alexThe Science in Action Seminar series held in the STEM Center has consistently been attracting over 40 students each seminar.  In these talks, featured speakers representing everything from Skyline College alumni to CEOs of pharmaceutical companies. You can view the upcoming schedule at On Tuesday, February 20, 2020, the seminar featured Allessandro (Alex) Mazzora, a student researching ecology, and Michael Toledo who is the Outreach Coordinator for the Solar Boat project at Skyline College.

Alex requested help in surveying microplastics in Pacifica streams as well as collecting and viewing samples using the fluorescent microscope housed in the Biology department. If you are interested in ecology, research, microbiology or microscopy, please contact Alex at  You can see the poster that Alex presented at a National Meeting at Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) on the wall near Building 7, Room 7-218.

Michael talked about the Solar Boat competition that Skyline College has entered for the past few years. Changes to the boat this year include a new motor, drive chain and electronic control unit. Everyone is welcome to join the Engineering and Robotics Club (ERC)! You can contact Michael at ERC meets every Friday at 1:00 p.m. in the Fabrication Lab at Building 7, Room 7-304.  The solar boat project group attends a weekend regatta, camping trip and food fest in Sacramento.

Lastly, Dr. Kapp shared information that he learned about reading a report from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). According to this report, STEM jobs represent about 32.7% of the U.S. economy. Its economic impact is much larger being over 66% of the economy dependent on STEM. This report also noted that over half STEM jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree.

Students discussed what STEM jobs are, what is meant by economic impact and about people who benefit from STEM positions may not necessarily be working directly in STEM. It was also recognized that much of what we have been calling stem has more of a business component.

Biotechnology students have invited Lisa Helmonds the Vice President of Marion Weinreb & Associates, Inc. (MWA) to speak on February 27, 2020 in Building 6, Room 6-203 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. She will be talking about the business aspect of Biotechnology and how potential employees do not necessarily need to be a Ph.D. to run a biotechnology company. Please register for the event here.

Article and Photo by Nick Kapp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *