The Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) at the Georgia Institute of Technology is contributing to a groundbreaking program that supports life sciences education in rural school systems in Georgia with the goal of preparing students for careers in biomanufacturing.
Georgia BioEd teacher initiative (a program from statewide trade association, Georgia Bio) was developed in collaboration with CMaT and will provide hands-on STEM learning to solidify what students are learning in their other classes while providing skills required for the workforce of the future.
“The life sciences industry is a leading driver of employment nationally, but leaders express concern about the availability of a strong workforce,” says Georgia Bio President and CEO Maria Thacker-Goethe. “We need educators to be aware of the vast, high-paying jobs available in the life sciences industry here in Georgia. By expanding our proven teacher trainings statewide, we will equip educators with the academic, technical, and leadership skills to meet the students’ interests and industry’s needs.”
The training program, which was included in Georgia’s 2020 budget and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, will leverage public and private funds and be operated through the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers.
Georgia BioEd will establish eight cohorts of eight teachers each, and they will attend a two-day training symposium to learn about life science career opportunities and hands-on laboratory activities to deliver in their schools in support of these careers. The teachers will receive the equipment they need to support the lab activities in their classrooms, and the cohorts will take part in an online learning community, giving structured reports on their experiences delivering the hands-on activities.
Meanwhile, Georgia BioEd will hire two people to coordinate and orchestrate the program – a project director and an equipment depot manager.
This is the kind of educational initiative that Georgia Bio’s membership has been supporting for years. The addition of state support, the organization says, will help fuel a high growth, high income industry through educators and students in rural Georgia. Georgia Bio recently reported that employment in the life sciences industry grew by 14.9 percent between 2007 and 2017, a rate nearly twice the national average.
Communications Officer II
Parker H. Petit Institute for
Bioengineering and Bioscience