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BioSTEM Education reaches Middle Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Education adopted BioSTEM education requirements in the last few years, allowing schools to adopt a sophisticated four-semester biotechnology curriculum. Since then, a local nonprofit has worked to help the increasing number of schools offering biotechnology education with financial, technological, and curricular design assistance.

With the adoption of new state BioSTEM guidelines, a number of Tennessee K-12 classrooms are now conducting higher-level DNA/RNA/protein lab assays. The aim is to inspire the next generation of health-care innovators in Tennessee and to attract more biotech companies to the state. Kurt Riemenschneider said, “The one thing we need more of and everyone needs more of is a scientific nastic and workforce and that’s what we’re trying to do through the teachers. We support the teachers; teachers build the workforce. The workforce lures the companies and it all works together.”

The Tennessee Coalition for Health Science and BioSTEM is working to strengthen biotechnology, and health sciences education in Tennessee. They’re doing it with the aid of local biotech firms like August Bioservices, which recently donated equipment for Hillsboro High School students to use and learn about.

Nashville is ranked in the top ten fastest growing bio-tech hubs for job opportunities, according to a new JLL study titled “Life Sciences Emerging Markets Index: Poised for a paradigm change,” according to News 2, but there is still work to be done. Speakers and internships with commercial and academic industries are also available through the Tennessee Coalition for Health Science and BioSTEM, allowing students to supplement their BioSTEM education with real-world experience.

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