Long-established innovative science education program gives local secondary students real-world hands-on biotechnology lab experience
The Amgen Foundation, in partnership with Science Centre Singapore, have launched the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) program in Singapore. The ABE program is part of a USD 10.5 million investment in the longstanding science education program globally. In Singapore, the Amgen Foundation is committed to invest SGD 280,000 (USD 200,000) in furthering STEM education through to 2020.
For nearly 30 years, ABE has empowered high school science teachers to implement real-world biotechnology labs in their classrooms, helping their students better understand science and how it influences their daily lives. The three-week in-class lab initiative provides teacher professional development, teaching materials, and research-grade equipment to classrooms to immerse students in the concepts and techniques scientists use to discover and develop medicines. In Singapore, the ABE program targets students from secondary schools and junior colleges between the ages of 15 and 18 and is estimated to reach 2,700 students by 2020.
The Amgen Foundation's total past and current commitment to ABE now reaches more than $25 million, bringing the Foundation's total commitment to STEM education to more than $125 million globally.
ABE's launch in Singapore also marks the program's expansion and renewal to nine new international regions including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Netherlands, and Singapore. With today's announcement, ABE is now available in 18 different locations and will continue in key regions in the United States, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom and Ireland. Globally, the program is projected to reach nearly 900,000 students by 2020 in 18 regions around the world.
"Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are critical to the worldwide economy and a core of many industries. ABE has proven its impact in communities around the world. We are excited to see how ABE will transform the student learning experience and build interest and confidence in science in Singapore," said Arleen Paulino, Vice President Singapore Site Operations at Amgen. "Our ultimate goal is to ignite their interest in science and career possibilities. But the scientific literacy they gain from this program will serve them well throughout their lives - that is the value of ABE."
Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore said, "We are honored to be able to partner with Amgen Foundation for this amazing opportunity. The ABE program helps foster great interactions and ideas among our next generation of scientists, allowing them to generate and sustain their interests in STEM. Through these hands-on experiences, students can build useful skills in biologics and pursue their interest in a STEM-related field."
Science Centre Singapore launched the ABE pilot program in Singapore which was first rolled out in January 2017. The ABE curriculum in Singapore has been adapted to help students discover human therapeutics and understand the development in the field of biological medicines through human diseases relevant in Singapore such as diabetes.
The pilot program engaged more than 300 students and 12 teachers from five schools - Canadian International School, Dunman Secondary School, German European School Singapore, Whitley Secondary School and Yusof Ishak Secondary School. The program hopes to reach more than 500 students and 20 teachers across 10 schools in the next school year.
Results of an independent and rigorous evaluation in the United States have found that ABE students show significant and substantial gains in biotechnology learning and increased confidence and interest in doing science and biotechnology. Preliminary results show that:
- 82 percent of students got new ideas about what happens in science labs;
- 72 percent of students got new ideas about what science is;
- 53 percent of students are more interested in learning about science research; and
- 53 percent of students report increased interest in science careers from ABE participation