Ivy Tech Biotech Boot Camp offers teens a fun STEM experience

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is holding a Biotech Boot Camp for high school students June 26 to 30 at the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences. During the summer camp, teens spend a week in a real laboratory, manipulating molecules using high-tech equipment used in the biotechnology industry. The camp is intended to interest high school students in the field and build a workforce pipeline for STEM careers in the region.

“The local biotechnology industry has been rapidly growing with recent technological advancements, expanding beyond pharmaceuticals and basic medical devices into regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, combination devices, personalized medicine and more,” said Dr. Sengyong Lee, biotechnology program chair. “Educating young students about this field and career options is becoming more important as the need for a skilled workforce grows.”

In addition to summer camps, Ivy Tech is hosting a two-week workshop this summer to train high school teachers to teach dual credit biotechnology courses. Courses will enable high school students to earn college credits that count toward biotechnology certificates and associate degrees.

“This workshop will help us to establish an educational and workforce pipeline into higher-paying careers for students,” said Lee. “The development of our dual credit partnership with high schools has been encouraged by some of our local employers, such as Cook Pharmica and Duke Energy, both of whom financially supported the program.”

Lee says that he hopes Biotech Boot Camp and teacher workshops will help educators and the general public to understand that biotechnology careers do not include an intimidating level of math and science.

Biotech Boot Camp is one of many Ivy Tech youth summer camps in the STEM field, including Architecture & 3D Design, Model Rocketry, Minecraft In Real Life, and Camp Invention. Camps with spaces still available for kids and teens can be found online at ivytech.edu/youth.