High-school teacher takes bio "externship" lessons to classroom

Boulder, CO, USA -- As part of a new six-week paid externship program launched by the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA), Bear Creek High School biology teacher Tamra Miaja spent part of her summer at Array BioPharma in Boulder. Miaja, the first teacher to take part in the program, worked in Array's molecular biology and protein chemistry group, crystallizing proteins and determining their structure. She used spectrophotometers among other tools in her work.

Boulder, CO, USA -- As part of a new six-week paid externship program launched by the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA), Bear Creek High School biology teacher Tamra Miaja spent part of her summer at Array BioPharma in Boulder. Miaja, the first teacher to take part in the program, worked in Array's molecular biology and protein chemistry group, crystallizing proteins and determining their structure. She used spectrophotometers among other tools in her work.

"It's been fun getting a feel for what a job in the biotech industry entails and especially is interesting to see the differences between industry and academia," says Miaja. "I'm going to have lots of insightful details to share with my students." Array is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs.

The CBSA's Education and Workforce Committee developed the externship program becuse its bioscience company members wanted the association to focus on promoting bioscience careers within local schools. "The CBSA is committed to finding ways to inform the K-12 science educators about jobs within the bioscience industry," said Bonnie Vivian and Kevin Smith, co-chairs of the committee.

Jim Rizzi, Array's director of computational technology and a proponent of internship and externship programs notes, "Educating the educator about what career options are available for students will go a long way towards reaching a larger number of future scientists for years to come."

Funds for the program are raised through the CBSA's annual golf tournament, the BioScience Bogie, which takes place Monday, September 15, at the Omni Interlocken Resort Golf Club in Broomfield, CO.

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