Frequently Asked Questions

What does the ABE-LA program offer?

The ABE program serves teachers in the Greater LA area by providing them an engaging, hands-on biotechnology lab curriculum that connects biology and biotechnology concepts to their real-world applications in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Teachers receive professional development training that incorporates core technologies used by research scientists in the discovery and development of therapeutics. Trained teachers receive kits with research-grade biotech equipment, supplies, reagents, and state-of-the art multimedia resources that allow them to conduct biotech lab experiments in their classrooms. Students learn core scientific concepts utilizing the same techniques used by biotechnology researchers in an immersive, inspiring, authentic learning experience that links learning to its real-world applications. Furthermore, ABE site coordinators provide the technical support and troubleshooting necessary for curriculum implementation in the classroom. The entire ABE training is offered free of charge and funded by the Amgen Foundation and the Education Development Center. 


Who does the ABE-LA program serve?

The ABE curriculum is designed for college and high school students of all levels. ABE also offers introductory biotechnology labs to middle school teachers. While most ABE trained teachers use the ABE curriculum for life science classes (e.g., CP/Honors/AP Biology, Biotechnology), some ABE trained teachers implement ABE labs in other science classes, such as chemistry or environmental science.

Note: we do not generally serve students directly.  (Please see related FAQ below.)


I am a student (or the parent of a student) who is interested in participating in ABE.  What can I do to get involved?

The ABE program normally serves students indirectly through their teachers. We do not currently offer programs that directly teach ABE labs to students. Students who wish to learn about biotechnology labs, real-world applications, and multidisciplinary careers should encourage their teachers to participate in ABE-LA. 

If your teacher does not wish to participate in ABE but you are still interested in biotechnology education and career exploration, please contact us, and we may be able to direct you to other opportunities.


I am a teacher who is interested in participating in ABE.  What should I do to participate?

The first step to becoming an "ABE teacher" is to attend an ABE training workshop. Due to high demand, interested teachers must apply to attend our workshops and are not automatically guaranteed an opportunity to participate. 

Upcoming workshops and application links are posted on our "Workshops" page. You can contact us or fill out our New Teacher Survey to be added to our interest list and receive announcements about upcoming workshops! 

Once you are trained, you officially become an "ABE teacher" and are eligible to sign up to borrow ABE kits that include the equipment, supplies and reagents required to implement ABE labs in your classroom.

To be eligible to implement ABE labs, you must:  1) teach middle school, high school, and/or college students in a subject related to the ABE curriculum (e.g., biology, chemistry, etc.); 2) have access to an appropriate facility for implementing ABE labs (i.e., a lab classroom); 3) be located within driving distance of one of ABE's six distribution centers 4) be willing to drive to a center to pick-up and drop-off materials. 

Note: ABE-LA does not have funding to compensate teachers for attending ABE workshops and cannot support teachers' travel expenses.  


Which service area does ABE-LA cover?

ABE-LA has 6 distribution centers (i.e., facilities where ABE-LA site coordinators/lab technicians prepare and store lab materials to be distributed to teachers) located in Camarillo (at CSUCI), Pasadena (at Pasadena Bio Collaborative), Woodland Hills (at Pierce College), Orange County (at Fullerton College), South Los Angeles (at LA Trade Tech), and the San Fernando Valley (at LA Mission College). Teachers within driving distance of one of these centers can participate in ABE-LA. Teachers in San Diego County should participate in ABE-San Diego. 

Currently, ABE-LA serve schools in the following counties:  Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Tulare, Riverside, Kern, and Santa Barbara.