500 Massachusetts High School Students Spend a Day in Biotech Laboratories

June 7, 2012

MassBioEd’s 3rd Annual Statewide Biotechnology Job Shadow Day connects students with industry professionals to explore career paths

June 7, 2012 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – Today, close to Massachusetts high school students shadowed life science professionals across the Commonwealth for the 3rd Annual Statewide Biotechnology Job Shadow Day.

This wildly successful program aims to increase students’ interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related careers and is part of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation’s (MassBioEd) BioTeach program.

While Massachusetts is considered a hub for biotechnology careers and boasts test scores in science and math that outstrip national averages, student interest in pursuing science majors is well below national and competitive state averages. In 2011, interest in STEM majors among all Massachusetts SAT test-takers was 37.1%; the national average was 43.4% and in North Carolina STEM major interest was 47.7%.

MassBioEd seeks to ensure that more Massachusetts students will pursue life sciences careers, resulting in a pipeline of qualified individuals for Massachusetts biotech companies.

“To stimulate students’ interest, we need to provide schools with the knowledge and ability to teach 21st century science. In addition, we need to demonstrate to students how high school classroom science can be the first step along an exciting education and career pathway. This program is providing students these vital connections,” said Lance Hartford, Executive Director of the MassBioEd Foundation.

The job shadow day encourages collaboration between the life sciences industry and its future employees and includes company tours and one-on-one mentoring. This year, 14 Massachusetts biotechnology, life sciences companies and research institutions partnered with the MassBioEd Foundation to host 15 high schools.

Participants included:

       Companies                                                 Schools

Abbott (Worcester)

Bellingham High School

AirGas (Billerica)

Salem High School

Avecia (Milford)

Seekonk High School

Biogen Idec (Cambridge)

Hanover High School

Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Lexington)

Hopedale High School

EMD Millipore (Bedford)

Chelsea High School

EMD Serono (Rockland)

New Bedford High School

EMD Serono (Rockland)

Sandwich High School

EMD Serono (Billerica)

Dracut High School

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Boston Latin Academy

MicroTest (Agawam)

Quaboag Regional High School

Millennium (Cambridge)

Marlborough High School

Shire Pharmaceuticals (Lexington)

Assabet Valley Technical School

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge)

Revere High School

Whitehead Institute (Cambridge)

Danvers High School

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About the MassBioEd Foundation

http://www.massbioed.org

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.

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