Teacher Recognition Awards for Bringing Amgen Biotech Experience Into the Classroom

Written by: Elaine Quinn
Written on: Thursday, 11 May, 2017


Two teachers from secondary schools in Dublin and Donegal have received teacher recognition awards at a ceremony in University College Dublin for their involvement in a science education initiative, the Amgen Biotech Experience

Hilary Rimbi from St Andrew's College in Blackrock, Co Dublin and Yvonne Higgins from Magh ?ne College in Bundoran, Co. Donegal were recognised for their commitment to inspire students about science by delivering a hands-on experience in working with DNA and molecular biology techniques.

Announcing the winners, Professor Walter Kolch, Director of Systems Biology Ireland,

"This evening is about acknowledging the effort that every teacher involved in the programme has made to bring the excitement of scientific discovery into their classroom. In particular, Hilary Rimbi and Yvonne Higgins have enthusiastically embraced this opportunity to learn about the molecular techniques that are an integral part of our daily working lives as scientists and fundamental to producing drug therapies in the pharmaceutical industry.”

The Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) is an international programme that trains teachers in laboratory experiments using professional grade equipment. Teachers can borrow equipment and consumables free of charge to carry out the experiments in their classrooms during the school year. The programme is funded by the Amgen Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Amgen Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies.

Presenting the awards, Rayne Waller, Vice President of Regional Manufacturing and Site Head at Amgen Dun Laoghaire said,

“The Amgen Foundation is committed to fostering the scientific potential of a new generation. The Amgen Biotech Experience programme is designed to provide teachers with impactful training, resources and materials to deliver a high-quality experience to their students, inspiring them to pursue further education, and possibly even a career, in science.”

Commenting on her award by video link, Yvonne Higgins said, “It has been a wonderful opportunity for my students…really opening up the world of biotechnology to them and offering them an experience they would never have had otherwise. It is probably the best organised and best run programme with regards to promoting science in the classroom.”

In Ireland, the ABE programme is coordinated by Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin, in partnership with the Biomedical Diagnostic Institute, Dublin City University. Since September 2014, 150 teachers, 113 schools and more than 7800 students have participated in the ABE Ireland programme.