Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pfizer-Wyeth Scholars Program

Pfizer-Wyeth Scholars Program: A Great Professional Development Opportunity for High School Biology Teachers

The Biotechnology Institute seeks to address the critical problem of high attrition among new science teachers with the innovative Pfizer-Wyeth Scholars Program. As an extension of the Institute’s successful National Biotechnology Teacher-Leader Program, each year the Institute will form three-member teams consisting of a new “scholar”
teacher (ideally in the 3rd year of teaching biology/life science), an experienced “mentor” teacher, and a scientist from Pfizer-Wyeth. The Institute will recruit teams from areas local to Pfizer, this year, high schools around the Boston area will be targeted.

The teams will work together for the spring semester. Within each team, the mentor will provide the new teacher, called the “Scholar,” guidance in curriculum implementation along with encouragement and advice on classroom management skills. The Pfizer scientists will share their scientific interests and experience of real-life applications of biotechnology with both teachers, thus enabling the teachers to impart a basic understanding of biotechnology and insight into potential career paths of his or her students. The Scholars will invite the scientists into their classrooms to participate in biotechnology-related lessons.

The Program will begin with a two-day orientation, led by Institute staff on March 4th and 5th at the Pfizer Campus. All of the teams will participate in the orientation together, fostering team building and linkages across teams. During the orientation, the teams will develop
their action plans for the spring implementation. Following the
orientation, the teams will continue to communicate via email and phone for on-going support. The scientist-mentor team supports the implementation of biotechnology into the scholar’s classroom. This culminates with a lab activity and visit from the scientist to the scholar’s classroom.

There will be an additional meeting day in April at which time, teams present their experiences to the group and plans are discussed for participation at The Biotechnology Institute’s Teacher Leader Program which is conducted in conjunction with the annual BIO conference

The Biotechnology Institute has made a strong commitment to the development of a more diverse workforce in biotechnology and it recognizes that teachers from underrepresented populations often face additional challenges. The Institute will recruit Scholars who are either members of minority groups themselves or are from schools with a high percentage of minority students.

This is an excellent professional development opportunity. The Biotechnology Institute provides this professional development free of cost to the district. Substitute coverage and travel expenses to the annual conference are provided by the Biotechnology Institute.
This year the conference will be in Chicago, IL.

Please visit our website: http://www.biotechinstitute.org

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