Ivy Tech biotechnology workshop gives high school students a head start in life sciences


June 27, 2012

Ivy Tech biotechnology workshop gives high school students a head start in life sciences

As part of Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s early college offerings, the biotechnology program is holding a free nine day workshop to area high school students July 9-19. The workshop will introduce high school students to the life sciences industry and career options in the field. Sixteen high school juniors and seniors will earn three college credits for Ivy Tech’s BIOT 100 course and gain experience in a high-demand industry in the greater Bloomington area.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about biotechnology careers, meet professionals in the field, tour a local biotechnology company, and gain hands-on, practical lab experience. Some topics they will learn about include: How to determine if food is genetically modified using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technique, safety and regulatory guidelines in biotechnology, and how to make glowing bacterial cells using genetic modification.

“The workshop meets a direct need for increasing student awareness of the life sciences industry in the greater Bloomington area,” says Clint Merkel, Director of the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences. “According to the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership, Bloomington’s employment in the life sciences industry is six times greater than the national average. Additionally, a 2010 BIO/Battelle study rated Bloomington as the highest among U.S. communities its size in per capita medical device employment, and third highest in pharmaceutical employment.”

For the past three years, the workshop has been funded by a congressionally directed grant from the U.S. Department of Education (Office of Postsecondary Education).

Workshop registration for this year is closed, but for information about additional biotechnology programs for high school students, please contact Sarah Cote at scote@ivytech.edu. The workshop will be held at the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences (ICLS), a facility used by regional life science firms to meet their training goals for existing workers, and by Ivy Tech to prepare students for a career in the life sciences. Anyone interested in the ICLS facility can contact Clint Merkel at cmerkel2@ivytech.edu.

For information about Ivy Tech degree program offerings, visit www.ivytech.edu.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.