Catherine Pinkas, Laurel Egenberger
Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720
The Community College Initiative is a program to prepare community college students for work in biotechnology. This program is a combined effort of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the California Community Colleges. Its goal is to develop mechanisms to encourage students, particularly from underrepresented groups, to pursue science, mathematics, engineering and technology studies, to participate in forefront laboratory research, and to gain valuable work experience.
The initiative is structured to upgrade the skills of students and their instructors through four major program components spread over three years.
SUMMER STUDENT WORKSHOPS: Four week summer residential programs for students who have completed the first year of their biotechnology academic studies. Students attend an orientation program and then work through a series of realistic laboratory exercises to develop their problem solving, decision making, laboratory techniques, computer, instrumentation, and mathematics skills. Ethical, legal, and social concerns are integrated into the program and students learn to identify commonly shared values of the scientific community and increase their understanding of issues of personal and public concern.
TEACHER WORKSHOP TRAINING: Seminars for biotechnology instructors to improve, upgrade, and update their understanding of current technology and laboratory practices. Special emphasis is placed on laboratory techniques, instrumentation, computers (including the Internet), safety, and curriculum development in current topics in ethical, legal, and social issues in science.
SABBATICAL FELLOWSHIPS: Semester length research fellowships for community college instructors, provides investigative and field experience in research laboratories. Instructors will work one-on-one with research scientists on specific prearranged projects. These projects may vary from traditional research to creation of training materials for use in the laboratory and/or community college classroom. During the fellowship, these teachers also assist in development of the second year student summer research activities for their project.
SUMMER FACULTY-STUDENT TEAMS: Faculty who have completed research fellowships and students who have finished their second academic year join forces on projects begun in the teacher sabbatical program. The community college instructors provide the much needed assistance in developing curriculum, providing laboratory training, and assistance mentoring summer students during this ten week program.
 Center for Science and Engineering Education
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