PROVIDENCE – The second annual SkillsUSA Rhode Island student bioscience competition on March 8 drew 36 students from Coventry High School, Warwick Veterans Memorial High School, Davies Career and Technical High School, and the Woonsocket Career and Technical Center.
Held at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Campus in Providence, in collaboration with Tech Collective and the URI Providence Biotechnology Center, the SkillsUSA event called upon students to demonstrate their understanding of bioscience procedures and techniques by preparing a gel and buffers, running the gel and staining it for visualization, and analyzing the gel using a DNA marker.
Student winners will be announced at SkillsUSA’s annual recognition ceremony on March 26 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence.
“The faculty and staff of the University of Rhode Island’s Providence Biotechnology Center appreciate the chance to interact with the students and teachers participating in the SkillsUSA biotechnology competition,” said Christina Befumo, lab manager of the Biotechnology Center. “We are pleased to have hosted this event in partnership with Tech Collective; it has served as a great opportunity to introduce these young, enthusiastic students to the expansive field of biotechnology and given the students an avenue to showcase their strengths in science.”
The contest was developed by Rhode Island science educators and judged by industry and academic volunteers from Amgen Inc., Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Tedor Pharma Inc., Rhode Island College, Johnson & Wales University and the University of Rhode Island.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals and the Governor’s Workforce Board sponsored the competition.
“The development of this event has truly been a collaboration between industry and education working together to ensure that each student excels,” said Josh Klemp, state executive director for SkillsUSA Rhode Island. The student bioscience competition is one of more than 50 competitive events hosted by SkillsUSA Rhode Island for students enrolled in career and technical education, he added.
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to promote workforce development, and serves teachers and high school and college students preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations.