kim and JohannaOn Saturday, September 6, Skyline College helped GeneConnection celebrate its 25th year of existence by hosting a faculty kickoff at the Skyline College meeting rooms in Building 6.   The kickoff was doubly fitting because GeneConnection first started at Skyline College, and by hosting this event the Skyline College Biotechnology program is continuing to connect with local High School faculty and biotechnology companies that employ our students and graduates.

The 25th year celebration for GeneConnection was sponsored by BABEC, California Community Colleges Doing What Matters and North Valley Biotechnology center.  In the picture Johanna Anton (left) and Kim Hansen (right) are next to a plaque depicting an Assembly resolution of recognition for GeneConnection from our assembly member Kevin Mullin who is chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology.

The GeneConnection provides logistics, materials and support for an innovative biotechnology laboratory program for high school students in San Mateo County. This program engages over 11,000 students annually.  Over 50 Faculty from Bay area High schools attended the event, which included a talk from Genentech Senior Scientist Dr. Ingrid Wertz as well as talks and discussions about Next Generation Science Standards and how to introduce the concept of Cell Signaling to students in a fun and educational manner.

With the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Gene Connection has worked to correlate all of their mobile labs with NGSS. Aligning to the standards GeneConnection lets the faculty do what they do best, that is introducing students to rigorous biotechnology labs, without having faculty worry about the logistics of setup, procurement of consumables and if the materials that the students are using are going to cover and match the standards.

The Science Math and Technology Division and the Biotechnology Department hope to continue to support Biotechnology Laboratory education throughout the County and to continue to offer Professional development to local teachers and to collaborate with local high schools.

Article and Photo by Nick Kapp