Why is your company joining the STEM Alliance?
Making a positive difference in the world is at the heart of what we do at Amgen—and it goes beyond making vital medicines. Each year, Amgen and our staff members dedicate significant resources towards building a better tomorrow. The Amgen Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Amgen – has already contributed over $100 million to advancing science education programming globally.
Individually, all the STEM alliance partners are doing great things. However, through the STEM Alliance, we have the opportunity to amplify and extend our combined impact. Amgen believes that the STEM Alliance offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with other European leaders in pursuit of a common cause. This is about building a strategic platform for STEM in Europe where industry and education speak together with one voice – in partnership with government – to support teachers and inspire students.
Together, we want to show our commitment to society and support the competiveness of Europe by ensuring a skilled workforce; promote the attractiveness and importance of STEM studies and jobs; deepen understanding and appreciation of STEM fields; contribute to innovative practice in teaching STEM, and boost the number and quality of business-education partnerships.
Why is STEM Education a priority for your company?
At Amgen, we believe that investing in science education is critical to shaping a better tomorrow. Amgen was founded more than 30 years ago with the incredible ambition of unlocking the power of biology to help create lifesaving medicines. Now one of the world's largest independent biotechnology companies, Amgen has reached millions of patients globally and continues to develop a pipeline of promising medicines. Scientific expertise is in our DNA, and our scientists and staff are the engines that propel this enterprise forward.
Looking beyond our company, and even our industry, a sustainable Europe needs an educated workforce to ensure that scientific innovations continue. Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. It requires a culture that supports creativity, content expertise, and a willingness to take risks and think outside the box. While we must support those who will drive innovation in the future, we also need to deepen scientific understanding among all citizens – as they will be the ones to ultimately support it. Recognising this, Amgen aims to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators who will improve lives.
Science is also a priority from an economic perspective. Europe's very competitiveness is at risk. By 2025, demand for STEM professionals is expected to grow by 8%. Meanwhile, science and technology account for one-thirds of total employment but only 7% of the population aged 20 to 29 are choosing science and engineering as their main fields of study. This is set against the background of extremely high levels of unemployment in parts of Europe, particularly amongst the young.
Key research in education shows:
Professional development for teachers matters.
A recent study by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)1 found that one of the most effective ways to increase teacher quality, as well as their impact on students, was by supporting and continuing training throughout their careers. It is extremely important to support science educators with meaningful professional development and mentoring opportunities, as well as classroom resources, so they can engage their students in building scientific knowledge by learning to reason in a systematic manner.
Hands-on experience for students matters.
Effective laboratory experiences have the potential to enhance students' understanding of fundamental concepts, grasp the complexity of research, assist in developing scientific skills, and foster their interest in scientific careers. There is simply no better way to create those unforgettable "aha!" moments than when students use their own hands to make science come alive.
What does your company want to achieve with its support to the STEM Alliance?
As a major investor in science education, we will contribute to the goals of the STEM Alliance as follows:
Continue to focus on school-industry cooperation in the STEM teaching area. Our programmes in Europe focus on a two-pronged approach to inspiring the next generation of innovators: (1) investing in and supporting the professional development of science teachers; and (2) creating hands-on opportunities for students (secondary and undergraduate).
We advance this work through a suite of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education initiatives in Europe such as Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience, and Amgen Teach
Contribute to the STEM Alliance communications campaign
Share best practice, support evidence-based research and contribute to policy-based discussion