Watch Our Video: An Inside View of Bay Area Biotech Education
BABEC (“bay-beck”) is the Bay Area Bioscience Education Community. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving science teachers and students in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the 2015-2016 school year, BABEC supplied portable biotech laboratories, a biotechnology curriculum, and teacher training to over 55 schools in six Bay Area counties, serving over 150 teachers and 16,000 students.
Since 1996, BABEC’s key to success lies in:
1. Developing strong collaborations with teachers,
2. Providing a relevant curriculum and technical support,
3. Producing cost effective access to educational biotechnology supplies and equipment, and
4. Cultivating a strong regional network of educators and community partners.
BABEC is guided by an equity-based philosophy that a high quality science education is a necessity for all students, regardless of academic achievement, socioeconomic status, or English language proficiency. Through a combination of teacher professional development and highly leveraged, portable biotech supplies and equipment, BABEC helps students develop an interest in science, consider science as a career, and become scientifically literate citizens.
What is biotechnology?
Biotechnology is the set of tools that allows biologists to get answers to tough scientific questions. Simply put, it is the technology that allows us to do biology. It is multidisciplinary and draws from fields as diverse as: molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, microbiology, engineering and design, evolutionary biology and ecology, plant science, forensics, bioinformatics, and many, many more.
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.
The Bay Area Biotechnology Education Consortium (BABEC) was founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 non-profit to address the need for biotechnology education programs in San Francisco Bay Area schools. With the growth of the biotechnology industry in the 1990s, several forward-thinking and creative high school science teachers came together with the goal of bringing these new technologies into the classroom. Their hope was to prepare a local workforce for this burgeoning industry, and to increase scientific literacy by teaching science in a more direct and hands-on way. Today, BABEC incorporates the vision of our founding science teachers into everything we do. In 2017, we changed our name to the Bay Area Bioscience Education Community.
We envision all Bay Area students having the opportunity to perform biotechnology experiments and experience the excitement of making scientific discoveries. Learning is doing.
* Give every Bay Area student the opportunity to have an engaging, hands-on technical experience in biology,
* Inspire teachers to bring biotechnology learning experiences into the classroom by giving them the resources and support they need to be successful,
* Through expanded student learning, clarify public misconceptions of biotechnology, and
* Demonstrate alignment of the BABEC curriculum with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), helping teachers meet the mandatory implementation of NGSS.