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Press Release: Life Sciences Summer Institute Receives Grant from Amgen Foundation to Expand Teacher Programs

SAN DIEGO, CA — Amgen Foundation announced it has renewed its partnership with the San Diego Workforce Partnership to bring the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) to local classrooms as part of a $10.5 million investment in the longstanding science education program. The San Diego Amgen Biotech Experience will receive $75,000 annually for three years.

The San Diego ABE program provides professional development for science teachers, exposing them to a new biotechnology lab curriculum. Designed by Amgen scientists and educators, the program offers a solution to prepare more students with the STEM competencies necessary for careers in the modern workforce. At the end of the course, teachers are provided access to equipment and supplies necessary to implement the new curriculum in their classroom. The program is offered in partnership with Southern California Biotechnology Center at Miramar College. More than 230 teachers have participated in the program since its adoption by SDWP in 2008 and an estimated 73,000 students have been impacted.

“We are honored to continue to partner with the Amgen Foundation to offer ABE to San Diego teachers,” says Alex Becker, CONNECT2Careers STEAM manager. “Traditionally, workforce development focuses on directly training students for careers in life sciences. ABE addresses the other side of the equation—educating teachers about in-demand industry skills and equipping them with a hands-on lab curriculum to incorporate that skills training in their classrooms.”

For nearly 30 years, ABE has empowered high school science teachers to implement real-world biotechnology labs in their classrooms, helping their students better understand science and how it influences their daily lives. 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 Amgen Foundation's total past and current commitment to ABE now reaches more than $25 million, bringing the Foundation's total commitment to STEM education to more than $125 million globally.

“Our partnership with San Diego Workforce Partnership has been vital to the long-standing ABE program in San Diego. San Diego Workforce Partnership’s leadership and commitment will build upon the program’s proven impact in boosting students’ interest and confidence in doing science and biotechnology,” said Eduardo Cetlin, president, Amgen Foundation. “We are excited to continue our work with San Diego Workforce Partnership to bring hands-on science education to even more students, educators and San Diego communities.”

Results of an independent and rigorous evaluation by WestEd found that ABE students have shown significant and substantial gains in biotechnology learning, as well as increased confidence and interest in doing science and biotechnology. Results show that:

  • students had a statistically significant increase of their biotechnology knowledge and skills (p < 0.001);
  • students averaged a 20 percent increase between pre- and post-test scores;
  • 82 percent of students got new ideas about what happens in science labs;
  • 72 percent of students got new ideas about what science is;
  • 53 percent of students are more interested in learning about science research; and
  • 53 percent of students report increased interest in science careers from ABE participation.


Separately, Change the Equation, a coalition working to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) literacy, distinguished ABE with the highest possible ranking in STEMworks, its database of effective STEM education programs. Business leaders, funders and STEM advocates use STEMworks to find proven, scalable programs to help them maximize their impact on STEM education.

SDWP will receive support as part of the Amgen Foundation’s commitment to engage an additional 300,000 students across 18 markets by 2020. Recently, the Amgen Foundation announced ABE’s expansion to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Netherlands and Singapore. The program is already underway in the United States, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom and Ireland.

Learn more about ABE by visiting AmgenBiotechExperience.com. To learn more about the Amgen Foundation’s other science education programs, visit AmgenInspires.com.

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $250 million to local, regional, and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience, and Amgen Teach. For more information, visit Amgeninspires.com and follow the Amgen Foundation on Twitter @AmgenFoundation.

About San Diego Workforce Partnership

SDWP is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. It funds job training programs that enable adults and youth to develop the skills and knowledge needed for careers that are in demand. SDWP also provides current and projected labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Its vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit workforce.org.

Contact:
Desiree Roughton
(619) 228-2959
Desiree@workforce.org