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 Science Educators, Industry Leaders Attend Biotech Institute’s National Teacher Leader Program

​Ten science specialists from local middle schools, high schools and the biotech industry were at Boston University recently for six days of seminars, laboratory experiences and visits to local biotech companies.

The group attended the Biotechnology Institute's one-of-a-kind National Teacher Leader Program, focusing on effective teaching strategies, best practices and instructional resources. In addition, they attended Operation Biotechnology meetings and discussed their emerging field with education and industry leaders from across the country.

The group was made up of teachers from five local districts, along with representatives of Biogen Idec, BIOCOM and the San Diego Workforce Partnerships. The group was assembled by San Diego County Office of Education Science coordinator Nancy Taylor.

The five participating school districts were: San Diego Unified, Poway Unified, San Dieguito Union High, Sweetwater Union High, and Grossmont Union High. Among the local educators on the trip were Taylor, Jay Vavra of San Diego Unified; Courtney Browne of San Diego Unified, Stephanie Gaundreau of the Sweetwater; Melinda Dixon and Glenn Melero of Grossmont; and Jocelyn Brommelsiek of the San Dieguito Union High School District.

"The San Diego team is energized to find new ways to engage students in real-world science experiences," Taylor said. "We had access to life science experts from the around the world, so we got to listen to talks and demonstrations from scientists who are discovering new ways to treat diseases."

BIO2008 will be held in San Diego June, 2008, and the team that traveled to Boston will be instrumental in designing that conference and identifying local biotech resources to support the conference. County Board of Education member Bob Watkins and Invitrogen executive David Hale are chairing the education component of BIO2008.

According to Taylor, SDCOE Assistant Superintendent for Learning Resources and Educational Technology Nancy Giberson has convened meetings between the Biotechnology Institute and local educators to prepare for BIO2008.