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Nurturing early STEM education for a diverse workforce

Nurturing early STEM education for a diverse workforce

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When adults think of education in science, technology, engineering and math, they tend to focus on all that goes into pursuing a career in these fields. When children think of STEM subjects, it’s all about the fun opportunities they get to explore.

At Amgen, our goal is to keep the wonder and excitement alive as we work with children, caregivers and educators to nurture their curiosity and to support growth in STEM fields. Based on research conducted in partnership with Let’s Talk Science, we know most parents recognize the value of STEM education and want more resources for their kids.

Elementary school marks the beginning of the STEM journey. In high school, students begin to seriously consider their academic strengths and the choices available to them. Research shows that students who have a positive perception of their abilities and experience in STEM are more likely and eager to pursue related career paths through higher education.

Amgen Canada’s General Manager, Ugur Gunaydin, weighs in on the importance of STEM education:

“Canadian parents have a significant influence on their children’s choices regarding their education. It is vital we use this influence to impact our children’s rapidly changing world. The best thing we can do is to encourage all kids to gain the best suite of skills and capabilities. STEM education is a critical component of that.”

Let’s explore Amgen programs and partnerships geared to preparing elementary and high school students for a future in STEM.

Partnering with Let’s Talk Science – Elementary grades 4-6

It is important to give teachers and parents the tools to understand the impact of STEM fields on a child’s future. This is how we set the groundwork for a stronger, well-equipped, future-forward education system. With that in mind, Amgen is partnering with programs that take a well-rounded approach to building interest and engagement in STEM subjects.

Amgen is committed to supporting and collaborating with key programs like Let’s Talk Science: a program dedicated to preparing children in grades 4-6 for a rapidly changing world – through learning and skill development using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Let’s Talk Science encourages learning and discovery both inside and outside the classroom, and provides teachers with resources, training and professional development for creating educational programs at school.

The Amgen Biotech Experience – High school students

As kids enter high school and prepare to think about the future, science education programs help bridge the gap between school and real-life biosciences. That is what the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) provides to students in Canada and globally.

ABE supports STEM learning access in four key areas:

  1. Providing high-quality teaching and learning resources, lab kits and equipment that are laboratory and classroom-based, as well as accessible online for secondary schools.
  2. Supporting teachers in Canada with high-quality professional learning experiences to develop effective curriculums, implement ABE within schools, and nourish lifelong interest in the sciences with their students.
  3. Bringing scientists into the classrooms through the ABE program.
  4. Eliminating bias and discrimination in STEM education by advancing and identifying opportunities to build out resources, accessibility and implementing program expansion for diverse populations.

This three week, in-class lab initiative provides teachers with research-grade equipment, professional development, and teaching materials. This level of support empowers teachers to immerse students in concepts and techniques they can expect to see in post-graduate settings later. The ABE program in Canada is led by The University of Toronto, Mississauga.

The impact: Since its inception in 1990, ABE has reached nearly 850,000 students globally and is poised to reach nearly 1,000,000 students worldwide by 2023.

It all adds up – Nurturing young minds shapes our future

Exposing youth to engaging STEM material can spark a genuine interest in exploring and pursuing these fields. The result is greater engagement that allows students to access opportunities in highly innovative (and often lucrative) industries.

Recognizing the importance of developing an interest in STEM fields is just part of the equation. Getting kids interested and involved by introducing rich, thought-provoking content throughout their education is the bigger, more important part of the puzzle. For Amgen, that means continuing to develop solutions that aid teachers and parents in nurturing young minds – and encourage children to independently seek out the joys of STEM.


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