Local students explore Biotech Futures
Hands-on career event connects students with biotech, life sciences, STEM careers
November 9, 2011 — Today, over 240 Massachusetts high school students and teachers participated in Biotech Futures, a full-day career exploration event featuring scientist speakers, panel presentations, company presentations, science demonstrations and laboratory visits at UMass Lowell.
Today’s event, organized by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) is part of an ongoing effort to increase interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
“I am particularly proud of the Biotech Futures program because of the extraordinary collaboration between the MassBioEd Foundation, UMass Lowell and eight exceptional high schools,” said Lance Hartford, Executive Director of MassBioEd. “This collaborative effort will allow the students who participated to apply science and theory to the practical world while participating in university labs. It is this blend of academic and experiential learning that provides students with the opportunity to fully grasp the wonders of science and career possibilities.”
MassBioEd receives financial and programmatic support from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) and its 600 member organizations.
Throughout the day, students participated in several hands-on labs showcasing topics and techniques including biotechnology, assistive technology, microscopy, nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing, polymer science and robotics.
“We need to get young people excited about learning science and engineering, and about careers in these fields. Biotech Futures provides kids with hands-on opportunities to learn, and more importantly, to be inspired. The students make Biotech Futures a success with their enthusiasm, curiosity, and their amazing potential to learn," said Dave Mantus, Senior Vice President for Development and Regulatory Affairs with Seres Health, and the keynote speaker at Biotech Futures.
Other industry speakers included Sharlene Yang of the Museum of Science and Alan Marnett of BenchFly.
The schools participating were:
Concord Carlisle High School
Danvers High School
Dracut High School
Greater Lawrence Technical School
Greater Lowell Technical High School
Minuteman Career & Technical High School
Wilmington High School
Biotech Futures is one of a series of biotechnology education and career exploration programs sponsored by MassBioEd. Other programs include an annual statewide Biotechnology Job Shadow Day, the BioTeach grant program and Learning Center courses for professional development in biotechnology.
About the MassBioEd Foundation
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning. Serving as a link between education, industry, and government, MassBioEd is working to ensure Massachusetts’ biotechnology sector, has an appropriately trained work force to meet the growing employment needs. MassBioEd’s BioTeach program provides professional development to over 500 teachers in their biotechnology curricula and provides grants and lab equipment to 179 schools across the Commonwealth. In addition, MassBioEd’s BioTech Learning Center offers professional development courses for employees in the biotech sector to advance their professional skills.