Improving Science Education
Science is at the core of nearly everything we do at Bristol-Myers Squibb. As a leading BioPharma company, we are committed to making the study of science and technology exciting for young learners who might help us discover the medicines of tomorrow.
We support innovative learning opportunities in the sciences for children who attend schools in our local communities. Recent grants have introduced middle school students to topics such as genetics, robotics, engineering, alternative energy, and environmental science. Our employees also serve on science advisory boards at career academies and two- and four-year colleges and help organize science and technology fairs at local schools
Here are examples of how we are improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the communities where our employees work and live:
- Centers for Science Teaching and Learning
With our partners, we have established Bristol-Myers Squibb Centers for Science Teaching and Learning at three universities in New Jersey and Connecticut, where educators discover new ways to inspire learners from elementary school through high school by bringing science to life.
Located at Rider and Montclair State universities in New Jersey, and at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, these centers are changing how in-service and pre-service teachers learn to teach science and mathematics. The centers emphasize hands-on, inquiry-based learning, development of deep content knowledge, effective curriculum planning and using instructional technology to improve learning outcomes.
The centers at Rider and Montclair State are working with the New Jersey Department of Education to help implement the Next Generation Science Standards and similar work is under way at Quinnipiac. The Quinnipiac center also provides opportunities for students in southern Connecticut to explore their career interests in science, health sciences and medicine.
The Rider center celebrated its 10th anniversary in October 2012 and the Montclair State center will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015.
- Connecticut Invention Convention
With employees at our research and development campus in Wallingford, Connecticut, we are helping the Connecticut Invention Convention to encourage critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills among children in grades K-8. This annual competition challenges Connecticut’s school children to invent something that solves a common problem. Students present their inventions at local school competitions where volunteer judges pick finalists for the statewide Connecticut Invention Convention at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
- Student Biotechnology Expo
Since 2001, our ZymoGenetics subsidiary in Seattle, Washington, has sponsored the Northwest Association of Biomedical Research’s Student Biotechnology Expo. Our employees also mentor students and judge student projects. This annual event brings high school students from across Washington State together to compete and showcase different aspects within the field of biotechnology. Over the years, the Expo has successfully engaged students and promoted science literacy while also building partnerships between industry, academia and the community.
- Summer Scientific Research Programs
Bristol-Myers Squibb supports programs at various colleges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that enable undergraduate students to gain real-life experience performing scientific research in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology in close collaboration with a faculty mentor. Participating colleges include The College of New Jersey, Monmouth University, Delaware Valley College and Middlesex County College.
We help K-12 students understand the technologically complex world around them and prepare for careers in science and technology by supporting district-wide robotics and engineering curricula. Students learn important skills that prepare them to succeed in school and in life, including problem-solving and critical thinking; teamwork, collaboration and leadership; innovation and creativity; and interpersonal communication. We also sponsor high school and middle school teams in New Jersey and Connecticut that participate in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics and technology competitions and our employees mentor students participating in these regional and national competitions.
Fostering Interest in Science and Science Careers
Our employees across the United States help students explore their interests in science and technology by visiting middle school, high school and college classrooms, participating in science fairs and career fairs, and serving as judges at regional and statewide science and technology competitions.
For example, employees at our biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts, host a Shadow Day for AP Biology students from Nashoba Regional High School. Students are paired with employees to learn about a variety of jobs available in biologics manufacturing.
At ZymoGenetics in Seattle, our employees have a deep partnership with the Ballard High School Biotechnology Career Academy (BHSBCA), a unique program linking science, mathematics, and language arts into block cohorts, allowing teachers to develop an integrated curriculum preparing students for advanced study and a career in science. The program, which supplemented by one-on-one job shadow and mentoring, enables students to experience biotechnology in a more holistic way.
For more than 15 years, our facility in Syracuse, New York, has provided a grant to help the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry recruit minority students for careers in bioprocess engineering, biotechnology and environmental biology, among others.
In Trenton, New Jersey, employees volunteers are collaborating with Rutgers University 4H on a series of Saturday programs called “Tomorrow’s Innovators” that enable students from diverse background in grades 4-7 explore their interests in science and science-based careers. Company grants support similar STEM-focused programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton and the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey.
In neighboring Lawrenceville, New Jersey, company grants have supported Rider University’s STEM Teacher Academy, where high school students who are interested in becoming teachers of science, mathematics or technology engage in hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities related to biology and ecology, and Project SEED, an initiative co-sponsored by Rider and the American Chemical Society that provides disadvantaged urban teenagers who have a passion for chemistry an opportunity to serve as research assistants for projects in Rider's labs.