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The San Mateo-Foster City School District is excited to announce that Bayside Academy has received a $200,000 grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Foster City.  This grant will enable the initiation of a STEM-based science exploration area on the Bayside campus and represents approximately 50% of the funds required to complete the exploration area.  Additional fundraising is ongoing.  The goal of the project is to enhance students’ exposure to real-life science and to introduce groups typically under-represented in STEM to a robust, hands-on, science and engineering experience. 

Science classes at Bayside are currently taught in regular classrooms with associated limitations regarding hands-on experimentation.  The grant will be used to build a Science Exploration Room and Horticultural Area by converting an existing classroom into a dedicated space to be used on a rotating basis by 6th-8th grade science classes, as well as upper-grade elementary classes.  Bayside science teachers are currently implementing the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for students, which include Life Sciences, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science and Engineering.  Additionally, the school offers STEM electives including Biotechnology, Aeronautics, Astronomy and Maker Design. 

Bayside has also supplemented their science curriculum with lessons provided by Science from Scientists (SfS), a national STEM education non-profit that brings professional scientists into classrooms to teach and inspire the next generation in STEM fields.  Gilead has collaborated with SfS through SfS’s corporate volunteer program, STEMissaries.  Through this collaboration, a team of Gilead scientists developed a hands-on virology lesson to complement the SfS curriculum.  To date, over twenty Gilead scientists have volunteered in local schools, including Bayside, teaching this lesson to over 500 students.

Paul Luperini, a science teacher at Bayside, has seen up close the benefits of Gilead scientists in the classroom, “Scientists teaching and talking to students about science careers is a vital part of career preparedness that students should be thinking about as early as middle school.  Having a scientist ‘in the flesh,’ especially for students with limited exposure to professional or college-track careers, is a bonus that we are glad to offer.”

San Mateo-Foster City School District parent, Monica Tijerina, is one of Gilead’s volunteer instructors.  "Kids need exposure to see what is out there and to decide on what careers they might want to pursue – and it's important for them to see that scientists come from diverse backgrounds.  At Gilead we have a lot of passion for science and medicine, and we've enjoyed sharing that with the kids."  To learn more about Gilead’s dedication to community support, visit Gilead’s Year in Review -

Bayside Academy is a STEM-themed K-8 public school located less than 2 miles from the Gilead Campus.  Greater than 40% of the student population is socioeconomically disadvantaged, and a large number are English language learners and/or students with disabilities.  

Bayside Science Exploration Classroom Image