On March 20th 2019, fifteen 10th grade students from June Jordan High School visited Amgen to learn about careers in biotechnology.
June Jordan is a small underserved public high school in San Francisco with a high percentage of minority students. Young Women In Bio (SF) has been making an effort to reach more underserved students and this event was a perfect opportunity to connect the local community to the booming biotech industry in their backyard. The students had not visited any companies before, and the amazing volunteers with Amgen’s WE2 organized a fun and informative event to introduce the students to STEM careers.
The event kicked off with an introduction to biotechnology and Amgen. The presenting volunteer also talked about her own journey from school to industry, and her transition from science to business development, showcasing the possibilities in the STEM field.
Another scientist introduced the concept of diffusion and osmosis in a lively presentation. Then the students observed plant cells under microscopes and watched the live cells change shapes through osmosis.
Next the students toured the offices and labs, observed fluorescent cells on a high content imaging microscope, and they even got to practice using different pipets like real scientists! Finally, the students sat down to have lunch and continued to chat with the professionals.
We are very excited to connect with the students who normally have few opportunities like this and show them how diverse and interesting STEM careers can be. Despite not having a deep background in biology, the students were engaged and the activities sparked their interest. We thank the Amgen volunteers for planning such a wonderful event, CLSI for connecting YWIB with the schools, and the June Jordan teachers for making the event possible!