Glimpse into the world of biopharmaceuticals

Even if the glimpse into what goes on in biotechnology laboratories doesn’t entice his high school students to embark on a career in science, Tenterfield High School’s science head teacher Brian Edmonds would be happy for an increased appreciation of how science can benefit their lives.

As part of the Amgen Biotech Experience, Mr Edmonds is putting older students through the complete workbook over the two-week course of the project, with year 7 students getting an introduction to lab practices.

The workbook is a step-by-step guide for exploring what goes on in a biopharmaceutical lab, starting with lab practices and becoming familiar with lab equipment. It  progresses onto modelling the products of a biopharmaceutical lab like Amgen, such as creating insulin for diabetics.

Part of the experience are some intriguing processes including making certain bacteria glow red.

“I’m a firm believer that distance from capital cities shouldn’t impact a student’s opportunities,” he said.

“For those who do go on to uni to study science, this is a massive head start.”