She’s a third-grader living in South San Francisco with her mom and brother. Although this region is home to a global biotech hub and schools are committed to quality education, many South San Francisco students continue to face challenges.
- 14% more students per class compared to neighboring communities
- 32% of students are English language learners
- 48% of students are from groups under-represented in the sciences
- 31% of students go on to attend four-year universities
- 40% of students come from low-income families
- 31% fewer dollars spent per student than neighboring communities
Every day, Maria walks to Spruce Elementary, and goes to class with 35 other students. Science used to be just another subject, with reading assignments, homework, and tests. Then, she joined Gene Academy, part of Genentech’s larger science education program called
Weekly Science Mentoring for Elementary Schoolers
Children are natural scientists, engineers, and problem solvers but often don’t connect to science as it’s taught in schools
Futurelab fosters excitement for science in young kids
Maria rides a bus along with 170 of her elementary school classmates to Genentech’s campus for 1:1 weekly mentoring.
900 kids in K-5
Hey, science is fun!
Science Competition for Middle Schoolers
By eighth grade, almost 50% of students have lost interest in the sciences
Futurelab goes beyond the classroom to bring science to life for kids
Now in middle school, Maria joins a team to compete in a district-wide science competition, focused on solving real-world problems. Every 8th grader in SSF participates.
Maria and her team make it to the final round at Genentech’s campus, and, of the top nine teams invited to the final challenge, they win second place.
I’m good at science!
Genentech also supports teacher development; provides field trips for biotech students; and helps fund STEM projects in SSF classrooms. Computers and equipment, too!
Biotech Courses at High Schools
Only 6% of ninth graders ultimately choose a STEM degree in college
Futurelab empowers students with the tools and knowledge to pursue a career in science
Maria, excited by her experiences with Futurelab so far, takes a biotech course at South San Francisco High School that helps her fulfill college entry requirements — all in a state-of-the-art biotech classroom.
(Funded by the Genentech Foundation.)
By shadowing Genentech employees, she discovers career paths she never knew existed. Excited about her future, Maria applies for one of two four-year college scholarships provided by Genentech that are each worth up to $200,000.
Maria is selected! She gets to go to her dream school and plans to work in biotech after graduating.
I want to work in science!
Futurelab is about the magic of discovery, bringing the expertise of Genentech’s science professionals to kids like Maria, and helping them unleash their potential as the next generation of innovators in a lifelong exploration of science.