Amgen Biotech Experience Year:
How the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) Shaped My Educational & Professional Path
Captain of her high school’s track and cross country teams, Angie Marcks had hopes of becoming a gym teacher, but that all changed when she participated in ABE her senior year of high school. The professional-grade equipment available to her through the ABE lab was a big improvement from the often battered, and sometimes unusable lab equipment she says her high school typically had on hand. The hands-on experience sparked something inside Angie, a passion she didn’t know she had!
ABE inspired Angie to pursue a degree in genetics and agriculture, with hopes of one day researching genetically modified foods. On top of that, Angie works at a biotech startup and also helps coordinate ABE’s Rhode Island program, putting together the lab kits for area high school students. Angie will share with anyone who asks that she started falling in love with science because of ABE, and now is hoping to inspire the next generation one lab kit at a time.
My ABE Highlights
- What did you enjoy most about ABE?
- I enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the lab the most. My high school didn’t have a lot of money and I was only part of the second graduating class of biotechnology students, so we didn’t do much lab work outside of the ABE curriculum.
- Talk about the hands-on lab experience. Did you feel like a real scientist? How did ABE compare to your experience in other science classes you’d taken?
- The hands-on components of ABE were much better than what was offered in other science courses I had taken. They are really what turned me on to science as a potential career.
- Did ABE help you look at science in a new way? Did you have a sort of ‘ah-ha’ moment during the labs? Tell me about it.
- ABE helped me decide that I wanted to continue my scientific education in college. I am currently majoring in Medical Laboratory Science with a focus in Biotechnology Manufacturing and I use the skills I learned first using the ABE kits every day in the lab.
- Did ABE help prepare you for college? Your current position? How?
- ABE helped me prepare for college by teaching me basic skills such as pipetting, dilutions, and sterile technique. When I entered my college program, many of my classmates had no idea how to hold a pipette, let alone measure precise amounts.
- What was your biggest takeaway from ABE?
- My biggest takeaway from ABE was that a lot of science is based more on trial and error than making big breakthrough discoveries.