Over the next three years, 13,500 secondary school students across Ireland will benefit from an expansion to a hands-on biotechnology lab experience provided by the Amgen Foundation.
The three-year extension to the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE), run in partnership with University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin City University (DCU), will see a total of 21,000 students participate in the programme by 2020.
The three-week in-class lab initiative provides teacher professional development, teaching materials and research-grade equipment to classrooms, to immerse students in the concepts and techniques scientists use to discover and develop medicines.
The aim is to empower secondary school science teachers to implement real-world biotechnology labs in their classrooms to help students better understand science and how it influences their daily lives.
“Encouraging more students to pursue an interest in STEM education is a priority for my Department,” said the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD who announced the additional investment by the Amgen Foundation in the ABE programme
“Our goal is to make Ireland the best in Europe in the provision of STEM education. For that objective to be reached, we need our students to be equipped with the necessary skills to adapt to a rapidly changing world and transformed employment market,” added the Minister.
“That is why initiatives such as the Amgen Biotech Experience play such an important role in the development of Irish STEM education.”
Rayne Waller, vice-president of regional manufacturing and site head at Amgen in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland said, “We are excited to build on this programme’s proven success and bring hands-on science education to even more students, teachers and communities in Ireland.”
“The Amgen Foundation’s partnership with UCD and DCU has been a vital part of the Amgen Biotech Experience’s proven impact in boosting students’ interest and confidence in studying science and biotechnology.”
The announcement was made at the Amgen Biotech Experience Global Conference in Dublin. The event was attended by more than 60 science education leaders from third level institutions around the world including Harvard University, UC Berkeley, École Normale Supérieure, and Technical University of Munich.
The conference coincided with the STEM Alliance European STEM Discovery Week 2018, an EU wide initiative that brings together industries, Ministries of Education and education stakeholders, to promote STEM education and careers to young Europeans.
The announcement is part of the Amgen Foundation’s global efforts to reach nearly 900,000 secondary school students in 18 regions around the world by 2020, bringing its total commitment to ABE to more than $25 million. In addition, the Foundation’s total commitment to STEM education has now reached more than $125 million globally.
Source: University College Dublin