170 High School Students Explore Biotech Careers

Apr 14, 2016

Students across the Commonwealth shadow scientists and industry execs on life sciences Career Exploration Day 

April 14, 2016 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – Yesterday, 170 Massachusetts high school students visited biotechnology organizations across the Commonwealth as part of a Career Exploration Day organized by the MassBioEd Foundation (MassBioEd).

Nine Massachusetts life sciences companies and research institutions partnered with MassBioEd to host students from 10 high schools to learn about the industry, interact directly with life sciences professionals, participate in science demonstrations and tour company facilities.  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 annually.

“At Career Exploration Days, students start to see the connection between their BioTeach-inspired lab experiences and the cutting-edge, life-saving work being done at local life sciences companies,” said Peter Abair, Executive Director of MassBioEd. “Thanks to the involvement of so many employee-mentors who shine a light on career pathways, these experiences can be transformative for the participating students.”

Participants included:

Company

School

AbbVie

Claremont Academy

Nitto Avecia

Hopedale High School

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Medford Vocational Technical High School & Medford High School

Sanofi

Somerville High School

ImmunoGen, Inc. 

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School

Momenta Pharmaceuticals

Everett High School

Novartis

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Pfizer

Essex Agricultural and Technical High School

Shire

Minuteman Career and Technical High School

 

“Kendall Square is home to some of the most advanced health research being conducted anywhere in the world, and the opportunities for local students to become pioneers in this field is almost endless,” said Bruce Birren, director of the Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases and co-director of the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He also is the founding advisor to the institute's Diversity Initiative in Scientific Research. “We are proud to participate in Career Exploration Day to support these talented young men and women as they excel in high school, college and beyond, because they are the next generation of leaders in biomedical research.”

“ImmunoGen was delighted to host students from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School for a MassBioEd Career Exploration Day,” said an ImmunoGen spokesperson. “We believe hands-on experiences like those through Career Exploration Day are an important part of fostering students’ interest in biological and chemical sciences and hope that the students were inspired.”

“We are thrilled to once again participate in this MassBioEd event,” said Chris Murphy, Vice President of Operations at Sanofi’s Allston Landing facility. “Career Exploration Day provides an opportunity for students to engage with professionals at the Allston Landing plant, hear their stories and learn about the expertise and roles required to manufacture biologic products. We hope our passion for what we do sparks a lasting interest, paving the way for the next generation of scientists and innovators.”

“Shire has a great relationship with Minuteman Career and Technical High School,” said Katie Joyce, Public Affairs and State Relations Lead at Shire. “We are pleased to bring their students—the future of the biotech workforce—to our campus to see first-hand the many gratifying career paths that are available in a biotech company.”

Career Exploration Day, part of MassBioEd’s signature BioTeach program, aims to increase students’ interest in pursuing life sciences careers. Through BioTeach, MassBioEd provides teacher professional development workshops and mentoring, student experiential learning and career exploration opportunities, and funds to public schools for lab supplies and equipment.

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