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Assabet Valley Tech Recognized as MassBioEd Innovative School of the Year

Alexander McMahon, a sophomore, accepts the award and talked about how great the BioTeach events were last year including the Biotech Futures day at WPI and his job shadow day at Ariad. Courtesy
Alexander McMahon, a sophomore, accepts the award and talked about how great the BioTeach events were last year including the Biotech Futures day at WPI and his job shadow day at Ariad. Courtesy

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (Assabet) has been named this year’s Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd Foundation) for inspiring students to explore life sciences careers through progressive biotechnology education and exemplary science career programming.  

Assabet was selected as a MassBioEd Foundation BioTeach school in 2008. Over the past six years, Assabet has successfully integrated biotechnology into the curriculum and has incorporated BioTeach labs into other STEM courses, reaching students at all grade levels. Students and faculty have actively participated in teacher professional development and biotechnology lab experiences offered through MassBioEd programming.

Assabet has enriched their science program through external partnerships, such as with MIT and UPenn, by introducing student-driven research projects, and by encouraging student peer-teaching experiences.  At Assabet, junior biotechnology students help teach bacterial transformation and other concepts to sophomore biology students.

Assabet also recently formed a STEM Alliance Team comprised of biology, chemistry, math, engineering, and biotechnology faculty members. The team works together to discuss STEM education opportunities and to develop curriculum. Assabet biotechnology teacher Monica Hayes explained, “The STEM Alliance Team is promoting collaboration between the vocational shops and academic areas with a goal of exposing more students to meaningful, hands-on STEM curriculum.”

“Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School has done a remarkable job fostering STEM education and encouraging students to pursue careers in biotechnology as they look toward their futures,” said Lance Hartford, Executive Director of the MassBioEd Foundation. “Assabet has demonstrated commitment to enhancing its science program by developing external partnerships, encouraging student-driven research and promoting student teaching to younger classes. The judging panel was also very impressed with the STEM Alliance Team Assabet has created to bridge the academic and vocational curriculum divide; it is a model we hope other schools will replicate.”

“Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School is honored and excited to be named Innovative School of the Year,” said Hayes. “The resources and field trip opportunities through MassBioEd’s BioTeach program have changed the face of biotechnology at Assabet and inspired many students to consider biotech related careers." 

“The science and biotechnology educators at Assabet collaborate to bring our students interactive and relevant curriculum using cutting edge technology,” said Mark Hollick, Principal of Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. “We are so excited and proud that their hard work will be recognized with this award.”

The award will be presented by Takeda at a luncheon ceremony at MassBio’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 3rd at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA. Assabet will be represented by biotechnology instructors Alexia Forhan and Monica Hayes and student Alexander McMahon.

The Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year Award was established by the MassBioEd Foundation to honor a Massachusetts school that has distinguished itself through exemplary progressive biotechnology educational programming.

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School is well-deserving of the prestigious award for its dedication to ensuring its students have the opportunity to explore the life sciences. The award will help the program continue to encourage students to pursue an education in STEM and biotechnology through the growth of partnerships and program expansion.

About MassBioEd Foundation

massbioed.org

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning. Serving as a link between education, industry, and government, MassBioEd is working to ensure Massachusetts’ biotechnology sector has an appropriately trained workforce to meet the growing employment needs. MassBioEd’s BioTeach program provides professional development to more than 750 teachers in their biotechnology curricula and provides grants and lab equipment to 189 schools across the Commonwealth. In addition, MassBioEd’s Biotech Learning Center offers professional development courses for employees in the biotech sector to advance their professional skills.

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