Buzz builds for Phoenix’s Bioscience High

May 22, 2006

By hammersmith

[Source: Karina Bland, Arizona Republic] — At the new Bioscience High School in Phoenix, students will tap data into laptop computers and splice DNA in labs that would rival what is typically seen at colleges and research facilities. The school building itself will be a teaching tool, with invisible sound barriers between study areas, cooling and plumbing systems left exposed for study, and impressions of fossils set into concrete walls.

The school, which opens in August, is in an ideal location: the heart of a downtown Phoenix biomedical campus that includes the global headquarters of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative, a joint research endeavor of the state’s three universities. “They’re going to be right smack in the middle of it,” said MaryAnn Guerra, chief operating officer of TGen, whose daughter, Raleigh, 14, plans to attend Bioscience High. “It’s just such a wonderful opportunity.”

The students, 100 freshmen from the Phoenix Union High School District, will study at the school’s temporary location at the Phoenix Preparatory Academy until spring, when they will move into a state-of-the-art, $9.5 million campus at Fifth and Pierce streets. Each year, as a new class is added, the school will grow until there are 400 students. The curriculum will be rigorous, with yearlong projects and two-hour blocks of physics and algebra starting freshman year. The students will take one of two languages, Chinese or Spanish, but they’ll study the arts, too.

Students will intern in the labs and offices of nearby researchers, hospital staff and college faculty members, so they’ll leave Bioscience High ready to continue their studies in college or go right to work in one of the fast-growing medical or science career fields. “This country is desperately in need of more scientists in order to be competitive in the global market,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. “It’s critical to get more students interested in science as a career.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]