MARLBOROUGH, Mass.– The Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) today announced completion of the third year of a program to help students understand Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) life science career paths within a pharmaceutical company, gain professional skillsets and foster a deeper knowledge of neuroscience. More than 400 students have participated in the program, including 16 AMSA seniors and juniors who were coached by Sunovion’s team for their peer teaching roles to deliver neuroscience content to seventh grade students at AMSA between 2019 and 2021.
The AMSA high school students developed lesson plans about the central and peripheral nervous systems that they taught seventh grade students at AMSA via video or in-person classroom settings, with the goal to enhance and complement their existing biology class curriculum. This neuroscience content was developed in consultation with a cross-functional team from Sunovion with a range of expertise. The students also received coaching from Sunovion related to potential career paths, presentation development and delivery skills, as well as other skillsets for professional work environments.
“AMSA students are benefitting from the immediate and longer-term impacts of this program with Sunovion, which has not only helped to enhance our science education but also has provided professional skillsets that will empower them to succeed in the workplace,” said Ellen Linzey, Executive Director, AMSA. “We are proud of this program’s alignment with our focus on instilling a love for learning, as well as the integrated curriculum that we have developed in partnership with students, faculty and the Sunovion team.”
“With Sunovion’s leadership in the Central Nervous System (CNS) area, we feel a responsibility to impart this knowledge to next generation innovators. The passion and commitment of AMSA peer teachers and students to gain an understanding of the complexities of neurobiology is impressive and our employee coaches have been delighted to share their expertise,” said Ken Koblan, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, who serves as Sunovion’s executive sponsor of the program with AMSA. “Seeing the positive impact of this program over three years is rewarding and we value the close collaboration with AMSA administration and faculty to help inspire the futures of these students.”
The 2021 Sunovion-AMSA program student teachers, five seniors and two juniors, were honored during a virtual ceremony on May 27, 2021. Upon completion of their Capstone Project, seniors were provided with certificates of completion and scholarships to encourage their academic careers and consideration of further learning in healthcare, the life sciences and neurobiology. The program was initiated in 2019 through the collaboration of Mark Vital, Community Outreach Manager, AMSA and Wendy Scoppa, Senior Manager, Community Relations, Sunovion