Tenterfield High School is set to become just the second school in regional NSW chosen to be part of a groundbreaking international science education project.
Science head teacher Brian Edmonds will lead the science initiative, which is funded by the Amgen Foundation of the Amgen Biopharmaceutical Company in the USA. With the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) advocated as a valuable asset for students in a future work world, inclusion in the Amgen Biotech Experience is considered a major coup.
Mr Edmonds has already pioneered the pilot program at his former school, Cowra High in Central West NSW, which was the first school outside the metropolitan area and one of just eight in the state selected for the program. The pilot was so successful that the foundation has committed to a further three years of funding.
Mr Edmonds said THS science staff members and interested colleagues at other public schools will be able to gain an insight into what the initiative will offer as he has secured a teaching kit for the next two weeks. The molecular biology learning experience links core science concepts to real-world applications.
“Gaining the Amgen Biotech Experience for Tenterfield High is an amazing opportunity,” he said.
“I found when I introduced the pilot of the innovative science education program that it extended and motivated our promising science students by presenting them with exciting learning opportunities right there at their school.
“The program features a hands-on molecular biology curriculum designed to introduce students to the excitement of scientific discovery.
“The pilot is a complete package providing research grade equipment and supplies, curriculum materials and teacher professional development.
“We worked with industry-based equipment. Professionals in the field visited our school.
“Now Tenterfield High students will have the chance to experience science in a way that they would not otherwise get until reaching university level.”
Mr Edmonds said local teachers will have the opportunity to train in the Amgen Biotech Experience at Sydney University in January next year. It will provide them with the curriculum, professional development, and lab equipment and supplies to engage students in the importance of scientific discovery.
Principal Sandra Rosner welcomed inclusion of the school in the international program.
“It is both an honour and an opportunity,” she said.
“Mr Edmonds’ experience as a pioneer introducing the pilot program in Australia will be invaluable to our students.
“As well as being an asset for our students, our school and our community, Mr Edmonds has generously offered to share insights with colleagues at other public schools across the New England and North West, so this groundbreaking international education project will have an even wider impact.”