Sparking an interest in STEM
STEM Education for K-12 Students
Kids naturally think like scientists. We offer programs that tap into their innate curiosity and spark an interest in STEM.
We connect teachers to immersive STEM programs and experiences to make the broadest possible impact on students. Our programs offer leading-edge, hands-on learning opportunities to support teachers in Colorado’s rural, urban, and mountain communities.
With significant investments in teacher training, thanks to generous support from sponsors, The Institute reaches more than 2,500 students each year through student and teacher programs.
We light the spark for students, engaging them with learning opportunities that bring scientific concepts to life. With hands-on learning opportunities, we encourage an understanding and love of science.
By introducing information on career paths in life sciences, we build awareness of our industry’s purpose-driven, high-paying jobs to diverse populations. Our programs expand access and opportunity with high-quality, engaging STEM resources.
Biotechnology Experiences in the Classroom
Amgen Biotech Experience/LabXChange
The Biotechnology Experiences in the Classroom Amgen Biotech Experience/LabXchange professional development program provides high school science teachers the opportunity to learn a molecular biology curriculum using the LabXChange platform.
Thanks to the generous support of the Amgen Foundation and the Medtronic Foundation, Colorado BioScience Institute (Institute), in collaboration with the Harvard LabXchange creators, will train Colorado teachers on LabXchange. The free online platform from Harvard University offers learning, sharing and collaboration. This resource gives educators, learners, and researchers the power to:
- Create flexible learning pathways by finding and assembling high-quality content
- Experiment through a new generation of virtual simulations that give access to the research process
- Share with an integrational network of educators, students, and researchers
- Solve global challenges defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals
Designed to give teachers the tools to introduce the excitement of scientific discovery in biotechnology, the curriculum explores the biotechnology methods scientists use to develop lifesaving technologies and treatments.
Participation offers opportunities to:
- Learn the biotech experience labs and lessons in both a hands-on lab and virtual experience.
- Gain knowledge about the BACE credential for students.
- Meet with local biotech industry employees to learn more about the field.
Teacher participants that actively participate in and complete all of the training sessions will receive a stipend and credit from Colorado School of Mines (CSM).
The Institute thanks the Amgen Foundation and the Medtronic Foundation for their generous support of the Biotechnology Experiences in the Classroom Program.
Want more details on participation or sponsorship? Contact Janie Butler, Institute Program Manager.
practical knowledge and hands-on experiences
Research Experience for Teachers
The Institute provides teachers with practical knowledge and hands-on experiences to enhance their content understanding, classroom practice, and bridge to the real-world skills students will need.
We launched the STEM Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program in 2014, providing middle and high school teachers real-world experience and helping them translate that experience and new knowledge into the classroom. STEM RET is an intensive program, held five days a week for four weeks during the summer.
Real-World Projects: Throughout the program, teachers spend about 130 hours with an innovative STEM company working alongside their teams on critical projects.
Professional Development: The program includes 30+ hours of training to advance knowledge and skills for teachers.
- Build long-term collaborative partnerships between 6th-12th grade teachers, Colorado’s life sciences community, and the state’s university research community.
- Involve teachers in STEM-based, industry-relevant projects and helping them increase student engagement and interest in STEM topics and careers.
- Provide experiential opportunities, along with professional development, classroom implementation planning time, and classroom ready materials.
- Connect student learning to critical skills needed in the workplace.
RET brings scientific concepts to life in Colorado’s 6th-12th grade STEM classes. The program introduces teachers from all backgrounds to the purpose-driven, high-paying jobs available in life sciences and helps them understand the path needed to prepare for a STEM career.
2023 Program Information
- June 5: Program kickoff with a full of professional development and lunch with life sciences community members at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
- June 5 – June 30: Teacher Externship. Teachers work at host company four days per week.
- June 5, 12, 23 and 30: Teacher professional development days.
- Teachers must be from partner school districts. See Frequently Asked Questions.
RET Teacher Participants (Grades 6-12)
Want to receive program updates or apply to join the next cohort?
RET Externship Hosts
The Institute seeks Colorado life sciences companies to host 6th-12th grade teachers in 2023. Host companies deepen their community connections, form strong relationships with science teachers, and spark an interest in STEM for K-12 students.
Pathways to Early College High Schools Program
P-TECH brings together the best elements of high school, college, and the professional world.
The model that allows students to earn a high school diploma, as well as a no-cost Associate degree. The Institute serves as a company liaison for the P-TECH program at Frederick High School, Warrior Tech. The Warrior Tech program prepares students for biotech careers and is a partnership between St. Vrain Valley School District (Frederick High School), Aims Community College and life sciences partners:
This program includes significant mentorship and internship opportunities with our life sciences partners; giving students a head start on their careers after completing the program. Students enroll in 9th grade and complete the program in 4-6 years, fully prepared to enter the biotech workforce.
the brightest scientific minds in the world
Each year, The Institute participates in the BioGENEius challenge. It’s the opportunity for a Colorado student to compete on an international stage with some of the brightest scientific minds in the world.
Imagine discovering a cure to a rare disease, optimizing crop production to provide millions more with affordable food, or even culturing new algae to break down water contaminants. The Institute encourages students to explore projects like these and present your work to industry innovators currently transforming the scientific landscape.
Process and Participation
The Institute, through a panel of Colorado life sciences professional judges, selects one student from the Colorado State Science and Engineering Fair hosted at the Colorado State University to advance to the BioGENEius competition.
The Colorado State Science and Engineering Fair provides opportunities for students to present their research in environments that nurture interest in science and technology.