WEST GREENWICH – California-based biotechnology company Amgen Inc., which has manufacturing operations in West Greenwich, brought its Amgen Biotech Experience program to students at Central Falls High School earlier this month.
The hands-on science program is funded by the Amgen Foundation, with a goal of bringing science professionals and career information directly to high schoolers, Amgen said in a news release. Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa, Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley, D-Central Falls, and Rep. Shelby Maldonado, D-Central Falls, visited the school to see the ABE program in action.
In 2016, Amgen Foundation and Change the Equation conducted a survey showing 81 percent of high-school students are interested in science, with 73 percent expressing an interest in biology. The survey also showed a lack of resources for teens to learn about scientific careers or engage with those in the field. Hands-on learning through experiments and field trips are most likely to engage teenagers in biology, followed by tools that help them relate biology to real life, according to the survey.
ABE, designed by Amgen scientists and educators, has been around for over two decades. It offers hands-on curriculum and research-grade equipment to students, the company says, at no cost to schools.
Amgen says over 19,000 students have participated in ABE-RI since 2007. The program is in 25 high schools in Rhode Island, Connecticut and southeastern Massachusetts, supporting over 50 science teachers through a partnership with the University of Rhode Island.
Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributor.