Bayer Continues Investment in Leading Biotech Hub

In its efforts to bolster public education and improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, the philanthropic arm of BayBio member Bayer HealthCare will provide a $540,000 grant to California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) to create the Center for STEM Education on its Hayward campus.

Bayer USA Foundation announed on the statewide Day to Defend Public Education its commitment to  enhance and help to coordinate existing STEM  education activities at CSUEB. This will give the university a greater role in regional and national STEM education issues. The center is at the heart of CSUEB’s approach to addressing regional needs and challenges in STEM education and preparing graduates for the Bay Area’s workforce of tomorrow.

The new grant, to be administered over three years, will establish the Bayer Executive Directorship for the center and allow the school to begin teacher development in STEM education and to advance student academic achievement. The center will become the focal point of region-wide efforts to build on and expand sustainable models like Biotech Partners and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement), two leading education and job training programs. It also will expand a pipeline of K-12 students motivated and prepared to pursue college degrees in STEM disciplines or math and science teacher education.

This latest grant underscores Bayer’s ongoing commitment to strengthen STEM education and diversity nationwide. Bayer demonstrates this commitment through its Presidential-award winning Making Science Make Sense® initiative that advances science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education led by astronaut, scientist and educator, Dr. Mae C. Jemison.

“With this grant, Bayer is deepening its investment in STEM education in an area of the country that is of major importance to our biotechnology business and the company as a whole,” said Greg Babe, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation and President of the Bayer USA Foundation. “As a company with a rich history in science education and science literacy, we understand the need for the new Center for STEM Education, which will help to enhance this vibrant STEM education and professional community.”

The center will focus on four key areas: ongoing K-12 teacher support and training programs; active student recruitment from local and regional high schools; creation of a STEM education resource center that will work to scale up best practice K-12 programs; and the formation of an administrative hub for university STEM education collaborations and partnerships with outside organizations.

“We are enormously grateful to Bayer for this grant,” said Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi, President of CSUEB. “When it comes to improving STEM education, the Center will be able to work on multiple tracks to really effect change. For example, we know training more K-12 science and math teachers for California is as important as preparing and recruiting STEM students from underserved urban schools.  Having a place where stakeholders like Bayer scientists and elementary school teachers can come to interact and learn about new resources and partnership opportunities is an important new resource.”

“Biotech Partners, which has become a national model for successful education-business-government partnership, is a jewel in Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense crown,” said Joerg Heidrich, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Product Supply, Biotech. “For almost two decades, it has served more than 2,000 disadvantaged local students, training them for meaningful careers in the biosciences industry. It helps create a workforce that is essential to the Bay Area biotech community.  We’re delighted that the expansion of programs such as Biotech Partners will become one of the center’s priority projects, helping it give a leg up to even more students.”

“California has long been synonymous with scientific innovation, yet K-12 students here are underperforming on standardized tests in STEM fields,” said Tom Torlakson, California Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The new STEM center at CSUEB will be critical to helping us improve curriculum, provide teachers with training, and support underrepresented student populations.”