COLLEGE STATION — The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and Texas A&M University National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM) have announced plans for the inaugural NCTM Summer Camp in June 2012. This camp, made possible through a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission’s Summer Merit Program (SMP), will allow 40 9th and 10th grade students from Bryan-College Station a unique hands-on introduction to world-class biotechnology and pharmaceutical facilities bringing medical discoveries to market.
Throughout the week-long day camps, students will participate in hands-on lab experiments, role-play as pharmaceutical technicians, and build their teamwork skills on group projects. Students will also have the opportunity to tour and learn from leading experts at:
- The National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing, a first -of-its-kind flexible design bio-pharmaceutical research, development, workforce training, and GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing facility;
- The Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies, a premier large animal GLP facility that integrates all aspects of medical device and drug development from basic research and design, to preclinical testing; and
- The Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine, a research facility that utilizes advanced technologies to discover breakthroughs in science & medicine.
In addition to one-on-one interactions with guest speakers from Texas pharmaceutical firms, students will also tour several Texas biotechnology companies to learn from and witness this workforce in action.
“The Texas A&M University System has committed itself not only to developing among the best biomedical and pharmaceutical technologies in the world, but to training the next generation’s workforce to carry on our mission to advance the global health,” said Dr. Brett Giroir, Texas A&M System vice chancellor for strategic initiatives. “This camp will give students an inside look at these processes at work, and allow them early exposure to lucrative careers in biotechnology research, engineering and manufacturing.”
Two identical week-long camps will be held, each hosting 20 students. For its inaugural year, the camp will only be available to Bryan and College Station area students who have completed either their freshman or sophomore year in high school, however future camps will be expanded to include students statewide.
One of the goals of the TWC’s Summer Merit Program is to relieve financial obstacles for eligible Texas middle school and high school students who may not have had an opportunity to attend a summer camp, by awarding scholarships. The program also seeks to inspire these students to pursue STEM-related careers, thus increasing the number of STEM college graduates in Texas.
Applications for the NCTM Summer Camp are due by 5:00 p.m. on April 20, 2012, and must include a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor and a brief essay describing the student’s interest in attending the camp.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.3 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a member of The Texas A&M University System, is one of the largest workforce training providers in the country. World renowned for its hands-on, customized training, TEEX offers a wide range of technical and skills training programs aimed at employed workers and those entering the labor force. During its fiscal year 2011, TEEX provided training and technical assistance to more than 180,450 people from all 50 states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and 73 countries.
National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing
The National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing is a first-in-class, flexible-by-design, bio-pharmaceutical research, development, training, and production facility within the Texas Engineering Exper?iment Station. The NCTM serves as an operational prototype for a new generation of manufacturing facilities producing required vaccines, antibodies and therapeutic proteins to protect against naturally-emerging pathogens and intentional biological attacks.