Schols Chosen for Amgen Biotech Experience Program

February 1, 2018



What is Genetic Engineering?

A good question and one that our Biology students will have the opportunity of investigating over the next three years.


We are genuinely excited that Schols is one of 15 schools chosen by the University of Sydney to participate in a program aimed at improving students’ understanding of modern biotechnology techniques as part of the Amgen Biotech Experience program.


In simple terms, genetic engineering is a branch of biotechnology that can change an organism’s DNA.  This has a huge impact on the field of medicine, as genetically modified bacteria can make human insulin and other life-saving products.


The University of Sydney provides both the equipment and the reagents for the students’ laboratory experience.  Normally, these are too expensive for schools, hence the University’s practical support.


It is rare for high school students to have the chance to learn about and  practise the procedures and techniques on which the biotechnology industry is based.  This program will make this highly complex branch of science relevant to students and provide them with a better understanding of the role of biotechnology and its potential impact on the pharmaceutical and related industries..


The University of Sydney’s support is valued at around $30,000 per year.  St Scholastica’s College is very grateful to the University and looks forward to a  very exciting and productive  partnership.


In addition to the Amgen Biotech Experience, Year 11 Biology students will be involved in other pilots run by USYD to develop the Kickstart Biology programs for the new syllabus. In Term 1 they will be involved in a number of laboratory experiences to investigate cell specialisation and function, then multi-cellular organisms and energy requirements. In Terms 2/3 they will be investigating antibiotic resistance and natural selection – truly ground-breaking work for our Year 11s.

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