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February 25, 2014

On Feb. 24, SDWP, Amgen and the Southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College hosted Congressman Scott Peters for a tour of a Mira Mesa High School biotechnology class to watch an innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching program in action.

Teacher Lisa Yoneda’s class demonstrated a number of lab experiments she learned through the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) teacher externship program that utilizes the Amgen Biotech Experience curriculum. Designed by Amgen scientists and educators and tested over two decades, the Amgen Biotech Experience is an Amgen Foundation-funded program that provides schools with a full suite of transportable, research-grade equipment to run labs that incorporate core technologies used by the biotech industry in the discovery of human therapeutics.

Through Amgen’s partnership with SDWP and the Southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College, more than 30 biotech teachers receive the training each summer and return to their classrooms to apply the lessons learned. It is estimated that the program has impacted approximately 37,500 students throughout San Diego County. In addition, the Southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College provides ongoing support and equipment to any teacher who implements the curriculum into their classroom.

“If our country is going to stay competitive, we must support STEM education programs that prepare the next generation for careers in the global economy,” Rep. Peters said. “Efforts to promote innovation, like those being made here at Mira Mesa High School, are essential to encourage students to embrace STEM. By applying the same ground-breaking technology in the classroom that our region’s life sciences companies employ we can foster a lifelong excitement for these developing fields. I was very impressed by the level of knowledge and skill of each of the students in this class.”

LSSI is currently accepting applications through April 4 for its 2014 summer program. Apply online here.

Businesses can participate in LSSI by hosting teachers, hiring an intern or providing student sponsorships. For more information contact Erika Aranguré, LSSI project coordinator, at

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