Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) are now offering training in molecular biology experiments for secondary school teachers at locations in University College Dublin and Dublin City University during October. Teachers who take part in the training have access to professional grade scientific equipment and curriculum-linked teaching materials to teach these experiments to their students in school during the 2015/2016 academic year.
The ABE programme is tailored to the Irish syllabus. There is no charge for teachers to attend training workshops or to borrow the equipment and consumables needed to carry out experiments including microvolumetric pipetting and gel electrophoresis in the classroom laboratory. ABE Ireland staff provide support to teachers during the loan period.
The ABE programme is funded by the Amgen Foundation and has been endorsed by Irish Science Teachers Association (ISTA) and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It is currently operating in the greater Dublin region. Last year, 19 teachers and more than 900 students benefited of the ABE programme.
The programme’s appeal and impact have been extraordinary with more than 60,000 students and hundreds of teachers from the U.S, Puerto Rico, U.K and now Ireland participating annually and conducting real-world experiments in the classroom.
"This is an excellent initiative that will strengthen our links with schools in the community and bring cutting-edge Irish research to classrooms", said Professor Walter Kolch, Director, Systems Biology Ireland.
“The potential of this programme to align with the newly developed senior cycle biology syllabus and build competency and confidence in the classroom is very welcome”, said Stephanie Leonard, Chairperson, Irish Science Teachers Association, a strategic partner in the ABE programme, Ireland
The Amgen Biotech Experience Ireland programme was launched last month at an event to mark the opening of the new $300 million Amgen facility in Dun Laoghaire. Kerry Ingalls, Amgen Vice President of Regional Manufacturing said, “I believe that despite increased demand for a science-based workforce, many teachers do not have sufficient access to the impactful training, resources and materials to deliver a high-quality experience to their students. As a result, too few young people are opting for a career in science. Our programmes are designed to change that and to inspire students in Ireland to pursue further education, and possibly even a career, in science.”