THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., May 6, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Answering the call from President Obama to reinvigorate science and math education by connecting students to hands-on learning experiences, Amgen scientists will visit high schools that include the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab Program in their science curriculum. In conjunction with National Lab Day, the visits will give students a first-hand perspective on how the very same lab tools and techniques used in the program apply to creating biotechnology therapeutics.
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"Amgen has a long history of supporting science education programs and applauds the National Lab Day efforts to help raise awareness of the importance of scientific literacy for all," said Jean J. Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation. "The Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program demonstrates how industry can successfully partner with educational institutions and organizations to strengthen science education and inspire the next generation of innovators."
Over the past 20 years, the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program has provided teachers with a hands-on, inquiry-based, molecular biology curriculum, in addition to a full suite of transportable, research-grade equipment and supplies, at no cost to the participating schools. To date, The Amgen Foundation has contributed more than $2.3 million in support of the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program, which is run by science teachers in over 150 high schools across California, Colorado, Rhode Island, Washington and Puerto Rico. The three-week program has exposed hundreds of teachers and more than 125,000 students to the fundamentals of biotechnology and the excitement of scientific discovery.
Marie Wright was one of the first students to participate in the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program in the early 1990's. Now, she will return to her high school in Newbury Park, Calif. as an Amgen scientist in support of National Lab Day. Wright says that
"The Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program was my first opportunity to complete a complicated lab and feel the satisfaction at seeing successful results," said Wright. "I am excited to now share my professional experiences with students and let them know that with persistence and dedication, a science career is within their reach."
In early 2010, an independent evaluation of the impact of the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program on more than 1,100 high school students focused on six areas including student attitude, interest, confidence, and knowledge of science as well as student interest in pursuing a career in a scientific field. Following completion of the program, students experienced gains in all outcome areas. Sixty-three percent of students stated that scientific research is more enjoyable than they thought it would be, 69 percent will try harder to learn in future science classes, and 70 percent expressed a greater confidence in their ability to learn science. The vast majority of students, including those in regular, Honors and AP Biology courses, showed statistically significant gains in interest in pursuing a career in a scientific field. Students who will be the first in their family to attend college showed the most significant gains of all subgroups.
For more information about the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Program, visit http://www.bwbiotechprogram.com/. To learn more about National Lab Day efforts around the country, visit http://www.nationallabday.org/.
The Amgen Foundation supports numerous national and international organizations that strive to strengthen and expand opportunities for science education. To date, the Amgen Foundation has committed more than $45 million in science education funding to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit http://www.amgen.com/.
About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made more than $140 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways, and those that provide disaster relief efforts internationally.
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