846 Views
  1. Lynda Gayden
  2. Executive Director
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Biotech Partners, Rockman et al
  1. Kristin Bass
  2. https://rockman.com/about/team/kristin-bass/
  3. Director of Research Development
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Rockman et al
  1. Alex Gurn
  2. Research Associate
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Rockman et al, Biotech Partners
  1. Jennifer Hugenberger
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-hugenberger-6931973b/
  3. Program Manager
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Biotech Partners
  1. Taryn Kato
  2. Marketing and Communications Intern
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Biotech Partners

Identifying Stakeholder Perceptions and Practices to Develop a Comprehensive ...

NSF Awards: 1850568

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

This video explores the pedagogical context and outcomes of mentoring high school students to undertake STEM industry internships. Biotech Partners (BP), a nonprofit organization working at the intersections of biotechnology workforce education, collaborates with public high schools and professional experts and biotech organizations in a range of STEM industries. By incorporating multiple stakeholder perspectives (youth, industry partners, mentors, biotech educators), this video illuminates the nature and impacts of the Biotech Partners program, unpacking the conditions that help support successful, high-quality student learning experiences through in-person or virtual internships in biotech companies. Furthermore, the video features student perspectives on the events of 2020, including the ways in which COVID-19 impacted their internship experience and how the social unrest in our country has shaped their future aspirations.

The broader study examines the overarching question: In what roles and in what ways do bioscience educators and business and industry workforce members motivate students from diverse underrepresented populations to become aware of, interested in, and prepared for careers in the STEM workforce?

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (15 posts)
  • Icon for: Lynda Gayden

    Lynda Gayden

    Lead Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 10, 2021 | 12:37 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting the Biotech Partner’s Stem for All Video. While this year was challenging due to the impact of CoVID-19 pandemic, we were able to work with our partners to continue to provide our population of students with biotech industry opportunities. While schools have seen decreased attendance throughout the pandemic, we’ve been able to keep students engaged through the promise of paid industry internship opportunities. How has your program managed to effectively keep students engaged throughout the pandemic? We are also interested in learning about the work you do and the ways in which it connects to our ongoing goal of connecting underserved students to opportunities within STEM. We welcome comments on any aspect of our program. Thanks for watching our video!

     
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    Alex Gurn
  • May 11, 2021 | 02:01 p.m.

    Very impressive!  Terrific outreach to high schools.  The regional impact of this program is clear.  Excellent matching of location and opportunities!  

     
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    Alex Gurn
  • Icon for: Alex Gurn

    Alex Gurn

    Co-Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 05:57 p.m.

    Thanks for checking out the video and for your feedback. As an outside observer, I can attest that the matching process is quite involved, accounting for student, mentor, and partner related factors. It effectively brings together people and organizations that don't typically intersect, connecting public schools to diverse STEM institutions.

  • Icon for: Mike Vargas

    Mike Vargas

    Facilitator
    Physics Teacher
    May 11, 2021 | 04:14 p.m.

    Love this program. Research says that mentoring is where its at when it comes to getting kids engaged with STEM. I'm curios; do you think you could re-create this program without the paid internship component?  I know funding is always difficult. What are your thoughts? 

     
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    Alex Gurn
  • Icon for: Alex Gurn

    Alex Gurn

    Co-Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 07:37 p.m.

    Hi Mike, great question. I'll share my perspective as an external researcher, and let Biotech Partners staff weigh in. Given the significant number of youth participants in lower-income and working class families, the paid component is critical to the program's success in broadening participation. Many students simply would not be able to engage in the internships if these were not compensated. Some students count on the stipends to help support their families financially. More generally, earning income provides a strong incentive to encourage students to persist in a rigorous course of study. It also creates opportunities for authentic learning about the professional work world.

    Have you seen examples of unpaid internships that maintain equitable youth participation?

     
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    Thomas Smith
  • Icon for: Lynda Gayden

    Lynda Gayden

    Lead Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 12, 2021 | 01:21 a.m.

    Hi Mike: Thank you for visiting and happy to respond to your questions.  Established in 1993, Biotech Partners' is a pioneering model that continues to offer paid internships as one of the major highlights in attracting students to learn coursework that would open the doors to the biotech field.  Biotech Partners curriculum is rigorous and is accompanied by over 30 labs. Program Coordinators, hired by Biotech Partners, assist the teacher in biotech instruction and supports the students with one-on-one or group tutoring and provides wrap around or links to wrap-around resources.  The paid internship is used as an incentive to leverage and maximize the students learning.  During the internship, it is the expectation of the mentors that Biotech Partners’ interns perform entry level meaningful lab work in support of their mentor's work projects.  Biotech Partners’ interns are not job shadowing!  Biotech Partners works with over 25 industry partners to provide the paid internship placements.  Additionally, we raise funds for payments of internships offered by our pubic partners. 

    The value of fostering relationships between industry mentors and STEM high school students that our program facilitates was starkly apparent during the Co-VID pandemic.  Our high school Biotech Academy students had completed almost all their curriculum of hands-on biotech lab skills and professional training when California was placed on lockdown.  Biotech Partners worked with teachers to continue coursework online and the students learning benefited enormously from the unprecedented international focus on the biology of SARS-COV-2 and CoVID-19.  Everything they had been learning in their curricula of –chemistry, statistics, algebra, biotechnology, math were suddenly on daily review in the media.

    Biotech Partners planned for a new world of work; at the request of industry, explored with our industry partners how best to re-engineer our 2020 Summer Internship Program and forthcoming 2020-21 academic year to accommodate the federal, state and local Shelter in Place (SIP) mandates and/or social distancing requirements.   Understanding we did not have geographical boundaries in internship placement; we first improved the computing/online skills of our interns so that the interns could provide useful assistance to our industry mentors in data processing and analysis.

    The benchmark was set to success and our young biotechnologists made the transition from the classroom to the new norms of the workplace and adapted to their paid virtual internships which helped to boost their self-confidence; ameliorate some of the family challenges of unemployment, food insecurity, threatened homelessness; in spite of family health challenges, the impact of death of loved ones and neighbors and the violence experienced within their communities due to the global civil unrest.

    Biotech Partners facing this challenge and making the transition to remote internships would be “hard-pressed" to re-create the program without the paid internship and would seek other resources to sustain the paid internship programming. 

     
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    Alex Gurn
  • Icon for: Thomas Smith

    Thomas Smith

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 04:23 p.m.

    What a great opportunity for high school students! How do you recruit students? About how many students participate each year?  What proportion go on to major in STEM fields?

     
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    Alex Gurn
  • Icon for: Alex Gurn

    Alex Gurn

    Co-Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 08:39 p.m.

    Thanks for your questions, Thomas. Each year Biotech Partners directly serves approximately 250-300 students in 11th and 12th grade. Starting usually in the fall of 10th grade, recruitment strategies target young people from demographics underrepresented in the sciences. Biotech Partners program coordinators give short presentations during school-day classes and after school clubs such as the National Society of Black Engineers. They network with teachers, counselors, and other educators and school community members about the program and . Notably, current 12th graders who completed internships during the previous summer or BCI community college students (small cohort) may volunteer to help with presentations and outreach. This has proved effective in student recruiting, while offering leadership and service opportunities.

    This year, Biotech Partners has been conducting outreach with past alumni in order to estimate how many students went into (and which) STEM fields, to understand their career pathways, and where they are now.

  • Icon for: Lynda Gayden

    Lynda Gayden

    Lead Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 11, 2021 | 10:06 p.m.

    Hi Thomas: Thank you for visiting and the inquiry. Biotech Partners works with four (4) high schools within the Greater San Francisco Bay Area; specifically, Berkeley (1992), Oakland Technical (2008), Antioch (2015) and San Marin 2016).  We annually serve approximately 304 students underrepresented in the biotech field; specifically, young people of color, females and low-income.  Recruitment is facilitated by an on-campus Biotech Partners’ Program Coordinator; Biotech Academy 12th Grade Students; and our Alum who are enrolled in the Bioscience Career Institute community college program. We work with teachers to give in-classroom presentations, distribute flyers and visit on-campus student clubs to inform students of the Biotech Academy.  Students apply and enter the program at the beginning of their 11th Grade, complete a paid summer internship of 160 hours and return to the 12th Grade for more in-depth hands-on academic training.  We have 100% matriculation; students attend either a 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education in pursuit of a career within the live science/STEM fields.  We have educated over 3,915 students; approximately 1,571 internship and co-op training position placements resulting in student earnings of more than $3.4 Million to-date. We are currently in the process of engaging our past Alum via social media to learn of their current career status.

     
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    Thomas Smith
    Alex Gurn
  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    Doctoral Student
    May 12, 2021 | 08:35 a.m.

    Dear Lynda and Alex,

    This work is really inspiring, and it's great to see that many of the students were able to make connections between their internship in biotech and current (and ongoing) events affecting society.

    I was particularly intrigued to hear about your matching process and, as per Lynda's comment, "Biotech Partners’ interns are not job shadowing!"

    I know that these kinds of experiences are often very meaningfully contextualized by the people and places (Bayer, Berkley, mentors, and interns), but I am curious to know more about the processes involved that might be replicable in other places. For example, it seems that there was reference in the discussion above to some kinds of discipline-based training pre-internship for the students to get them on all track with the science. Are these materials available online somewhere? What did this entail? 

    I also imagine that students had fairly unique internships. In my own experience, I know that support of mentors/supervisors is really important to monitoring one-on-one partnerships. What kind of support were you able to offer to ensure that each student had a meaningful experience?

    Thank you!

     
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    Alex Gurn
  • Icon for: Alex Gurn

    Alex Gurn

    Co-Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 12, 2021 | 02:12 p.m.

    Hi Rebecca, thanks for the feedback and thoughtful questions. By the time the students do an internship during the summer before senior year, they have had a year of coursework in Biotech Academy, a two-year program within their school (1 of 4 Bay Area high schools). Biotech Partners educators are embedded in each school, working closely with bioscience classroom teachers to implement the hands-on, laboratory-based academic curriculum. Designed in collaboration with science teachers and informed by biotech industry experts, Biotech Partners curriculum prepares students in a range of areas. It is currently not available online, but that should be coming soon. Content areas include:

    a) Microbial Cell Culture​ (e.g. calculating percent solution, molar solution, serial dilution/percent yield, aseptic technique, cell counting, culture maintenance, media preparation, cell staining, aseptic technique, growth curves);

    b) Molecular Biology​ (e.g. ELISA, immunobiology, bacterial transformation, restriction enzyme digests, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), DNA Electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, sample prep, BLAST analysis, CRISPR-Cas9);

    c) Biochemistry ​(e.g. protein assays, chromatography, DNA/RNA extraction, buffer preparation, filtration, distillation, SDS-PAGE protein electrophoresis,

    d) Tools & Equipment​ (balances, pipettes and micropipettes, hemocytometer, pH meter, spectrophotometer, NanoDrop UV-VIS spectrophotometer, media plate pouring, horizontal and vertical gel equipment, electrophoresis equipment, PCR thermocycler, light microscope, incubators, vortex, micro-centrifuge, water baths),

    e) GLP (e.g. lab safety, written protocols, laboratory notebooks, technical laboratory reports, chemical storage and measurements, statistical analysis, protein modeling, human subject confidentiality);

    f) Computer Skills (e.g. Internet searches, evaluating quality of evidence, word processing, PowerPoint); and

    g) Professional Career Skills (e.g. resume writing, researching employment opportunities, job applications, email writing, interviewing, professional comportment, attire, communicating effectively, presentation skills, time management; working remotely).

     
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    Mike Vargas
  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    Doctoral Student
    May 12, 2021 | 02:40 p.m.

    Alex, this is great! (I love the nitty-gritty, and this answers my questions). It sounds like the students really walk into this program with (1) a demonstrated set of skills from their two years of coursework and (2) commitment to the program. At that point, I imagine you know the students well, and can place them accordingly.

    What percentage of students who complete the 2-year course go on to do an internship?

  • Icon for: Lynda Gayden

    Lynda Gayden

    Lead Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 12, 2021 | 08:49 p.m.

    Hi Rebecca: Thank you for visiting and questions.

    As the African Proverb states: “It takes an entire village to train up a child.” For Biotech Partners’ the entire village translates to our comprehensive model and programming that engages education, government, industry and community-based organizations representatives to build, sustain and provide students with academic training and life science/STEM career opportunities.   

    It has been the experience of Biotech Partners that replicating/re-creating the program is an 18-month planning process to launch the first year of programming at the beginning of the academic year.  Biotech Partners works with education/school administrators, teachers, counselors; local/regional district leadership to gain approval of its scope of programming. We also work with the school administration to identify and engage representatives of government, industry and community-based organization’s that would potentially support and sustain the model at a local high school.  We establish Memorandum of Understanding; partner with municipalities; garner and secure working agreements with philanthropic organizations, recruit and work with regional industry partners for internship placement and volunteers; and engage community-based organizations for resources and services.  

    In our working partnership with the schools, Biotech Partners works out the classroom disciplinary protocol to support teacher instruction and the student’s learning.  Parents and students are given formal mandatory orientations to the programming of Biotech Partners. The orientations are held in the beginning of the academic year (Fall) and in preparation for internship placement (Spring).  Students and Parents are formally introduced to the Program Coordinator and their role; receive a written Biotech Partners Handbook detailing Biotech Partners expectations for student learning of the biotech curricula and qualifications and eligibility for paid internships.  Safety protocols of attire and behavior are addressed and the Improvement Contract is introduced as a non-punitive resource tool to support the students learning.  Students and Parents/Guardians sign off on the protocols.  All students entering the program are on track to become exposed to the science, learn the curriculum; adhere to classroom protocol and access support to qualify and become eligible for the internships. 

    During the Co-VID pandemic, the orientations outlining the expectations for student learning were very useful in maintaining and connecting with students to stay on track during distance learning instruction.  

    Biotech Partners hands-on curricula is proprietary.   It is “coupled” with a trained teacher who delivers the curriculum within the classroom setting; assisted by a knowledgeable skilled Program Coordinator and vital wrap around services are provided in sustaining a student’s success in attaining a paid internship. The curriculum is reviewed annually by teachers and industry partners to ensure fundamental biotech concepts taught meet industry’s state of the art ever evolving work-based knowledge requirements, i.e., CrisprCas-9 (gene editing) and Bioinfomatics.  The curriculum is filed and meets the State of California’s A-G Requirements and the Next Generation Science Standards.  

    Biotech Partners summer internship program is modeled to give the student a real-world experience of attaining employment within the biotech field.  The Program Manager takes the lead to acquire and negotiate the internship opportunity including student’s compensation and requests industry partners to provide job descriptions.  The job description outlines the specific tasks; skills and abilities needed to perform the work either in-person or remote. Job Descriptions are posted on Biotech Partners intranet for student review and application via resume and cover letter. Program Manager submits the resumes and cover letters to the Mentor/Supervisors and coordinates the scheduling of the student interviews with mentor/supervisors.  Mentor/Supervisors interview and select the student.  Students are notified by the industry partner/employer via e-mail that they have been selected for the job.  Students are given a 24/hour window to respond to the job offer. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Thomas Smith
    Mike Vargas
  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    Doctoral Student
    May 12, 2021 | 09:06 p.m.

    Dear Lynda, thank you for the very detailed insight into how the program works. I'm glad to hear about this structure, and that you have experience with replication!

  • Icon for: James Callahan

    James Callahan

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2021 | 02:36 p.m.

    Thank you for the marvelous video ... and for your important work!

    Our programs are local to one another!  Berkeley, Oakland, and the Bay Area more widely are base cities for us too.  This video will help us provide recommendations to teachers, students and schools, especially in the East Bay to get to know your program.  Especially students. 

    Question:  Does the Biotech Partners take part in the Bay Area Science Festival?

    I know Bayer does. Do you share a booth with Bayer; or perhaps have a separate one?Your program is a natural fit.

    Since they began over 12 years ago, the Mobile Climate Science Labs have been exhibitors at the Bay Area Science Festival both in San Francisco and the East Bay, as well as the North Bay Science Discover Day.  We highly recommend the events as an incredible opportunity to reach the communities.  They are mass scale STEM education events.

    We're now able to do labs remotely, in large part due to our long term relationship with the science festivals and the University of California.  Not sure or not if we all be back at physical science festivals by November 2021.  But, no doubt the will be returning fairly soon now.

    Noting connections: 

    http://califesciencesinstitute.org/category/new...

    https://califesciencesinstitute.org/baybio-conn...

    It's a joy to see you here in the STEM for All Video Showcase.  What wonderful neighbors you are, fellow promoters of equity and social justice in STEM careers!

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