For many teachers, the four walls of a classroom can feel like an "isolation barrier" that prevents them from continuing their own learning.
Genentech, Inc., a leader in the biotechnology field, is helping break down that barrier with Access Excellence, an online network that puts biology teachers in touch with colleagues, scientists, and new information.
Biology teachers can access the network to share lesson plans, read scientific literature, participate in "live" conferences and forums, and communicate with other teachers and with Genentech scientists. The company's goal is to inform and empower teachers and, indirectly, inspire students to enjoy and excel in science.
In addition to the network, Access Excellence also hosts an annual fellowship program. Each participant is given a laptop computer, training on Genentech's network and the Internet, and the opportunity to attend a biology education summit. One Access Fellow, Steve Case, a biology teacher at Olathe East High School in Olathe, Kansas, spent a recent summer working in a protein chemistry lab at Genentech. He's excited about the program that "helps me let my students do real science."