Posted 18 days ago ago by Karin Hauck
This March, Multiverse's Bay Area Teen Science
(B.A.T.S.) initiative is hosting two major events. First, all Bay Area high school students are invited to the FREE
B.A.T.S. Teen Career Conference on Saturday, March 18th at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
. Visit the Teen Career Conference web page
for full details and to register. The second event is for education professionals who provide STEM learning and career building opportunities for San Francisco Bay Area teenagers through afterschool and other "out-of-school time" programs, and for those who want to better connect with this community. This first ever B.A.T.S. Professionals Conference is also free to attend and will be held Tuesday, March 28th at UC Berkeley. Visit the Professionals Conference web page
for additional details and to register.
But what is B.A.T.S. and how did it all get started? The B.A.T.S. initiative began back in early 2011 when Multiverse sought other teen programs to partner with for a nighttime science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themed event run by teenagers for teenagers. It was at this time the B.A.T.S. Listserv
came to be in order to better communicate our ideas with our fellow teen program providers. This resulted in the formation of a special subcommittee made up of Multiverse, the California Academy of Sciences, the Chabot Space & Science Center, the Exploratorium, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Oakland Zoo. The subcommittee’s members, and more importantly, teen program participants started meeting regularly in the summer and fall of 2011 to plan the San Francisco Bay Area’s first ever teen-organized, teen-run nighttime "science extravaganza.” This first B.A.T.S. event hosted exclusively for Bay Area teens was held at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science on October 22, 2011, and was dubbed ThrillFest.
The ThrillFest event
was designed to be an entertaining night of “mystery, magic, and mad science!” It included a DJ, magician, and since it was close to Halloween, a costume contest. But above all, the ThrillFest event was intended to showcase the different B.A.T.S. members’ programs through fun hands-on science activities and attention-grabbing science demonstrations provided by B.A.T.S. teens. The range of science content presented was impressive thanks to the diversity of the B.A.T.S. members and included astronomy, solar energy, animal biology, biodiversity, wildlife conservation, chemistry, and physics, as well as design and engineering challenges.
The ThrillFest event led to the special subcommittee becoming what was called the B.A.T.S. Collaborative, and with seed money from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
, more events followed
, including the California Academy of Sciences' first annual youth-hosted Teen Science Night
that now attracts almost 2,000 Bay Area teens to the museum each August. Through additional support from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund and Google’s Making & Science initiative
, B.A.T.S. started running an annual STEM College and Career Fair (now B.A.T.S. Teen Career Conference
) in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District's Science Department
and others. Additional services and opportunities offered For Teens
and For STEM Education Providers
who work with teens grew from there. Finally, to better capture and promote all of our activities and offer even more services to our teen and STEM professional audiences, the B.A.T.S. website
launched in January 2017.
If you know a Bay Area teen interested in STEM subjects, or a Bay Area STEM educational professional who works with teens, please be sure to tell them about Bay Area Teen Science!