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Jun 21
Kalie Grantham, U.S. Corporate Communications
UCB Supports Georgia Bio Ed Institute Biotech Immersion Program

Earlier this month, UCB supported Georgia BioEd Institute’s Summer Biotech Immersion Program. The pilot program took place at Paulding County High School from June 4-8. Eight biology and biotechnology teachers from metro Atlanta area high schools attended the laboratory-intensive professional learning experience in Marc Pedersen’s classroom, 2017 Biology Teacher of the Year.

The five-day immersion program offered teachers an opportunity to enhance their skills and confidence by providing meaningful biotech laboratory experiences for their students. After completing eight different laboratory activities and ancillary activities, encompassing guest lectures and a career panel, participants were asked to complete and share an action plan outlining future instruction and implementation of the learned workshop content for their students. 

One workshop highlight was a design thinking challenge. The activity centered around the daily experiences and obstacles of a student living with epilepsy who shared his personal story and the social challenges he faces regularly with the teachers. Teachers then created and prototyped solutions to address these challenges, including wearable technologies and biosensors. This hands-on session provided context for the biotechnology laboratory activities following the workshop, and served as an introduction to a patient-centered approach in the life sciences industry. 

Once the teachers completed the program, their knowledge, skills, and readiness in relation to teaching laboratory activities increased by 45 percent compared to self-ratings made before the workshop. Teachers remarked about their increased confidence in the lab and the benefits of this kind of professional development experience.  

“UCB is committed to supporting science education in the greater Atlanta area and engaging the next generation of scientists and innovators,” said Stephanie Hunter-Banks, director of patient and stakeholder experience in neurology at UCB. “We’re proud to support this program for teachers to enhance Georgia schools and help prepare the future STEM workforce.”

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