Shoreline Community College has received a two-year $129,000 grant from the Amgen Foundation to support science education in Puget Sound area high schools and middle schools.
The grant dollars, which support a directive from Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Legislature that science and math education be prioritized at our public schools, will provide funding for outreach efforts to high school teachers for integration of DNA technology into science curriculums, curriculum training for high school science teachers, and for the purchase of new classroom equipment.
“Our relationship with the Amgen Foundation and the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Laboratory Program has allowed us to become close partners with local high school teachers to bring cutting-edge science to the classroom,” said Guy Hamilton, Ph.D., Biotechnology Program Director at Shoreline. “This grant will allow us to continue development and expansion of our summer teacher workshops ultimately increasing the total number of students who will be exposed to Biotechnology in their high school courses.”
The Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Laboratory Program was introduced in 1990 by Bruce Wallace, a molecular biologist who was one of Amgen's first staff members. Passionate about science education, Wallace helped establish the biotechnology program in local schools near the company’s headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California and organized a lecture series for the community. It was his hope that every student, regardless of the profession they eventually pursue, would have the chance to experience the joy of discovery and the excitement of having science at his or her fingertips.
Implementation of the program in Washington began in 2006, when Shoreline worked with Bellevue Community College to develop the program in the Seattle Public School District. Shoreline went on to expand the program into the Lake Washington school district and will now manage the program with plans to expand into the Lynnwood and Shoreline districts.
“This is great news for all involved,” said Susan Hoyne, Ph.D., Dean of Science at Shoreline. “High school students will get top-notch, state-of-the-art training that will prepare them for their college coursework – and industry will see a well-rounded workforce.”
Shoreline made great strides during the first phase of the program (2006-2009) engaging West Seattle, Roosevelt, Franklin and Garfield high schools where teachers learned how to use the equipment and incorporate it into their own curricula.
A total of 4,313 students participated as a result of the original program funding, experiencing hands-on activities and classroom presentations on career opportunities by Adrienne Houck, Program Outreach Coordinator Shoreline High School. Houck also developed and delivered a summer program for students who were individually invited by their high school science teachers. These students enjoyed a short, three-day program at which they had the opportunity to work in the college biotechnology lab and tour a local biotech firm.
“The Biotechnology Program at Shoreline has an excellent reputation and is the only lab technician program in the Puget Sound area,” Hoyne said. The school assisted the Shoreline School District setting up its biotechnology program at Shorewood High School and creating an articulation agreement in which students completing the year-long curriculum could earn college credit for the biology coursework completed.
Shoreline has provided biology and biotechnology programs for 20 years. Students can earn an Associate in Applied Arts-Technology (AAS-T) degree which articulates with the bachelor’s programs at Seattle Pacific and Evergreen State universities and the University of Washington. Shoreline also offers a one-year post-baccalaureate Biotechnology Lab Specialist Certificate designed for students with extensive backgrounds in math and science – 70 percent of students entering this program have bachelor’s degrees or higher. They come to Shoreline for the hands-on experience. Shoreline was named the Northwest Regional Center for BioLink, a National Science Foundation ATE initiative to educate and train technicians for entry-level careers in research, development and bio manufacturing in the biotech industry.
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 $130 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 both domestically and internationally.
About Shoreline Community College
The Biotechnology Laboratory Specialist Program at Shoreline Community College prepares students for careers in biotechnology research and development. The program goal is to provide practical, “hands-on” learning and familiarity with cutting edge techniques, technologies, and equipment. Students gain a working knowledge of molecular biology, recombinant DNA, immunology, protein purification and tissue culture -- both through classroom lectures and laboratory learning experiences. The curriculum also provides a foundation in a variety of math and science disciplines including algebra, statistics, chemistry, biology, microbiology and computer science. http://www.shoreline.edu/science/biotechnology.aspx