Berta Chatman is kind, soft-spoken, and a wealth of knowledge. And she has a great way with kids.

She delivers science and math education to kids of all ages in a fun, interactive manner that doesn’t overwhelm them. My own child has taken several classes with her in both a one-on-one and group setting. My daughter always comes home enthusiastic about what she learned.  She has had the opportunity to hunt for bugs and even meet a real life red tailed hawk during class! We were also fortunate enough to attend a birthday party for a friend where Berta had a table and activities set up (including a rocket launch station!), as well as some bug themed party favors for all of the kids. Berta has been a business member of the Marina Chamber of Commerce since late 2021 and was kind enough to participate in our email interview as part of our new “get to know” series. Please enjoy getting to learn more about Biology with Berta!

 

An interview with Berta Chatman, Owner- Biology with Berta:

When and how was Biology with Berta started?

I started Biology with Berta after moving back to the area from Northern California. I had been attending Chico state to attain my degree in biology and worked part time as an outdoor educator to put myself through college. When we moved back to the area, I noticed there wasn’t really an outdoor learning option for parents and students quite like the one I had helped with during college. So I started out doing nature hikes around the county, then leading dissection classes for homeschoolers, and finally started doing group and one-on-one science classes.

 

How was the name for Biology with Berta chosen? 

Honestly, I think it named itself. I started out just doing it under my name and I would have students and parents tell me their children loved doing “biology with Berta.” My sister tried to talk me into calling it Biology by Berta but I enjoyed the meaning behind Biology with Berta. I wasn’t teaching and doing it all BY myself, I was having the students learn and explore the sciences WITH me beside them to guide and work with them.

What is the mission of Biology with Berta? 

Science and Math were always hard for me. Until I had a teacher who made it fun and that literally changed my life. So my mission is to make STEM fun as we learn. The more you are having fun the more you are retaining and storing into adulthood.

 

How many employees do you have? 

I am the only employee of Biology with Berta. However, that does not mean I am the only one doing the work. I do have a high school intern who helps me with group events and keeps me sane as we get last minute things ready every week. There is also a whole host of people behind me who help and support from the parents, school instructors I work with, and the community who is always willing to help me find supplies and locations for activities. Oh, I can’t forget my husband who helps me come up with crazy ideas for the kids and helps me make them work. Without all this support I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

What services or products do you offer?

I offer Science Group Classes, Nature Hikes almost anywhere in the county, one-on-one science and math tutoring, One-on-one science lessons or guided dissections, and I have also started dabbling into science theme activities at events like birthday parties.

 

How do you advertise?

While I do have a small facebook and instagram presence where I post photos and updates of classes and other things going on it is mostly by word of mouth honestly. I have found that word of mouth is a lot more reliable in communities like our own, another reason why I appreciate the Marina Chamber of Commerce and their willingness to tell others about all the great resources in our area.

 

How was the current location chosen for Biology with Berta?

I do not currently have a set location. I travel to meet students either at the Marina Library, their homes, or sometimes even Starbucks. I have worked with the Friends of Marina Library to hold some classes here in Marina and I have been grateful to have access to a facility in Prunedale to hold my group classes the last year, however we are quickly outgrowing that area and I am on the lookout for a new location. I would love to find somewhere I could do both group classes and one-on-one lessons if possible in the near future.

What are your company goals? 

I believe the company’s goal is to bring a love of science (mainly biology, I might be biased) to students. So whether it’s through a guided nature hike, a science or dissection class, or tutoring sessions, I want to help students gain a passion for learning. I hope that by exploring, learning, and having fun students grow to not only enjoy the sciences but also conserve the world we live in.

 

What are some interesting facts about Biology with Berta? 

Biology with Berta is a vendor through two of the large homeschool programs here in the county, Ocean Grove and Yosemite Valley, this means if a parent is working with one of these schools they can use their school funds to pay for my classes and not have out-of-pocket costs themselves.

 

Is there anything else you would like people to know about Biology with Berta?

Our Science Tuesdays for the summer are still open and would love to have more students join us! For more information please visit the website at www.biologywithberta.com

Thank you to Biology with Berta for doing this interview with us and for giving kids in our community fun, educational experiences! Don’t forget to check out her website www.biologywithberta.com, and find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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Hayley Swann

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