The 7th Annual East Bay STEM Career Awareness Day took place on April 26 at Wareham Development’s Aquatic Park Center in West Berkeley, home to Biosciences Operations @ Berkeley and several Area research groups. The event, organized by the Institute for STEM Education housed at California State University East Bay, had support from Berkeley Lab and several East Bay-based businesses.
Three hundred students from four school districts – Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Richmond – engaged in a one day exploration event that included laboratory tours, a networking lunch with STEM professionals and an exhibit. The day’s guiding question was “What problem(s) are you trying to solve?” which led the students to explore and reflect on potential STEM related careers.
Morning activities included tours at the labs at the Aquatic Park given by Biological Systems & Engineering Division (BSE) researchers who gave an inside look into their research. Eltra Green from the Biosciences Area Office coordinated the logistics with the support of Martha Ortiz Sanchez. The tours main points of contact were Miaw-Sheue Tsai who runs the Expression and Molecular Biology core of Cilla Cooper and John Tainer’s Structural Cell Biology of DNA Repair Machines (SBDR) program, Bill Fisher (Celniker Lab), and Claire Robertson (Bissell Lab).
After the tours, Lida Gifford (Biosciences Area Office), and Amin Zargar, Ankita Kothari, Garima Goyal, Irina Silva, Jamie Meadow, Jessica Trinh and Robin Herbert from JBEI (BSE) participated at a networking lunch with the students during which they discussed with students their career paths.
During the exhibitor tabling the JBEI team interacted once more with students, this time to throw light on the benefits of bioenergy and how JBEI is playing a leading role in the field.