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Building a Biotech Pathway


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Title: Building a Biotech Pathway

Building a Biotech Pathway
  • Xan Simonson-MPS Biotech Director
  • Stan Kikkert- MCC Biotechnology Director
  • Steve Slater-ASU-Polytechnic Professor
  • June 4, 2008

Biotech Academy
  • 3 year program
  • creates a small community of learners
  • school-within-a-school format
  • college preparatory, career related curriculum
  • students gain knowledge of the global impact of

Biotech Academy History
  • The Academy is designed around 3 main components
  • A small learning community
  • Partnerships with Business Community
  • College Preparatory, Career Related Curriculum

MPS Biotechnology Academy
MPS Biotech Academy A Marriage of Two Worlds
Traditional Academics
Career and Technical Education
Mission Statement
  • The Biotech Academy will provide students with
    the skills and knowledge to make a seamless
    transition into a successful post high school
    education and or related position within the
    bioscience industry

Marketable 21st Century Skills
  • Bioscience Technology Applications Learn the
    Latest Bioscience Computer Applications
  • Leadership Opportunities through Career
    Development Events
  • Communication Oral and Written Skills
  • Problem Solving How to Solve Problems and be a
    Self Starter
  • Collaboration Learning to Work as a Member of a
    Collaborative Team is Essential to Post Secondary

  • Academy Students are encouraged to meet the
    requirements for the Scholastic Diploma, and will
    take their core academy classes together as a

The Biotech Academy Serves as Early College
Preparation for its students.
Academy Curriculum
  • Core Classes are taught under the umbrella of a
    bioscience theme
  • English course for Juniors is Technical Writing
    and American/Science Literature
  • Economics- Students study a biotech company for
    their stock project
  • Math-students learn and use common conversions
    for the laboratory and algebraic applications
  • Science- Biotechnology I students are treated as
    employees, learn Standard Laboratory Operating
    Procedures and design their own research projects

Science Curriculum Pathways
Pathway 1
Pathway 2

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade
12th Grade Students are Encouraged to Work/Intern
Afternoons in a Bioscience
Industry Placement
Academic Plan
Mesa Public High Schools 231 Biotechnology
24 Program
Academy Students Can Earn 18 College Credits or
Community College
Outcomes Associates Degree Bachelors Degree
Biotech Certificate Masters Degree Doctorate
Student Research
  • Develop necessary content and technical skills
  • Students identify soil bacteria using 16S RNA
  • Culture soil samples
  • Isolate DNA
  • Amplify section of DNA
  • Amplified DNA is analyzed using bioinformatics
  • Identify the bacteria using
  • this analysis

Summer and School Year Internships
  • ASU Biodesign Institute
  • Paid Summer Internships Available
  • U of A Summer of Excellence
  • Internship includes room and board and college
    credit 5 week or 10 week program available
  • TGen 8 Week Paid Summer Internship
  • BNI Scientific Enrichment for Students
  • Unpaid Internship to hone laboratory techniques
    and participate in scientific research
  • SCENE Research Experiences for High School
  • Unpaid but provides scholarship opportunities for
    AZ Universities

MPS Biotechnology Program
  • In Partnership with Four Major Grants
  • NSF Grant 1M
  • Development of a True 222 Educational Pathway
  • AZ Improving Teacher Quality Grant
  • Provide teacher training in the field of
    molecular biology
  • Science Foundation AZ Grant 1M
  • Bringing Authentic Genomic Research to the High
    School Classroom. Training Teachers
  • Undergraduate Bioscience Engagement Track- to
    increase the number of under-represented
    minorities in Biosciences

In four years
  • Started with an idea for a single Biotechnology
    class 2004-2005
  • Moved to a 2 year Biotech Program Pathway
  • Developed into a 3 year Biotech Academy
  • Graduated our first and second cohort

  • In the Beginning

  • Now

3 Classrooms, 3 Research Labs, Clean Room, Grow
Room, Conference Room, and Land Lab
  • After Lab Rooms

Student lab station
  • Best idea from other facilities

Biotech Academy Successes
  • 2007 Pathways to Postsecondary Education Award
  • AZ Commission for Postsecondary Education awarded
    our academy this award in recognition of showing
    excellence in preparing, encouraging and
    transitioning into postsecondary education
  • 100 of Graduates are Currently Enrolled in
  • 2005 Woods Scholar ASU Polytechnic Applied
    Biological Sciences
  • 2007 Woods Scholar ASU Tempe Bioengineering
  • 2008 Flinn Scholar Finalist
  • AZ Science and Engineering Fair
  • Winners 2006, 2007, 12 place winners in 2008
  • National Agriscience Fair
  • 2007 2 Silver Medalists
  • AZ BioIndustry Companies Hire Our Students!

Why Success!
  • MPS SentBIO2007
  • Biotech Director
  • 2 Biotech Teachers
  • Mesa High
  • Principal
  • Biotech Academy
  • Counselor

  • Governor Janet Napolitano in her 2006 State of
    the State address said, We expect our students
    to be more technologically literate, more
    grounded in math and science, and more adept at
    lifelong learning than ever before

(No Transcript)
  • Stanley Kikkert Ph.D.
  • Director Biotechnology Program
  • Mesa Community College

MCC Biotechnology Program
  • First Community College Biotechnology Program in
  • Established 2001
  • Originally conceived for workforce development to
    supply technicians for the nascent AZ Bioindustry
  • Cornerstone of the 222 Biotechnology Pipeline

Keys to Success
Dedicated Faculty Low Student to Teacher
Ratio Modern Facilities Focus on
Innovation Strategic Partnerships
Relevant Technologies
Nucleic Acid Manipulations Protein
Purification Eukaryotic Cell Culture DNA
Microarrays Real Time PCR Fluorescent
Microscopy Stem Cells
Industry Partnerships
Tgen, Biodesign Institute, Orthologic, Intrinsic
Bioprobes Barrow Neurological, Carl T. Hayden VA
Medical Center, Genosensor, Sun Health Research
Institute, Applied Microarrays, Alcor Institute,
222 Pipeline
Teacher Training Workshops and Certification Mobi
le Lab Dual Enrollment Biotechnology
Course Concurrent Courses for High School
Students Transfer Agreements with 4 Year
Universities Research Based Curriculum Supported
by National Science Foundation
Our Larger Role
Returning Students
Graduate School
High School Instructors
Our NSF ATE Grant Allows us to Initiate the 222
  • Provides partial funding for one DNA sequencing
    project. Additional funding from Dr. Slaters
    other grants.
  • Provides money to purchase some critical
    equipment, including laboratory equipment kits
    that can be loaned to high schools.
  • Allows us to train HS teachers during the summer
    and loan them equipment that permits a short
    course on molecular biology.
  • Provides salary to evaluate efficacy of teaching

Remaking Biology Education
  • A Research-Based Approach

Steven Slater, ASU Polytechnic and The Biodesign
Institute David Rhoads, ASU Polytechnic Xan
Simonson, Mesa High School (PI on SFAz
grant) Amanda Grimes, Ken Costenson, Mesa High
School Stan Kikkert, Mesa Community College
Biology education lags far behind biological
  • The Education that science students are
    experiencing is lagging seriously behind how
    biologists design, perform and analyze
    experiments. (NRC, 2003)
  • Arizonas biology students are generally poorly
    prepared to perform the hands-on lab work
    required in research settings. (Battelle, 2003
    for the Flinn Foundation)

Practice like you play
  • This age-old coaching wisdom also applies to
    other types of education.
  • Students should learn experimental science by
    doing experimental science.
  • Whenever possible, the experimentation should be
    real research. That is, the experiments should
    be designed to produce novel results that might
    lead to publication.

We are creating an educational pipeline founded
on genomics research.
  • Bacterial genome projects run through ASU, in
    collaboration with several other universities,
    form a framework for educating students.
  • Genome finishing and functional annotation is
    done by a consortium of students in high schools,
    community colleges and universities.

We are creating an educational pipeline founded
on genomics research.
  • Tasks are initially assigned to students
    according to their abilities and interests.
    Students take it from there
  • Data are managed in a central annotation database
    (a sort of regulated Wiki) managed by Joao
    Setubal at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

A 222 pipeline in Arizona
  • The genomics consortium is composed of
    participants in our 222 pipeline (2 years high
    school, 2 years community college, 2 years ASUP).
  • All three schools are involved in the same genome
    project, with appropriate research tasks going to
    each school.

A 222 pipeline in Arizona
  • Whenever possible, class work becomes research
    that will contribute to analysis of the genome.
  • Our initial focus is on amino acid metabolism in
    Agrobacterium and related species.
  • 222 pipeline development is funded by an NSF
    ATE grant. Genome projects are funded by an NSF
    research grant to Dr. Slater and collaborators.

So how does our SFAz grant fit in?Widening the
pipeline entrance
  • Focus is on intensive training of high school
    science teachers in molecular biology and
    genomics so that they can enter our
    research/education consortium.
  • Grant provides funding for tuition, books, and
    supplies for three ASU courses for current high
    school teachers.

Widening the pipeline
  • Grant also supplies equipment and supplies to new
    high school biology programs run by these
    teachers, on condition that school districts
    match the support.
  • ASU faculty provide training and on-site support
    to enable establishment of new programs.

The classes got underway this fall
  • Taught at the Mesa Biotech Academy.
  • Met Tuesday and Thursday nights for 4 hours each.
  • Focus on theory and practice of molecular
  • 1st year- basics taught, 2nd year will be
    launching into genomics research projects
  • Labs are designed to be easily transferred to
    other high school programs.

So far, things are going great
Goals from here
  • Establish new biotech programs around the Phoenix
  • Make new courses for teachers a part of the
    regular teacher training curriculum at ASUP.
  • Continue to integrate experimentation into
  • Take more student research through to publication.

Weve already been successful on the publication
2007 Just submitted to Genome Biology a paper
with eight undergraduate coauthors. Two more
with similar student participation are currently
being written.
2001 Cover of Science with 12 undergraduate
We teach people how to remember, we never teach
them how to grow. - Oscar Wilde
  • Our goal is to produce confident scientists who
    can think critically, innovate experimentally,
    and clearly communicate their ideas.

Contact Information
  • Xan Simonson
  • 480-472-5783
  • Stan Kikkert
  • 480-467-7862
  • Marshall Logvin
  • (602) 243-8117
  • Steve Slater
  • 480-727-6164