On September 8, 2018, the Bay Area Biotechnology Education Community (BABEC) held its fall 2018 Kickoff, BABEC 2.0 -Curriculum Classics for the New Era.  Over 90 local high school and community college faculty previewed the new curriculum, which was updated to include NGSS.

Jeff Schinske, PhD., currently at Foothill College and Principal investigator and Co-Director, NSF CCB FEST, gave the keynote address. Jeff is also a former adjunct instructor of Biology for Skyline College.  Jeff’s research focuses on equity and inclusion in the science classrooms.  His talk, Highlighting Diversity While Covering Biology Content, described his work on how Scientist Spotlights can diversify students’ preconceptions about scientists and boost interest and engagement in STEM among underrepresented students.  Learn more about Scientist Spotlights here:  http://scispotlights.hthrperkins.com.  Watch videos of the event here:  http://babec.org/upcoming-events/workshop-resources/

A discussion panel including teachers from across the Bay Area at various stages in their careers followed.  They discussed the new science standards (NGSS) and emphasized that biotechnology lessons can help them in their efforts to align their curricula with NGSS.  They also gave pointers and advice to teachers who are new to teaching biotech, highlighting that the benefits to students are worth the extra effort.

The main talks were held in the large conference room in Building 6. In addition, BABEC also hosted biotech workshops in smaller break-out rooms where faculty were able to conduct hands-on laboratory activities such as analyzing DNA and making recombinant proteins.

Finally, there was a science supply give-away.  A big hit at the event was the Bio-Depot, a nonprofit that collects and distributes surplus science equipment to local educators.

Skyline supported BABEC by providing the space for the conference.  We would like to give a shout out to the members of the Skyline community who helped make this a thought-provoking and memorable experience:  kudos to staff in the Science Math and Technology office, Presidents office, Media services, and Facilities. In addition, Skyline Biotechnology students support BABEC by participating in an innovative work-based learning program where they gain valuable biomanufacturing experience while producing educational materials used by participating BABEC high schools.  The Biotechnology Supply Chain Operations Project for Education (BioSCOPE), is funded by the Strong Workforce Program, and it allows Skyline to participate in this exciting regional joint venture of several Bay Area community colleges.

This is just some of the many examples how Skyline successfully partners with our community.

The Skyline Biotechnology Program is supported by NSF funding grant #1502042

Article and photo by Nick Kapp

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