Last week, 10 of the largest life sciences organizations in Massachusetts played host to high school students as part of MassBioEd’s Career Exploration Days. They gave students tours of company facilities and labs, offered hands-on laboratory experiences and/or demonstrations, and imparted career advice. The excitement from students was palpable – many had never seen a corporate lab before and left the day with a newfound interest in the innovations that can come out of these experiments.
The future of the life sciences industry depends on companies’ ability to attract young, bright minds, and this starts in the classroom. Whether or not students have access to labs at their schools, it’s critical that they’re able to make the connection between what they’re learning in science class and future career opportunities in the industry. Creating this excitement early on is key, as many of the students who participated in Career Exploration Days are just starting to think about where they’d like to go to college and what they’re interested in studying.
We asked participating companies what they thought about hosting the students. Here’s what they had to say:
“Thank you for the connection to Essex Technical High School. What a great group of students! They were engaged, curious, and fun. We’re always excited to partner with MassBioEd to introduce students to potential career opportunities in the life sciences.”
– Amy Tremblay, Public Programs Manager, Whitehead Institute
“The Addgene team loves science and teaching science. We really enjoy imparting that enthusiasm to future scientists. It is especially fun to get a chance to expose high school students to interesting nonprofit careers they can consider by pursuing a science degree.”
– Joanne Kamens, Executive Director, Addgene
“Amgen was honored to participate in the MassBioEd Career Exploration Day. It was fun and exciting to meet and work with students. The students were incredibly engaged and inquisitive about the science experiments and biotechnology careers. They were not shy about asking many questions—which Amgen staff truly enjoyed! Amgen staff enjoy participating in events such as the Career Exploration Day as it fosters a love of science with young learners, and we are able to share Amgen’s passion and mission to serve patients with serious illness. Seeing firsthand the spark in students’ eyes when they successfully complete a science experiment is amazing and rewarding!”
– Jennifer Bianco, Head, Corporate Affairs, Amgen Massachusetts
“Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. BMS has a facility of over 600 employees in Devens, MA and was host to 30 students and their teachers from Lincoln Sudbury on Thursday 16Nov17. Career Exploration Day provides high school students with a connection between classroom science and the science that drives the life sciences industry. Through interaction with industry mentors, students gained first-hand knowledge of our company’s mission and culture, and experience a few of the many career options within the life sciences industry.”
– Sandra Mendonca, Community Outreach Co-lead and BMS QC-Operations Supervisor, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Career Exploration Days are a component of MassBioEd’s BioTeach program, which provides lab-based training in biotechnology to 150 public high school science teachers each year, along with funds to public schools for lab supplies and equipment.
Visit MassBioEd to see how you can get involved: https://www.massbioed.org/get_involved