Amgen Biotech Experience Knows How To Inspire Students Into The World Of Science

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Successfully motivating students into science studies has been a modern day conundrum for many schools and colleges around the world. Yet, for the last 30 years the Amgen Foundation has been instrumental in inspiring scientific curiosity in students through its Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE). Now, because of ABE’s success, the Foundation is expanding its reach: it will target 900,000 high-school students by 2020.

ABE has empowered high-school science teachers to use real-world biotechnology labs in their classrooms, which helps their students gain a better understanding of science and how it influences their daily lives. This three-week in-class lab initiative provides teachers with professional development, teaching materials and research-grade equipment to immerse students in the concepts and techniques scientists use to discover and develop medicines.

This initiative wants to get students excited about science and helps them imagine themselves in future roles tackling complex diseases and improving human health. Evaluation results by WestEd, an independent and rigorous system found that ABE students have shown significant and substantial gains in biotechnology learning, as well as increased confidence and interest in doing science and biotechnology. The findings reveal that students had a statistically significant increase of their biotechnology knowledge and skills, as well averaging a 20% increase between pre- and post-test scores. While, 53% of students are more interested in learning about science research; and 53% reported an increased interest in science careers from ABE participation.

The Amgen Foundation's total past and current commitment to ABE now reaches more than $25 million, bringing the Foundation's total commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to more than $125 million globally. Change the Equation, a coalition working to improve STEM literacy, has singled out ABE with the highest possible ranking in STEMworks, its database of effective STEM education programs. Business leaders, funders and experts use STEMworks to find proven, scalable programs to help them maximize their impact in this field.

The Foundation will invest an additional $10.5 million to engage students over the next three years, adding to the 600,000 students who have already participated in the program. ABE will launch in nine new markets: Australia Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy Netherlands and Singapore. It will continue in key markets in the United States, Puerto Rico, UK and Ireland, where Amgen has longstanding partnerships with distinguished research institutions and leading education nonprofits. This expansion brings the program's total reach to 18 markets. ABE is particularly important when considering the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in the US, which is one of main markets.

The ABE program is modern, current and cutting edge; it allows students to be real life scientists and has also been able to inspire troubled students, who were failing almost in every subject, motivating them and changing their lives.

Photo Credit: ABE