“Today’s Career Exploration Day has inspired me to pursue a career path in biotechnology because I got to see what people in this field do. Before today, I didn’t really have any idea.”
That statement, from a Chelmsford High School female student, came at the close of MassBioEd Foundation’s November 4th Career Exploration Day hosted at EMD Millipore in Bedford. Similar responses were provided among the 145 students who participated at Career Exploration Days at Amgen, Whitehead Institute, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Addgene, Leica Biosystems & Beckman Coulter Genomics.
Career Exploration Days, organized by MassBioEd and hosted at biotech companies and non-profit institutes across Massachusetts, provide an exceptional opportunity for high school students to visit life sciences labs and manufacturing facilities and gain first-hand knowledge of careers and activities in biotechnology directly from mentor workers at each site. The experience can be as powerful for the company volunteers as it is for the visiting students. As one volunteer mentor at Novartis reported,
At the MassBioEd Career Exploration day held at Amgen in Cambridge, Weymouth High School students conducted a series of experiments to simulate the manufacturing process of biologics.At the MassBioEd Career Exploration day held at Amgen in Cambridge, Weymouth High School students conducted a series of experiments to simulate the manufacturing process of biologics.
“I’m so impressed with this day. It’s a fulfilling experience to connect with these students.”
While each host company provides an experience that is unique, Career Exploration Days typically involve lab demonstrations, which often include hands-on activities for students, site tours, and question and answer periods between students and mentors. Career Exploration Days are made available to MassBioEd BioTeach schools. As BioTeach is funded through corporate contributions, no costs are borne by the high schools participating in Career Exploration Days.
I’m very proud of our MassBioEd team for coordinating these days and several other BioTeach programs. The passion they bring to their work with teachers and students is what makes BioTeach one of a kind.
This event would have never been possible without the incredible host organizations. Their staff and mentors all stepped up to the plate on November 4th and delivered compelling experiences for these students.
Six high schools participated in the November 4th Career Exploration Day, including Chelmsford, Danvers, Somerville, Weymouth, Everett, and Dennis-Yarmouth Regional. MassBioEd will hold a second Career Exploration Day on April 13, 2016, which will include more host sites and more high schools.
We need the support of fellow life sciences professionals to continue the growth of BioTeach, a program that has provided training and mentorship to over 750 teachers Massachusetts teachers and authentic lab experiences to more than 150,000 students.
#GivingTuesday is just around the corner! Please remember MassBioEd this holiday season!