Photo by M. Center

Learning Communities 2nd Annual Launch Party

The 2nd annual Learning Community Launch Party took place on September 8, 2016. Students and faculty from Learning Communities attended with their cohort, and professors brought their students as a group. The campus community, including staff, faculty and students, enjoyed mingling with each other, listening to old school hip hop, visiting program and services tables, grabbing a set of Skyline College Learning Communities sunglasses, visiting the trail mix bar and showing off their creative side by contributing to the cloth mural at the center of the quad. The Launch Party included an “open mic”, giving program staff, students and faculty the opportunity to share information and welcome the groups of Learning Community students as they arrived at the event.

Learning Communities Launch Party

The Learning Community Launch Party was a great kick-off to the academic year. The fun and memorable event strengthened informal bonds between students and faculty, increased students’ sense of belonging within the larger framework of Skyline College Learning Communities, and increased school spirit and connections to the campus.

Expanding the Launch Party from Fall 2015, this year’s event included a Student Success & Diversity Forum which included a pizza lunch for students enrolled in Learning Community classes. This part of the event took place at the conclusion of the outdoor portion of the Launch Party festivities and provided a more intimate environment to discuss topics related to building community and diversity and to hear from a dynamic student panel about their experiences at Skyline College and their tips for success.

All Skyline College students are invited to learn more about how to join a Learning Community for the Spring 2017 semester. Those who missed the event can access more information via a flowchart of course sequences for each Learning Community on the Learning Communities website. More photos from the Launch Party and other Learning Community events can be viewed on Facebook or on the Skyline College Learning Communities Launch Party Flickr album.

Article by Marisa Thigpen and photos by Will Nacouzi