15,000 students in Ireland set to benefit from Amgen Foundation Science Education Investment

Over 15,000 students in Ireland set to benefit from Amgen Foundation Science Education Investments during the coming academic year

Launch of Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes, designed to equip secondary school teachers with the skills to increase students’ scientific literacy and interest in scientific careers More than 53,000 students and nearly 500 teachers across Ireland to be reached over the course of a three-year commitment Five undergraduate students from Ireland conduct cutting-edge research this summer at leading European universities as part of the Amgen Scholars Programme To date, the Amgen Foundation has invested almost €600,000 in science education in Ireland

Leading biotechnology company Amgen and its philanthropic arm, the Amgen Foundation, have announced two complementary science education programmes in Ireland – Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience.

Designed to support the professional development of secondary school life science teachers, and increase students’ scientific literacy and interest in scientific careers, both programmes are expected to reach over 15,000 students and nearly 150 teachers across Ireland over the coming academic year.

Over the full three year commitment of the programmes, Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience are expected to positively impact approximately 53,000 students and nearly 500 teachers in Ireland.

Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience support the Irish science school curriculum, providing teachers with the skills and confidence to transform the student experience in learning science. Training is offered free of charge and emphasises hands-on, enquiry-based learning, providing teachers with practical tools they can replicate in the classroom and lab to motivate students. Additionally, the Amgen Biotech Experience provides molecular biology resources and research grade lab equipment, available on loan to participating schools. Amgen Teach is delivered by appointed training partner, Professional Development Service for Teachers, while the Amgen Biotech Experience is coordinated by leading Irish universities, University College Dublin and Dublin City University.

The Amgen Foundation also announced that five undergraduate students from Ireland were selected to participate in the 2015 Amgen Scholars Programme. Part of a $50 million, 12-year commitment, the Amgen Scholars Programme advances science education by providing undergraduates with a cutting-edge summer research experience at world-class third level educational institutions. 28 students from various Irish universities, including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, Dublin City University, the Royal College of Surgeons and NUI Galway, have participated in Amgen Scholars since the programme was launched in Europe in 2008.

The participating Amgen Scholars from Ireland for 2015 are:

  • Ciana Diskin from Navan Road, Dublin. Third year Immunology (Biology) student at Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: University of Cambridge.
  • Aaron Fleming from Celbridge, Co Kildare. Third year Immunology (Biology) student at Trinity College Dublin. Amgen Scholars host institution: Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • Conor Keogh from Portmarnock, Dublin. Third year Medical student in Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: ETH Zurich.
  • Daniel Scott from Churchtown, Dublin. Third year Pharmacy student in Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: University of Cambridge
  • Ciara Shortiss, from Cork. Fourth year Neuroscience student in University College Cork. Host University: ETH Zurich.

The Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes, together with details of the Amgen Scholars 2015 Ireland recipients, were announced at an event to mark the opening of the new $300 million Amgen facility in Dun Laoghaire.

Commenting on the programmes, Kerry Ingalls, Amgen Vice President of Regional Manufacturing said, “Amgen is committed to fostering the scientific potential of a new generation. Ireland is currently the only European country to offer all three science education programmes. I believe that despite increased demand for a science-based workforce, many teachers do not have sufficient access to the impactful training, resources and materials to deliver a high-quality experience to their students. As a result, too few young people are opting for a career in science. Our programmes are designed to change that and to inspire students in Ireland to pursue further education, and possibly even a career, in science.”

He continued, “All three programmes remind us that innovation to improve the lives of patients’ demands partnership between industry, government, public services and academia.”

Congratulating Amgen for its support of science education, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD said, “Globally, Ireland now ranks in the top 20 countries for science excellence. Developing collaborative partnerships with leading companies, such as Amgen, to support science education and world–class research will ensure we continue to nurture the next generation of Irish scientists and researchers, enhancing collaboration with enterprise and providing a strong voice for the promotion and support of science, biotechnology and research in Ireland.”

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