Open to your Students: MSJC STEM Summer Institute

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This year Mt. San Jacinto College is offering a 4-day STEM Summer Institute with 4 tracks:

Track 1: Solidworks, Makerbot, & Robotics
Track 2: Forensic Science
Track 3: Environmental Education
Track 4: Sustainability with Wind Turbines. 
The summer institute is open to current MSJC students as well as high school juniors and seniors.
To register, please go to:

For more information, please email stem@msjc.edu

First Forensic Workshop of the year-Success! Next one is March 7th at MiraCosta College

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On Saturday, January 31st twelve teachers from different areas of San Diego came together at San Diego Miramar College to learn new biotechnology curriculum with the opporutnity to implement immediately into their classroom. The teachers received an introduction to the Amgen Biotech Experience (www.amgenbiotechexperience.com), the six-lab series hands-on biotechnology curriculum used in high school and middle school classrooms to teach students the methods of scientific discovery and increase science literacy in the region. The teachers also learned about the 6-day summer professional development program for teachers, Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI).  LSSI provide teachers with a 6-day professional development workshop in the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) lab series that also includes industry site visits to local biotechnology companies. Once teachers participate in the program they become part of the ABE community and have access to loaner equipment and supplies as well as additional opportunities to participate in year-round ABE activities including webinars, industry site visits, student experiences, and technical support.

Next Forensic Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 7th at MiraCosta College. Limited spots are available.  

Sign-up at: biotech@workforce.org

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Science Teachers-Invite your students to apply for a 2015 summer paid internship!

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LSSI is accepting applications through Saturday, March 28th for its 2015 summer program.  Now entering its 11th year of connecting high school students with internships at The Scripps Research Institute, Salk Institute, and UCSD Extension, the LSSI program includes a one-week pre-internship “boot camp” of hands-on research experience held at Grossmont and Miramar colleges with college credit, as well as the opportunity earn college prep units from UCSD, Extension.
Program Dates: June 22-August 14, 2015
Boot Camp: June 22-26, 2015
Deadline to apply: Saturday, March 28, 2015 (11:59pm PST)
Eligibility Requirements to apply Include:
  • At least 16 years of age on or before June 29, 2015
  • Min. 3.0 GPA
  • Have taken at least a year of biology and chemistry
  • Commit to 40hrs/wk for the duration of the program
If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact: Erika Arangure, Project Coordinator at biotech@workforce.org


2015 LSSI HS Program Flyer_reduced

LSSI & SD Miramar College participated in the 2014 High Tech Fair

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Another successful high tech fair has passed.  Thank you to our volunteers for assisting us.  We had over 500 students, parents, and teachers visit our booth.  LSSI alumni students talked about their summer experience and conducted a DNA extraction using wheat germ with our guests.

Here are some photos to highlight the day.


2014 HTF Flyer4

(click poster to enlarge)

SDSA High Tech Fair Student/Parent Night

Tues. Oct. 21

Del Mar Fairgrounds, Bing Crosby Hall

5-8 p.m.

Free Admission, family friendly for grades 6-12

At the High Tech Fair you can learn how medicines are made at Genentech or find out how to stop a plane like an engineer does at UTC Aerospace Systems. Nearly 60 exhibitors are expected from San Diego’s innovative industries in aerospace/engineering, biotech, clean energy, conservation, healthcare, robotics, and information/communication technology. Through corporate sponsorships and individual contributions we can offer this event free to attendees. Pictures from past events can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Please RSVP to attend at http://sdsa.org/programs/high-tech-fair/2014-htf/student-parent-night

Donations are accepted to support the Fair, but admission is free.

2015 FREE Forensic Lab Workshops-Sign Ups Now Open!

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Awesome-this program is amazing! My students always say, Wow this is legit, real labs! -Teacher workshop participant

It was great connect and talking to colleagues from San Diego County and finding ways that they scaffold their AMGEN labs. -Teacher workshop participant


 FREE Forensic Lab Workshops for Science Teachers

 Saturday Workshop Dates*:

 January 31, 2015-San Diego Miramar College

 March 7, 2015-Mira Costa College

 *Limited spots available for each workshop

  • All Hands-on Training
  • Loaner Lab equipment and supplies provided FREE so you can implement immediately in your classrooms
  • Introduction to the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) with priority acceptance into the summer program

 To sign-up for the workshop, please email: biotech@workforce.org


Register directly at:


High School Students Present their Summer Research Work

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A total of 320 high school students applied to be a part of this summer 10th cohort of the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI).  Forty-two were selected to take part in this summer research opportunity working alongside a research scientist at world renowned research institutes including long time partners, Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, and University of California, San Diego.

As part of LSSI, participants were required to complete a one-week full-time pre-internship Intro to Biotechnology “boot camp” training at either Miramar or Grossmont College that focused on hands-on laboratory training as well as soft skills.  The course covered PCR techniques, ELISA, Protein Assay, pH meters, lab safety, and other techniques used in the laboratory. Upon completion of the course, students earned 1-2 transferable college credits and were ready to partake in their 7-week internship.

During the internship, students from all the sites gathered regularly to talk about their experience, participate in career seminars, and scientific poster sessions.

Yesterday, students presented their summer work in front of their peers, mentors, faculty staff, donors, and family members.  It was an exiting moment as it reflected on their contributions to the lab, their experience, and their summer projects.  Students worked in various labs including molecular biology, chemistry, stem, plant, computational biology, and others.  Project topics included: increasing transformation efficiency of human pluripotent stem cells, tracing neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, shRNA knockdown of Sox9 in fMaSCs and Breast Cancer, and understanding the Internal State and Behavior in C. elegant.

Upon completion of the LSSI internship program, students earn UCSD Extension college prep units, complete a scientific poster, and valuable science research experience.

We hope to continue to expand LSSI by providing more internship opportunities for the 300+ applicants we receive each year. For more information on the program and funding opportunities, please contact Erika Arangure, erika@workforce.org.

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Alumni teachers receive training on Amgen Biotech Experience through the LSSI 2.0 program

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On Monday, thirty-one alumni teachers began the first Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) 2.0 training.  Participating teachers from the 2005 cohort to last summer’s 2013 group are participating in this 3-day program for the purpose of ensuring a smooth transition from the previous Amgen Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab curriculum to the newly revised Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE).

Since 2005, over 180 teachers have taken part in the Life Sciences Summer Institute Teacher Program, a professional development program for science teachers in San Diego. In order to receive loaner support and equipment needed to implement the ABE curriculum, teachers must complete the 12-day summer program. Currently, 68 teachers actively implement the curriculum. All 68 teachers were invited to participate in LSSI 2.0.

The new ABE includes a new story line about the role of gene cloning in treating diabetes including an alignment with the Common Core Science Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  ABE now includes only 6 labs from the previous 8 and a newly revised Lab 1.

The program is taking place at the southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College. Teachers will conclude their training on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

LSSI Summer 2013
LSSI Winter 2013
LSSI Summer 2012
LSSI Summer 2011
LSSI Summer 2010
LSSI Summer 2009
LSSI Summer 2007
Summer LSSI Summer 2006
LSSI Summer 2006 and 2005


Statewide Biotech Career Site Launches!

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Calbiotechcareers supports industry responsive regional training by CA Community Colleges.  College programs provide hands-on training to prepare entry-level, work-ready trainees with in-demand skills. Besides this ‘know-how,’ training provides the ‘know-why’ so that trained individuals can adapt to a dynamic industry. 

Visit: CalBiotechCareers.org to discover resources for job seekers and employers in need of a trained workforce. 


Life Sciences Summer Institute Teacher hosts Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA)

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On Monday, February 24th, Mira Mesa High School Teacher Lisa Yoneda hosted Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) to demonstrate the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE).

The ABE, designed by Amgen scientists and educators provides a hands-on real world experience for students using research-grade equipment to run the labs that incorporate core technologies used by the biotech industry in the discovery of human therapeutics.  ABE is the curriculum used during the 12-day Life Sciences Summer Institute for teachers.

Mrs. Yoneda’s classroom provided Representative Peters with the unique opportunity to shadow students as they ran through the ABE lab series.

The equipment and supplies are made possible by support of the Amgen Foundation.  Science teachers go through the 12-day summer institute and are then eligible to receive equipment and supplies to support the implementation of ABE in their science classrooms.Image


For more information, please contact Erika Arangure, BIOTECH@WORKFORCE.ORG

12-day Teacher Program Applications now being accepted!

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To apply to the program, please request an application using the form below.  You can also email Erika Arangure at Erika@workforce.org.

Program Dates: July 10-July 25, 2014

Application Deadline: March 29, 2014