The HudsonAlpha Biotech Academy concluded its four-week learning program Friday, August 1, with an open house and reception.
Parents, principals and teachers of Academy students were invited to tour the HudsonAlpha lab where students have been working. A reception honoring the students and featuring remarks by Vice President for Educational Outreach Neil Lamb, Ph.D., followed.
Now in its second year, Biotech Academy invites one student from each of the 14 public high schools in Madison County for a unique four-week introduction to the field of biotechnology and its many applications. Teachers nominate students to participate, and each of the schools selects one student from its pool of nominations to send to Biotech Academy.
“The Biotech Academy students were amazing this summer. We completed 16 different labs, collected samples from the Botanical Gardens for DNA barcoding and enjoyed presentations and tours from 12 different HudsonAlpha companies, labs and scientists,” said Educational Outreach Research Associate Michele Morris, who organized the Biotech Academy. “The students all became great friends and learned just how diverse the field of biotechnology can be.”
The 2014 class of Biotech Academy students represent each high school in the Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County school systems:
• Buckhorn High School
• Hazel Green High School
• Madison County High School
• New Hope High School
• Sparkman High School
• Huntsville High School
• Grissom High School
• Columbia High School
• Lee High School
• Johnson High School
• Butler High School
• Bob Jones High School
• James Clemens High School
• New Century Technology High School
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these students. The jobs of the future workforce are STEM-related, and the exposure to biotechnology that this academy offers changes the direction kids go in in terms of careers,” said Rena Anderson, the Director of Community Engagement and Partnership Development for Huntsville City Schools.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide an immersive biotech experience for this distinguished group of local high school students. We’re grateful for Jean Wessel Templeton, whose generous support makes the Academy possible,” said Lamb.
More than 80 guests attended the open house, including teachers, superintendents and principals from the participating school systems.
Media Contact: Heather Smith
About HudsonAlpha: The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to innovating in the field of genomic technology and sciences across a spectrum of biological problems. Its mission is three-fold: sparking scientific discoveries that can impact human health and wellbeing; fostering biotech entrepreneurship; and encouraging the creation of a genomics-literate workforce and society. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. Designed to be a hothouse of biotech economic development, HudsonAlpha’s state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. These relationships formed on the HudsonAlpha campus encourage collaborations that yield results in medicine and agriculture. Since opening in 2008, HudsonAlpha, under the leadership of Dr. Richard M. Myers, has built a name for itself in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and includes 27 diverse biotech companies on campus.