The Amgen Foundation and Front Range Community College have renewed their efforts to continue the Amgen Biotech Experience, an innovative science education program that has been used in more than 25 schools in northern Colorado. This program provides a real-world biotech lab experience to middle and high schools in Amgen’s U.S. and United Kingdom (U.K.) communities.

“Through the support of the Amgen Foundation, FRCC is excited to continue bringing the Amgen Biotech Experience to classrooms in our communities,” said FRCC President Andrew Dorsey. “The students and teachers who participate in this program are given the tools and resources to bring science to life and inspire students to want to learn more about biotechnology.”

FRCC was the first college in Colorado to implement the Amgen Biotech Experience (formerly known as the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab Program). Since the partnership was founded in 2007, Amgen Foundation grants to FRCC of more than $400,000 have been used to introduce more than 12,500 students in northern Colorado secondary school classrooms to contemporary science techniques, including comprehensive teacher training. Teachers are given a robust, hands-on, inquiry-based biology curriculum, in addition to a full suite of transportable, research-grade equipment and supplies, at no cost to the participating schools. Utilizing Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to prepare a recombinant DNA molecule which carries a gene for red fluorescent protein, students follow many of the steps biotechnology researchers use to produce medicines.

“The success of the Amgen Biotech Experience is due in large part to the grantees in our communities,” said Jean Lim Terra, president of the Amgen Foundation. “The collaboration with undergraduate institutions and nonprofit organizations helps give students real-world, hands-on lab experience to introduce them to the excitement of biotechnology and scientific discovery.”

FRCC has brought the Amgen Biotech Experience to schools served by its campuses:

  • Boulder County Campus: Boulder, Centaurus, Fairview, and New Vista high schools, Lyons Middle and High School, and Peak to Peak Charter School.
  • Larimer Campus: Fossil Ridge, Loveland, Poudre, Rocky Mountain, and Thompson Valley high schools, Colorado Early Colleges, Turner Middle School, and Union Colony Prep.
  • Westminster Campus: Air Academy, Broomfield, Eagle Ridge, Green Mountain, Legacy, Mountain Range, Northglenn, Ranum, and Westminster high schools, Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts (MESA), and Denver Waldorf School.

Since the Amgen Biotech Experience was established in 1990, more than 300,000 students throughout the U.S. and U.K. have engaged in the program’s molecular biology labs using relevant curricula, tools and techniques. In 2013, the Amgen Foundation will give more than $2.5 million in grants to community colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations that lead and support the Amgen Biotech Experience in different regions across the country where Amgen has a presence, bringing the total committed to nearly $8 million.

Beginning this year, Education Development Center Inc. (EDC) will apply its deep experience in designing and delivering high-quality science education programs to establishing a Program Office for the Amgen Biotech Experience. Working closely with existing sites, EDC will build on the assets of the program and implement strategies to enrich the program, including the introduction of a new strengthened curriculum for this school year.

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, and Brighton, and online.

FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.

About Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $200 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.

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