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Rebecca Halleck/MEDILL

Teachers become the students at biotechnology symposium

by Rebecca Halleck
May 16, 2013


Rebecca Halleck/MEDILL

Danielle English teaches advanced and special education biology at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago. Working with pipettes during a summer internship first attracted English to science.

Chicago area high school students will spend less time at their desks next fall after their science teachers attended the second annual Biotechnology Symposium Tuesday at Northwestern University. The conference and upcoming summer development series is designed to give teachers the training and lab equipment necessary to inspire science-minded students through more hands-on experiments.

The symposium pairs educators with industry professionals and other resources to promote STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math. It was hosted by Northwestern's Office of STEM Education Partnerships, Baxter International Inc., and the Biotechnology Center of Excellence at Chicago's Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

With a focus on biotechnology, the symposium featured topics such as biotech applications for healthcare and bioengineering in the classroom.    

Tuesday marked the beginning of the second annual summer development series for area teachers. This year, more than 100 high school science teachers participated in the symposium—triple last year’s number. Teachers who missed the symposium can still join the summer series. 

Kemi Jona, director of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships at Northwestern, said that the goal of the collaboration is to excite and inspire educators by offering them necessary training and resources.

The symposium and summer development series are free for all Chicago area science teachers.

To participate in the summer series, educators can contact the STEM program at Northwestern through the website: