University of Toronto Mississauga and Local Teachers Bring Transformative Biotechnology Education to Local Classrooms

Thursday, November 22, 2018 Education News
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MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 22, 2018 /CNW/ - The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), in collaboration

with the Amgen Foundation and Amgen Canada, is helping transform local science education and ignite a life-long love of science in students in schools across Mississauga and the Greater Toronto

The Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE), an international program funded by the Amgen Foundation and led by UTM in Canada, helps empower high school science teachers to implement real-world biotechnology labs in their classrooms, inspiring scientific curiosity.

"The scientific literacy that students gain from this program is helping strengthen their understanding of the growing role that science plays in today's society and shape new career possibilities," explains Voula Kanelis, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical & Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga.

Today, professors from UTM, in conjunction with teachers and students from Stephen Lewis Secondary School (SLSS), one of 28 schools in Ontario to participate in ABE, hosted an interactive ABE Canada event at Mississauga City Hall, demonstrating a number of experiments included in the program. Both SLSS teachers and UTM professors were on hand to discuss the impact of ABE.

 "ABE allows students to actively engage in learning with equipment and techniques with which they would never have interfaced otherwise," says Greg LeBreton, teacher, Stephen Lewis Secondary School.  "The students also genuinely enjoy learning from the material. It is engaging, relevant and cutting-edge. At the end of the six labs, they feel that they have accomplished something."

Working to Motivate Next Generation InnovatorsABE Canada complements the current Ontario curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 Biology. The program provides curriculum material, research-grade equipment and supplies, and professional development to secondary school teachers.

"The ABE program is boosting students' interest and confidence in doing science and biotechnology, and opening up a world of new possibilities for their future that involves STEM fields," says Dr. Ponda Motsepe-Ditshego, Executive Medical Director, Amgen Canada. "We are proud to work with UTM, the Amgen Foundation and dynamic local science teachers to help teach the fundamentals of real-world science and hopefully inspire a new generation's life-long passion for science."

Quick Facts:

  • Since the launch of the Amgen Biotech Experience in Canada in 2017, 330 students have participated in the ABE across Ontario
  • The program is on track to reach an additional 980 students in the 2018-2019 year in 28 schools across seven Ontario school boards, for a total of 1,310 students
  • Globally, nearly 90,000 students and 1,500 teachers take part in the Amgen Biotech Experience each year
  • Nearly 700,000 students have experienced the fundamentals of biotechnology through the ABE
  • The ABE hopes to reach 900,000 students around the world by 2020

About the Amgen FoundationThe Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $300 million to local, regional, and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience, and Amgen Teach. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AmgenFoundation.

About Amgen CanadaAs a leader in innovation, Amgen Canada understands the value of science. With main operations located in Mississauga, Ont.'s vibrant biomedical cluster, and its research facility in Burnaby, B.C., Amgen Canada has been an important contributor to advancements in science and innovation in Canada since 1991. The company contributes to the development of new therapies and new uses for existing medicines in partnership with many of Canada's leading health-care, academic, research, government and patient organizations. To learn more about Amgen Canada, visit

About the University of Toronto MississaugaThe university's second largest division, the University of Toronto Mississauga has 17 academic units and offers 155 programs in 92 areas of study. Home to approximately 14,000 students and over 1,000 faculty and staff, the campus houses the Mississauga Academy of Medicine, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology and Institute for Management & Innovation. With its distinctive interdisciplinary programs such as forensic sciences and biomedical communications, U of T Mississauga offers a broad array of continuing education courses and professional graduate programs. Established in 1967, the campus features award-winning architecture, robust community partnerships and a dynamic student environment set amongst 225 acres along the Credit River in Mississauga.


  • Amgen Biotech Experience (Canada
  • University of Toronto Mississauga 
  • Amgen Foundation 
  • Amgen Canada

SOURCE Amgen Canada

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