Half the nation's Fortune 1000 employers report being unable to find
qualified graduates holding two- and four-year science degrees for a
growing number of jobs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and
math) fields, according to a 2013 Bayer Facts of Science Education
survey released by Bayer Corporation.
On April 11, STEM companies in the East Bay's innovation corridor will
open their doors to local high school students to showcase the kinds of
jobs that might be theirs should they pursue STEM majors in community
and four-year colleges.
STEM Career Awareness Day, organized by the Institute for STEM Education
at California State University, East Bay, is also an outgrowth of
several years of collaboration among local governments, businesses, and
"We've seen how Career Days can spark students' interest in the many
fascinating career opportunities that may lie ahead of them," noted
Stephanie Couch, Director of the Institute for STEM Education at Cal
State East Bay. "This year, we're moving from our tradition of one
jam-packed day to a Career Impact Program, which gives student up-close
exposure to working scientists all year long."
Close to 200 science students from six East Bay high schools will learn
about STEM careers and visit a dozen local STEM companies for up-close
looks at the groundbreaking work being done in fields including
biopharmaceuticals, sound engineering, robotics, building efficiency,
and forensic sciences.
A networking lunch will bring in professionals from some of the East
Bay's leading companies for informal "get to know you" conversations
with students, and the day will conclude with students sharing insights
and inspirations from the day. Students will also be able to sign up for
additional after-school site visits being scheduled for the spring.
Since 1993, Bayer HealthCare has held a one-day event at its Berkeley
manufacturing site for high school students enrolled in the Biotech
The Institute for STEM Education, established in 2011 with lead grants
from the Bayer USA Foundation and Wareham Development, began to expand
on the model in 2012, with support from U. S. Representative Lee's
Biotech Advisory Task Force. In 2013 Berkeley City College hosted the
event, with more 150 students from four local schools attending, and a
dozen STEM companies networking with the students.
"Our research shows that the economic future of the East Bay is based in
large part on innovative science industries," noted Keith arson,
Alameda County Supervisor and President of the East Bay Economic
"So many students-particularly those from low-income households-have no
idea that these amazing companies are here, and of what it takes to get
a job with them. STEM Career Awareness Day is growing into a memorable,
eye-opening experience for students and their teachers, and a manageable
way for even our busiest local science professionals to share their
excitement about what they do with a new generation, who we hope will
someday be working for them!"
"The San Francisco Bay Area teems with STEM talent," said Rich Robbins
of Wareham Development. "In the biosciences alone, about 120,000 people
work here creating the science and technology innovation so necessary
for America's continued economic prosperity and health. And yet
California is 49th in the nation in science achievement," he
"We have to step up and change this, and that's what STEM Career Day is
all about," he concluded.
Students and teachers will be attending from Berkeley High School, Emery
High School, McClymonds High School, Oakland High School, Oakland
Technical High School, and the Richmond Greening Project.
Along with CSUEB, STEM Career Day collaborators include Aduro Biotech;
Bayer HealthCare; Berkeley City College; the City of Berkeley; CalTrans;
Cyark; the City of Emeryville; Ex'pressions College; the Joint
BioEnergy Institute; Kinemed; Level Playing Field Institute; Light
Sail Energy; Meyer Sound; Ninja Pandas; Swerveco;
Bioscience; Thermo Fisher Scientific; UC Berkeley; US Department of
Agriculture; US Department of Justice, Missing Persons DNA Program
Richmond Crime Lab; and Wareham Development.
About California State University, East Bay
California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay
Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region
with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center
in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more
than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year
experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and
expert faculty. Students choose from more than 100 professionally
focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and
master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in educational leadership. Named a
"Best in the West" college, as well as its College of Business and
Economics a "Best Business School" by the influential Princeton Review,
Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers,
business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health
professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math
About the Institute for STEM Education
The groundbreaking Institute for STEM Education was launched by
California State University, East Bay, in 2011 with the mission of
enhancing and helping to coordinate existing STEM education activities
on a regional basis. Lead funders were the Bayer USA Foundation and
Wareham Development. In April, 2014, the Bayer USA Foundation announced
a second grant of $600,000 over three years, in recognition of the
important progress the Institute has made in improving science education
and serving as a statewide model.
"The institute was conceived as a new kind of effort to bring all the
relevant forces together to meet our region's urgent needs for better
science education," said Stephanie Couch, Executive Director for the
Institute. "For the first time, we're working across academic
departments and bringing industry leaders in as active partners to
recruit and train science teachers, to develop new curricula and
delivery models, and to scale up demonstrably successful programs that
inspire students to prepare for careers in the exciting array of
scientific fields that make their home in the Bay Area."
Couch said the university is pleased to be developing partnerships with
key players in the region - the Green Corridor high schools, the East
Bay Economic Development Alliance, the BayBio Institute's Bio-Ed
Community, UC Berkeley, Biotech Partners, the Gateways East Bay STEM
Network and the companies opening their labs for the students attending.
"This is a first step and we're excited about what is to come," she said.
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