ABE site Italy launch event

6 Nov 2017
ABE site Italy Launch event poster

Naples, 6 november 2017 – To let students and teachers experience real science, bringing in high school classrooms "practical" science education through the creation of biotech laboratories, which in the last decades have been instrumental for advancements in medical sciences and therapeutic innovation for many serious illnesses: this is the aim of Amgen Biotech experience - ABE by Amgen Foundation, which has been bringing forward this initiative for more than 30 years in the United States and has now extended the program also to China, Canada, Australia, Singapore and some European countries, including Italy. ABE is an internation program for experimental education about Biotechnologies and methodological innovation based on IBSE (Inquiry Based Science Education), and it's targeted for high school students and science teachers.

A drop in the ocean or the start of a huge wave? We will have to wait and see.

Anna Pascucci
President of the National Natural Science Teachers Association (ANISN), ABE Site Italy director

Welcome greetings at the University of Naples Federico II

After a pilot phase in the school year 2016-2017, ABE site Italy, which is organized through the cooperation between ANISN and University of Naples Federico II and can boast of a prestigious twinning with ABE site Massachusetts, officially starts in our country. On the 6th of November, 2017, the launch event was held in Naples (University Federico II, Sala Azzurra, Monte S. Angelo) with a ceremony (event poster) that brought together students and teachers, as well as representatives from MIUR (Ministry of Education), USR (Regional School Office), ANISN (with the president and ABE site Italy director Anna Pascucci, of which we report an interview about the project and two video interviews in Italian, one about "the scientist of tomorrow with ABE" and one about "the challenges of teaching to teachers"), ABE site Massacchusetts at Harvard University (with the director Tara Bennett), University Federico II (with the vice-rector Arturo De Vivo; we also report an interview to Luciano Gaudio, professor of Genetics) and Amgen Italy (with the executive medical director Ermanno Paternò).

Tara Bennett, ABE site Massacchusetts at Harvard University director

The ABE site Italy training course is free of charge and in the school year 2017-2018 it will be targeted to high school teachers from Lazio, Umbria, Campania and Apulia. 24 teachers will be selected that fullfill the requirements for the program, which will comprise a training session from the 15th to the 18th of January 2018, experimentation at school with students in their last three years of high school and a free supply of lab materials and instruments to carry out the experiments.

The following link points to the full news report (in Italian).

The Amgen Foundation plans to extend ABE in order to reach 900.000 secondary school students within 2020. In the next three years, the Foundation will invest another 10,5 million dollars in order to involve 300.000 students, which will add up to the 600.000 that have already taken part in ABE.

Amgen, as an innovative biotech company, feels the duty and responsibility of of contributing to and supporting a novel, aware and ready “scientific class”. In order to win the fight against serious illnesses there is a need for continuous innovation, which can only be guaranteed by a pool of talented researchers and scientists. Access to education and scientific literacy is very important for all of us, because it allows us to develop our ability to ask questions, organize ideas and solve problems. In this context, the Amgen Foundation works to inspire the next generation of innovators and to encourage the development of scientific talents all over the world. The numbers speak for themselves: the effor in Italy has been significant, we are talking of more than 500 teachers and about 30.000 students. These are numbers that take on an even greater importance when we consider that the Foundation has been active in our country since no more than 5 years ago.

Ermanno Paternò
Executive Medical Director Amgen Italia

Ermanno Paternò, Executive Medical Director Amgen Italia

ABE Italy is managed by the National Association of Natural Science Teachers (ANISN) and by the University of Naples “Federico II”. The program takes advantage of the scientific and educational expertise of these two important institutions, of excellent infrastructure and instrumentation, as well as of an estabilshed expertise in innovative teacher training programs in the scope of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE). ABE Italy trains seconday school teachers through its professional development laboratories and supports trained teachers in the implementation of ABE laboratories locally at their schools.

The following link points to the ABE Italy factsheet (in Italian).

ANISN is an organization recognized by the MIUR that has been very active for more than thirty years in the continuous training of Natural Sciences teachers. It has promoted multiple activities, which have been organized both locally by 26 sections spread in every Italian region, as well as nationally with systematic programs and internationally with numerous european partnerships.

In fact, this event has been of national relevance: we show here a press review with news stories from some of the newspapers that have reported the event. A more comprehensive list can be found at the following link: ABE site Italy launch event press review (in Italian).

ABE site Italy launch event press review

This is nothing different from the process of doing everyday Science in a research laboratory, but it is nevertheless a real revolution in the teaching and learning of Science at school in Italy! ABE is thus a great challenge in Italy, but triggering profound training processes, thought instruments that can change meaningfully and in a lasting way the way we look at the real world and face problems (not only in the scientific field), is an educational duty that our generation has towards the new generations to which it is going to entrust this world. For now, the evidence for the impact of our action, thouh still in pilot phase, are clear. ABE is not the invention of a new, umpteenth wheel in educational innovation; it instead integrates coherently with what is already there, answering real and urgent needs, side by side with teachers and students, stimulating cooperation between schools and peer training, opening up new scenarios and visions of what Science is and how it works, and this is certainly going to motivate students to attend scientific studies.
A drop in the ocean or the start of a huge wave? We will have to wait and see.

Anna Pascucci
ANISN president and ABE Site Italy director

Anna Pascucci, ANISN president and ABE Site Italy director

Here is a listing of downloadable material:
Pictures from the launch event of the 6th of November
ABE site Italy launch event press review (in Italian)
Interview to Anna Pascucci (in Italian)
Interview to Luciano Gaudio (in Italian)
ABE site Italy factsheet (in Italian)
Full news report (in Italian)
Launch event poster, English
Launch event poster, Italiano
The scientist of tomorrow, with ABE (in Italian)
The challenges of teaching to teachers (in Italian)